UCLA Tops Bowling Green, 45-17, in Season Opener
PASADENA, Calif. – The UCLA football team scored 38 unanswered points from the second quarter on and rolled to a season-opening 45-17 victory over Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl.
Redshirt senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson totaled four touchdowns, two apiece in the air and on the ground, while passing for 298 yards. Senior running back Zach Charbonnet added 111 yards rushing on 21 carries with a touchdown.
Overall, UCLA (1-0) totaled 626 yards of offense to Bowling Green's 162. The margin was especially strong in the rushing game, with the Bruins accruing 269 rushing yards as a team, compared to 37 for the visitors. Kazmeir Allen (10 receptions, 85 yards, touchdown) and Josiah Norwood (five receptions, 63 yards, touchdown) led the receiving corps.
Defensively, the Bruins racked up nine tackles for loss while limiting Bowling Green to under 200 yards total offense. Defensive back Mo Osling III, linebacker JonJon Vaughns, and defensive back Kenny Churchwell III each finished with a co-team-high five tackles.
Bowling Green was the first team on the board Saturday after blocking a punt and returning it for a touchdown at the 13:46 mark of the first quarter, but the Bruins took little time to respond as Thompson-Robinson scrambled for a 68-yard touchdown on the third play of UCLA's ensuing drive.
The Falcons would rally for 10 consecutive points to build their biggest lead of the game at 17-7 early in the second quarter, but the Bruins battled back to tie it up at 17-17 with 4:04 left in the half after Thompson-Robinson connected with Allen for a 20-yard touchdown.
On the first play of its next possession, UCLA took the lead for the first time of the day when Thompson-Robinson connected with running back Keegan Jones for a 52-yard touchdown to put the Bruins ahead, 24-17, with 2:18 left in the second quarter.
UCLA's defense remained stingy in the Falcon's opening possession of the second half by forcing Bowling Green to punt after going three and out on its first drive. UCLA took over on its 42-yard line at the 13:23 mark. Two minutes and 20 seconds later, the Bruins extended its lead to 31-17 after Charbonnet punched in a four-yard touchdown, highlighting the Bruins' eight-play 58-yard drive.
On its next possession, and six seconds into the fourth quarter, UCLA produced a successful nine-play, 47-yard drive that ended when Thompson-Robinson found the end zone after scrambling for eight yards, extending the Bruins' lead to 38-17.
UCLA found the end zone again when quarterback Ethan Garbers connected with wide receiver Josiah Norwood for a 50-yard touchdown that padded UCLA's lead to 45-17.
The Bruins will be back in action on Sept. 10 when they return to the Rose Bowl for a 2:00 p.m. showing against Alabama State University. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network and be available on AM 1150 Radio.