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Bruins Fall in Battle for L.A., 43-38

Dec 12, 2020
Dorian Thompson-Robinson

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Dorian Thompson-Robinson went 30-for-36 for 364 yards and four touchdown passes, and the Bruins took the lead with 52 seconds remaining on a Nicholas Barr-Mira 43-yard field goal, but USC came back to record a 43-38 victory on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

Greg Dulcich accounted for career highs in catches (8) and receiving yards (167), scoring a touchdown, while Kyle Philips added eight catches for 63 yards. Demetric Felton, who had a pair of receiving touchdowns, rushed for 90 yards on 21 carries. Thompson-Robinson added 50 yards rushing.

Defensively, Mo Osling III had a career-best 12 tackles, including his third sack of the season. Quentin Lake also had a personal high in tackles with 10 and his third-career interception.

Lake, who had the final-play pass breakup to end the Arizona State win last weekend, continued his stellar play with an interception near midfield to end USC's first drive. The Bruins weren't able to immediately turn it into points, but after both teams traded punts, UCLA found pay dirt on its second drive.
 
All 10 plays of the 85-yard drive were for positive yardage, as Ethan Fernea hauled in a short pass from Thompson-Robinson and took it to the house for 33 yards to put the Bruins up 7-0 with 3:05 left in the first quarter. Thompson-Robinson completed all six of his passes for 63 yards on the drive.
 
On the ensuing USC drive, Lake had another great play to keep the visitors out of the end zone, breaking up a 22-yard pass, with the possession eventually ending on a missed Trojan field goal. After the teams traded punts, the Bruins went 61 yards in six plays to go up 14-0 with 8:41 left in the second quarter. It was a short pass from Thompson-Robinson to Felton, who did the rest, going in from 21 yards out.
 
The Trojans cut their deficit to four on a touchdown and field goal in their next two possessions, but the Bruins extended their lead just before the half. In an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took just 3:06 to complete, Thompson-Robinson and Felton hooked up again, this time for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 21-10. Felton, Thompson-Robinson and Keegan Jones all ran for first downs on the drive, with Philips picking up another on a 16-yard reception.
 
Getting the ball first to start the second half, the Bruins picked up right where they left off. Buoyed by a 40-yard run from Felton, it was Brittain Brown who found the paint from 15 yards out to make it 28-10 UCLA.
 
USC regained the momentum with consecutive touchdown-scoring drives, getting to within five at 28-23 after a failed two-point attempt. The Bruins then turned the ball over on downs near midfield, but the Trojans turned the ball right back over three plays later on a tipped interception by Stephan Blaylock.
 
It took just one play for the Bruins to capitalize, as Thompson-Robinson hit a wide-open Dulcich for a 69-yard score to make it 35-23 UCLA with 1:16 left in the third quarter. Back-to-back touchdowns for USC to open the fourth gave the visitors its first lead of the game at 36-35.

With 3:01 left in the game, the Bruins drove 51 yards in seven plays in just over two minutes, as Barr-Mira's go-ahead field goal split the uprights to put UCLA ahead 38-36. However, a long kickoff return and a pair of completed passes gave USC the go-ahead score with 16 seconds left. A final hail mary attempt by Thompson-Robinson landed untouched to end the game.
 
The Bruins will play next Saturday, Dec. 19 against an opponent to be determined. Site and time are to be announced.