Washington Temple’s first bowl game in 30 years was ruined by the Bruins.
Akeem Ayers returned an interception two yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and UCLA shut down Temple in the second half for a 30-21 victory Tuesday in the EagleBank Bowl.
The Bruins (7-6) rallied from a 21-7 first-half deficit to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2006. That mini-slump by UCLA pales in comparison to the decades of futility endured by the Owls (9-4), whose only previous bowl appearances in school history were the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935 and the Garden State Bowl in 1979.
UCLA braved the freezing temperatures and a wind chill in the teens to overcome a sluggish start.
Kevin Prince completed 16 of 31 passes for 221 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
His counterpart, Vaughn Charlton, had more interceptions (two) than completed passes (one) in the second half.