The Texas A&M Aggies were cruising to a season-opening win Sunday against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl.
Until they weren't.
The Bruins earned a 45-44 victory in one of the wildest college football games in recent memory thanks to a 35-0 run that would seem unrealistic even on the basketball court. Texas A&M led 44-10 with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter before UCLA scored the final five touchdowns of the contest to shock the SEC's Aggies and start the season with an improbable victory.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was the catalyst, finishing 35-of-58 for 491 yards and four touchdowns.
ESPN Stats & Info put his performance and the comeback into perspective:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Josh Rosen's 491 passing yards are the 3rd-most in @UCLAFootball history (513 by Cade McNown in 1998, 510 by Drew Olson in 2005).2017-9-4 03:18:00
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Texas A&M's win probability was as high as 99.5% with 4:21 left in the game against UCLA. UCLA won 45-442017-9-4 03:36:52
A comeback like that deserved a dramatic finish, and the Bruins set up the final touchdown with a fourth-down conversion and fake spike. Rosen then connected with Jordan Lasley for what proved to be the winning score:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
FAKE SPIKE, FTW. https://t.co/71bBLcI3Lp2017-9-4 03:34:10
It was Rosen's fourth touchdown throw of the final quarter, with the first two going to Darren Andrews and the third going to Theo Howard. Andrews finished with 142 receiving yards and the two scores, while Caleb Wilson led the team with 208 receiving yards.
UCLA's showing had professional athletes reacting as well:
Kevin Love @kevinlove
Man Josh Rosen is a problem!!!!What a win...🔥🔥🔥 @UCLAFootball2017-9-4 04:05:27
Richard Sherman @RSherman_25
Wow that UCLA comeback is why ppl love football..... anything can happen!!!2017-9-4 03:15:49
The Aggies' collapse overshadowed an incredible performance from Trayveon Williams, who spearheaded the early dominance with 203 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Texas A&M ran for 382 yards in all, and Fox College Football captured some of the speed propelling the Aggies' primary runner past the Bruins defenders:
FOX College Football @CFBONFOX
Holy Wheels Trayveon #FoxFieldPass https://t.co/nmYyJ5DsHr2017-9-4 01:11:13
However, a UCLA defense that struggled throughout the majority of the contest needed to stand strong during the comeback and give Rosen a chance to do the impossible. That is exactly what happened, as the signal-caller notched what figures to stand as one of the most memorable wins of the entire 2017 season.
The internet had plenty of jokes to make it even more memorable:
Robert Flores @RoFlo
Josh Rosen's hot tub is going to be so lit. #ucla2017-9-4 03:22:49
Tim Kawakami @timkawakami
And now the Jets are going to spend all season falling behind 44-10 to prove to Josh Rosen how well he'll fit there.2017-9-4 03:28:14
Freezing Cold Takes @OldTakesExposed
I Member #UCLA https://t.co/Qxz7lc3Box2017-9-4 03:17:40
Rob Perez @World_Wide_Wob
For all that is holy someone in Rose Bowl get a defibrillator upstairs ASAP if UCLA scores here this might be the one that finally kills Gus2017-9-4 03:12:58
Rosen and the Bruins will look to parlay their momentum into another victory in their next contest Saturday against Hawaii. The Aggies will be looking to bounce back quickly after Sunday's devastating loss and will face Nicholls in their home opener Saturday.