PASADENA, Calif. — BYU linebacker Harvey Langi proved to be a big difference-maker in the first half against UCLA — on both sides of the ball.
Langi recorded two interceptions, picked up a two first downs as a running back and made a touchdown-saving tackle against Bruin running back Paul Perkins.
The former Bingham High star running back had his first career carry on BYU’s first possession. Facing a third-and-1 at the UCLA 12-yard line, Langi entered the game and gained five yards for a first down. One play later, Adam Hine scored to give the Cougars a 7-0 advantage.
BYU running back Algernon Brown did not play due to a knee injury.
Later in the quarter, Langi picked off UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen at the 5-yard line as the Bruins were marching downfield. It was Langi’s first career interception.
In the second quarter, Langi made a juggling interception in UCLA territory that set up a 40-yard field goal by Trevor Samson to put the Cougars up 10-3.
Also in the first half, Langi caught up to Perkins on one of his two 44-yard runs. Langi stopped Perkins to prevent what would have been a Bruin touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, Langi ran the ball again on third-and-1 and he picked up a first down as he was stopped initially, then fought for two yards.
TEAM CAPTAINS: Before the season, BYU named two team captains, quarterback Taysom Hill and defensive lineman Bronson Kaufusi.
Now that Hill has been lost for the season due to injury, Kaufusi is being joined by captains chosen from week to week.
On Saturday night, wide receiver Mitchell Juergens served as offensive captain and wide receiver Mitch Mathews, who also is on the punt coverage team, was the special teams' captain.
This week, Mathews said earlier in the week that he was happy to be a captain.
“It’s pretty cool to be recognized. You don’t look at me and say, ‘That’s a special teams guy.’ I play a ton of offense. To have the best special teams play is cool. Some guys might say, ‘I play enough. Get me out of there.’ A guy like me knows how important that is and I hope I changed the game by downing the ball at the 1-yard line on that pooch punt. I want to win. Whatever it takes — catching touchdowns, Hail Marys or downing punts, I’ll do it.”
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. UCLA: Going into Saturday’s game, UCLA owned a 7-3 series lead against BYU. The Cougars won the first meeting, 37-35, at the Rose Bowl, then the Bruins won the next seven meetings. BYU won the previous two meetings before Saturday, 17-16 in 2007 and 59-0 in 2008.
PRAISE FOR UNGA: Former BYU linebacker Uani Unga made his first start with the New York Giants last weekend and he made 11 tackles and had an interception in a 27-26 loss against the Dallas Cowboys.
“I was very impressed and proud. I’m so happy for him and his family,” said BYU inside linebackers coach Paul Tidwell. “He had a long road, he had some trials to overcome. He pushed through them, got healthy, got his shot and made the most of it.”
The Giants host the Atlanta Falcons Sunday.
BACK TO SO. CAL: Saturday’s game marked BYU’s first in Southern California since a 23-6 victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego in 2012. It was the Cougars’ first regular season game in Southern California since beating San Diego State in October of 2009.