While the UCLA secondary was struggling to keep up downfield, the Bruins' defensive front was doing everything possible to disrupt the WSU attack.
Led by DE Cassius Marsh and LB Anthony Barr, the UCLA front seven shredded the Cougs offensive line, tallying six sacks and countless other hits and hurry-ups.
Marsh, a 6'3", 275-pound junior, was unstoppable in Pullman, recording five tackles, 2.5 sacks and a blocked field goal. Marsh also forced a fumble, which was recovered and returned for a touchdown by LB Eric Kendricks.
Barr, a junior in his first season on defense, has improved week-to-week and is really showing his next-level potential from the linebacker position.
On Saturday, Barr tallied eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and a safety, establishing himself as blitzing machine with the pursuit and tackle skills of a polished veteran.
The 6'4", 235-pound menace also blocked a punt, the second of the night after LB Jordan Zumwalt did the same in the first frame.
Senior DE Datone Jones got in on the action too, recording three tackles and a blocked field goal. Jones' block was monstrous, as the 6'4", 275-pound giant bulldozed through the Cougar line and batted the kick away with ease.
UCLA CB Sheldon Price was Johnny on the Spot, grabbing the loose ball and returning it 68 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Kendricks was also a force in this game, recording 15 tackles, including 10 solo stops, to go with his 40-yard scoop and score.
The play of the front seven was huge for UCLA, as the Bruins ended up winning by a slim eight-point margin.
If the D-line can continue to be disruptive and pressure the passer, UCLA will have a good chance to win the remainder of its games.