PASADENA, Calif. – Brett Hundley passed for 280 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 13 UCLA honored late receiver Nick Pasquale during its 59-13 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday night.
Jordon James rushed for a career-best 164 yards and two scores as UCLA (3-0) routed the undermanned Aggies (0-4) in its first home game since Pasquale was hit by a car and killed two weeks ago.
The Bruins ran their first offensive play with 10 men on the field in the walk-on sophomore's honor, and the Rose Bowl crowd waved blue towels and wore T-shirts emblazoned with his No. 36.
Steven Manfro, Devin Fuller and Shaq Evans caught scoring passes from Hundley for the Bruins, who blew out the Aggies even while committing three turnovers inside the New Mexico State 5.
The Aggies have lost 15 straight games.
Manfro also rushed for a score as UCLA took a 45-0 lead through three quarters, giving the Bruins 83 unanswered points after scoring the final 38 in last week's comeback victory at Nebraska. Malcolm Jones rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns for UCLA, which has scored 50 points in consecutive home games for the first time since 1973.
Freshman King Davis III passed for 48 yards in his first start for New Mexico State, which got $550,000 to visit Pasadena as a 42-point underdog for the schools' first meeting. Brandon Betancourt rushed for a late touchdown in his first start for the Aggies.
Andrew McDonald, who lost his starting job to Davis this week, took over in the third quarter and threw a 33-yard TD pass to Adam Shapiro in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.
With last week's win at Nebraska and this blowout, the Bruins embraced coach Jim Mora's desire for his team to play in a way that would honor Pasquale. The entire UCLA roster arrived at the Rose Bowl wearing the same No. 36 T-shirts that were sold to fans, with all proceeds going to the Nick Pasquale Foundation.
Pasquale's parents and brother joined Mora and athletic director Dan Guerrero for an on-field ceremony after the first quarter. They stood next to Pasquale's name and No. 36, painted on the Rose Bowl turf near the spot where Pasquale lined up for his first play with the Bruins in last month's win over Nevada.
Both teams stood at attention on the sideline for a pregame moment of silence. After Manfro returned the opening kickoff to the New Mexico State 16, the Bruins removed Evans from their huddle and ran their first offensive play with just 10 men in Pasquale's honor.
But James fumbled at the New Mexico State 5 on the Bruins' second play, and Hundley threw an interception at the Aggies 1 on UCLA's second drive. Hundley wasn't exceptionally sharp, going 23 of 35 while playing just three quarters, but the sophomore often plays his best against the Bruins' toughest opponents.
The Bruins finally started the rout when James scored from 4 yards out late in the first quarter. Manfro added another score early in the second, turning a short reception into a 20-yard TD with a slick move.
After Ishmael Adams returned an interception 52 yards to end New Mexico State's first good drive, Manfro scored on a 12-yard run. Star Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr then got credit for his first sack of the season when he simply took the ball out of Davis' cocked hand late in the second quarter.
Fuller was wide open when he caught a 21-yard TD pass over the middle with 39 seconds left in the second quarter, and UCLA's Cassius Marsh blocked a field-goal attempt to end the first half with a 31-0 lead.
New Mexico State's Anthony Edwards was ejected in the third quarter with a targeting penalty for a head hit on Evans. Moments later, Hundley threw his second interception at the goal line.
But UCLA kept rolling, with James carrying the ball three times for 55 yards and a touchdown in just 32 seconds late in the third quarter, putting the Bruins ahead 45-0.