UCLA 41, Nebraska 21: Best Pac-12 non-conference win of 2013

Earlier posts: #10 -- Colorado 41, Colorado State 27, #9 -- Utah 30, Utah State 26, #8 -- USC 17, Utah State 14, #7 -- USC 35, Boston College 7, #6 -- Utah 20, BYU 13, #5 -- Stanford 27, Notre Dame 20, #4 -- Oregon State 34, San Diego State 30, #3 -- Arizona State 32, Wisconsin 30, #2 -- Washington 38, Boise State 6.

This was a special win for the UCLA Bruins. They proved that Jim Mora wasn't a one-hit wonder. Brett Hundley had a signature game and helped spark UCLA into the national college football conversation for the first time in over a decade. And it had one of the most dominant halves of football all season, with UCLA rallying from 18 down to roll off 38 unanswered points in a row to polish off a stunning turnaround on the road in Lincoln.

But it was more special because of the significance of the game beyond the field. UCLA dedicated this win to Nick Pasquale, their fallen teammate who was killed in a car accident.

For the Bruins, it was more than just a game. It was a chance to remember their friend. It was a chance to do right by him. It was a chance to do something that was more important than just winning a football game, and they did just that.

Head on over to Bruins Nation to learn more about the significance of the win in winning one for Nick.

The one thing above all that was more important than the final score is that Nick was supposed to be at this game, too. He wasn't, and that is a senseless tragedy. I guess in a universe of infinite possibilities, inexplicable and unpredictable events happen. I have no other logical explanation for why something like that occurs. We all experience inexplicable tragedies in life, just as we probably experience some pretty inexplicable fortunes in, too. These inexplicable moments often become the most memorable and influential events in our lives, because their suddenness and unexpectedness make them stand out from our everyday routine, and force us to respond honestly and without preparation. Life leads us to these intersections and the roads we choose make all the difference in our journey. The leadership that our coaching staff displayed at this latest crossroads was amazing. Last weekend, I heard somewhere that Coach Mora, when abruptly faced with this unthinkable tragedy, recognized that he had never dealt with anything like this and didn't know how he was supposed to help his players, so he called his father to ask for advice. His father didn't know the answers either, so they just talked. The sincerity and compassion and leadership that Mora subsequently displayed last week show he learned very quickly how to handle something like this, and in doing so, he became a better leader for our team and our program and all who follow it.

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