Bruins Open Pac-12 Play with 35-24 Win over Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. – Redshirt senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson muscled through a four-touchdown performance in No. 24 UCLA's 35-24 victory over Stanford at Stanford Stadium on Saturday night.
Thompson-Robinson and redshirt junior receiver Kyle Philips replicated last week's fourth quarter with another pair of late-game touchdown connections to pull the Bruins (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) away from the Cardinal (2-2, 0-2 Pac-12). UCLA has now defeated Stanford in back-to-back meetings for the first time since 2007-08.
It was Thompson-Robinson's first game with at least two passing and rushing scores since the Bruins' 67-63 win over Washington State on Sept. 21, 2019.
After leaving the field with under four minutes left in the game on a third-down conversion from a quarterback keeper, Thompson-Robinson re-entered a play later and found Philips on an out route to put UCLA up two scores.
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) September 26, 2021
Previously in the fourth quarter, the Cardinal evened a 14-point deficit coming out of halftime, 21-21, with a pair of 40+ yard passing touchdowns by quarterback Tanner McKee. The first was a 56-yard heave to wide receiver Elijah Higgins at the 5:30 mark in the third quarter, and the second a 46-yard reception by Bryce Farrell in Stanford's opening drive in the fourth quarter.
On the Bruins' next play from scrimmage, Kyle Philips split two defenders across the middle and connected with Thompson-Robinson for his second 75-yard touchdown reception of the season. The last came in the Bruins' 38-27 win over LSU on Sept. 4. Philips finished the game with 111 yards on five receptions for the first back-to-back 100-yard receiving showings of his career.
Redshirt senior defensive lineman Datona Jackson sacked McKee for a loss of eight yards on Stanford's first play in its next possession to put to rest any possibility of a Cardinal comeback.
UCLA's defense opened the game preventing Stanford from gaining a first down and crossing midfield until its sixth drive of the game coming at the 7:30 mark in the second quarter. On the Bruins' first punt return of the game, Philips weaved past defenders for a 58-yard return before being downed at the Stanford 13.
A look back at the @kylephilips17 58-yard punt return that set up the Bruins for a touchdown. 💨
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) September 25, 2021
Junior running back Zach Charbonnet rushed four times for 12 yards to inch UCLA to the goal line, and on the next play, Thompson-Robinson pulled the ball on a read option to waltz untouched into the endzone for the Bruins' first score of the game and his first rushing touchdown of the season.
The Bruins' second score in the first quarter came on an 18-play, eight-minute drive that featured 15 running plays beginning on the UCLA 12. Charbonnet was responsible for nine of those carries for 49 yards, two of which came on fourth and third down conversions to keep the drive alive. With a push from four of his offensive linemen, Charbonnet found paydirt for the seventh time this season.
Charbonnet finished the game with 129 yards for his third 100-yard rushing game of the season.
Stanford scored in the final five minutes of the second quarter when McKee hit Brycen Tremayne on a corner route to the pylon.
A UCLA sack on Stanford's next possession pushed the Cardinal to 3rd and 14 with their backs nearing their own endzone to give the Bruins a chance to score once more before the end of the half.
On UCLA's next possession, Thompson-Robinson check downed to Charbonnet out of the backfield for two first down gains. Charbonnet rushed on a draw for 16 yards on the next play to put the Bruins in the redzone. Another zone read by Thompson-Robinson capped the drive as he glided in for his second rushing touchdown of the game.
The Bruins return to the Rose Bowl on Oct. 2 when they host Arizona State (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. The contest will be televised on FS1.