As it was happening, and immediately after, the impact of UCLA’s epic comeback to beat Texas A&M at the start of the 2017 season figured to be immense. In the long run, though, it hardly moved the needle in terms of significant results.
Sports Illustrated has taken the long-after assessment even further, labeling the Bruins’ 45-44 victory as one of the four most “meaningless” games of last season.
UCLA trailed 38-10 at halftime and was down 44-10 in the third quarter, with many home fans at the Rose Bowl already headed to their cars before the comeback happened. The Bruins then scored 5 touchdowns in not much more than a quarter of game play, with quarterback Josh Rosen capping off a 491-yard, 4-touchdown effort by faking a spike and connecting with Jordan Lasley on a 10-yard score with 43 seconds left.
“In the moment, the win felt like a monumental, potentially job-saving triumph for [former UCLA coach Jim] Mora, but it couldn’t prevent the inevitable,” SI wrote.
Mora ended up getting fired in November, let go after UCLA lost to rival USC. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin also was dismissed and is now the coach at Arizona.