UCLA Scores 37 Unanswered Points, Defeats Colorado, 44-20
LOS ANGELES – UCLA stormed back from an early deficit on Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl, scoring 37 unanswered points and pulling away for a 44-20 victory over Colorado. The Bruins earned their sixth win of the season to become bowl-eligible.
UCLA trailed 20-10 in the first half before outscoring the Buffs, 34-0, in the final two quarters. UCLA's ground game was unstoppable, as the Bruins compiled 245 rushing yards and five scores on the ground. Zach Charbonnet continued his impressive 2021 campaign, totaling three rushing touchdowns on the night to bring his season tally to 11 rushing scores.
Kyle Philips landed the knockout blow with an 82-yard punt return touchdown early in the fourth quarter. He also totaled eight catches for 99 yards.
The teams exchanged three-and-outs on their respective opening possessions before Alex Fontenot capped a 12-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard rushing score. UCLA retained possession with 4:53 to play in the first quarter and picked up a pair of first downs, but Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw a third-down interception and Colorado took over from the Bruins' 46-yard-line (1:15).
UCLA's defense would hold strong to start the second quarter, forcing a turnover as Colorado couldn't convert on fourth down. Thompson-Robinson would connect with Kam Brown for a 40-yard score, but the touchdown was nullified due to an illegal touching penalty from Brown. The Buffaloes took over and drove 10 plays down the field and converted a 23-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead (8:37).
The Bruins' offense was in business after a 47-yard catch-and-run from Kyle Philips, with the big play setting up a one-yard score from Brittain Brown on the ground to make it a 10-7 contest (7:56). Colorado would answer right back with a 75-yard drive capped off by Fontenot's second goal line score of the evening (17-7). UCLA's next drive would see Greg Dulcich snag a 29-yard reception into CU territory, but the Bruins couldn't convert a 47-yard field goal try and the deficit held at 10 points. The teams would exchange field goals to end the half, with the Buffaloes taking a 20-10 lead into the break.
UCLA got the ball to start the second half and marched down the field before Charbonnet found the endzone on the ground. Nicholas Barr-Mira missed the extra point, leaving Colorado with a 20-16 lead. After a defensive stop, Brittain Brown gashed the Colorado defense with two first-down runs ahead of a 23-yard rushing score from Thompson-Robinson, putting the Bruins ahead, 23-20 (6:07). The Bruins' momentum continued with a 75-yard touchdown drive, capped by Charbonnet's second rushing score of the night (2:54).
Leading 30-20, the Bruins kept firing. Charbonnet found the endzone for his third touchdown of the night and 11th of the season, and Philips followed with a punt-return touchdown early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 44-20, which would hold as the final score.
The Bruins are back in action on the road against USC on Saturday, Nov. 20.