UCLA-Tennessee: Second-quarter reflections

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

PASADENA, Calif. -- From the Rose Bowl press box:

The second quarter started off with the Tennessee offensive line looking rattled with consecutive false starts -- they'd jumped three times before two minutes passed in the second quarter.

However, big plays cure things quickly. Crompton found Josh Briscoe for 41 yards to advance to the Bruins 11. Montario Hardesty ran off-tackle on the next play for the tying score.

That seemed like a potential confidence-builder for Crompton that would swing the game's momentum but Crompton then made his first big mistake by tossing an interceptions to a diving Alterraun Verner on the Vols 41.

The Bruins went three-and-out but pinned the Vols on their 7, and they gained only one yard and had to punt from their own endzone.

Let's pause for a moment and recognize that UCLA's DTs, Brigham Harwell and Brian Price, are playing as advertised. Harwell just busted up that third-down screen and he and Price are owning the middle of the line.

But they are going to need the offense to possess the ball, or they are going to wear down.

Second consecutive possession starting in Vols territory and a third interception, this time by FS Eric Berry. It was another ill-advised pass frm Craft that had no chance.

The defense bailed the offense out, despite giving up a a couple of big plays that allowed the Vols to drive to the Bruins 34.

The Bruins are doing a good job of getting consistent pressure on Crompton, though they haven't recorded a sack.

Surprisingly, though, neither did the Vols in the first half.

But sometime the defense can't help, such as when Craft's fourth interception is returned 61 yards for a TD by Nevin McKenzie.

It is 14-7 at the break and UCLA needs to decide if maybe it could do better with Chris Forcier instead of Craft.