Skip to main content

Bruins Fall to Oregon in High-Scoring Thriller

Nov 21, 2020
Chase Griffin made his first-career start on Saturday.

Postgame Quotes | Postgame Press Conference | Final Stats (PDF) | Postgame Notes | Boxscore

Eugene, Ore. – UCLA (1-2, 1-2) fell, 38-35, to Oregon (3-0, 3-0) on Saturday at Autzen Stadium, as the Bruins couldn't complete the comeback in Chase Griffin's first-career start.
After an exchange of possessions to open the game, redshirt senior running back Demetric Felton took four straight touches and earned a pair of first downs to get UCLA's offense rolling. After the Bruins entered Oregon territory, Griffin fumbled on a carry, and the ball was picked up and returned by Oregon's Verone McKinley III, situating the Ducks at UCLA's 19-yard line. Oregon cashed in immediately, as quarterback Tyler Shough found Devon Williams on the very next play for a score to put the Ducks ahead.
Qwuantrezz Knight returned the following kickoff and fumbled on the return, setting up another Oregon touchdown as Shough found running back Travis Dye in the middle of the field, putting the Ducks up 14-0 at the 5:23 mark in the first quarter. Following a good kick return from Felton, the Bruins crossed the 50-yard line, and sophomore wide receiver Kyle Philips picked up a 29-yard gain on a pitch from Griffin. After Griffin completed his fifth-straight pass to start the game with a first-down strike to Ethan Fernea, Felton took the Bruins down to the 1-yard line before punching it in (2:15) for his third touchdown of the season.
The teams exchanged possessions, and the Ducks got the ball back with 13:28 left in the second quarter. On the first play of Oregon's drive, linebacker Bo Calvert forced a Verdell fumble in the backfield, and Knight scooped the ball and scored for the Bruins, tying the game at 14. It was the Bruins' first touchdown off a fumble recovery since Keisean Lucier-South picked up a 38-yard scoop-and-score at Cal in 2018.
After Oregon drove the ball down the field, UCLA's defense held strong in the red zone and forced a successful field goal attempt from Camden Lewis (17-14, 7:14). UCLA got the ball back and found itself in a tough 3rd-and-18 situation, but Griffin stepped up and delivered a strike over the middle to Philips for the conversion into Oregon territory. Griffin capped off the 10-play drive with his first-career touchdown pass, a 32-yard dart to tight end Greg Dulcich, to give UCLA its first lead of the afternoon (21-17, 3:24). After Oregon's subsequent drive stalled, the Bruins lined up for the final play of the half, and Griffin was hit as he threw, resulting in an interception return for a touchdown by Jordan Happle that gave the Ducks a 24-21 halftime lead. 
Oregon capitalized on its momentum to open the half, going 75 yards down the field on seven plays, capping the drive with a 7-yard score from Verdell. The Bruins answered right back, with Felton, Griffin, and Brittain Brown combining for 10 carries on a 75-yard drive finished off by a 2-yard score from Brown, his second rushing score in as many games (31-28, 7:38). After the Bruins forced a quick three-and-out, a Griffin interception gave the ball back to the Ducks with 3:43 left in the third quarter, and the Ducks scored on a 12-yard pass from Shough to Hunter Kampmoyer to extend Oregon's lead to 38-28.
After the teams exchanged possessions to start the fourth quarter, the Bruins got the ball back with 7:16 to play. Facing a 4th and 1, Brown rushed for 24 yards and took the ball down to Oregon's 46-yard line. Following a 19-yard competition to Philips, Griffin found sophomore WR Chase Cota for nine yards to bring up 3rd and 1. Felton converted and then took his 33rd carry of the game for an 11-yard score, his second TD of the afternoon (38-35, 3:43).
UCLA's defense made a clutch defensive stop to take possession at its own 19-yard line with 1:17 to play. Griffin opened the drive with first-down completions to Philips and Dulcich to put the Bruins at their own 46. A roughing the passer penalty kept the drive rolling, but Philips couldn't hold on to a 4th-down pass from Griffin, cementing the final result – a 38-35 victory for Oregon.
Griffin went 19-for-31 in his first-career start with 195 yards and a touchdown through the air. Felton was dominant, racking up 34 carries, 167 yards, and two scores.
The Bruins are back in action on Saturday, Nov. 28, for a home matchup against Arizona.