UCLA Thwarts No. 15 Washington’s Comeback Bid in 40-32 Win
PASADENA, Calif. – Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with redshirt-senior Jake Bobo for 142 yards and two touchdowns in Friday's 40-32 win over No. 15 Washington at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins move to 5-0 for the team's best start since 2013 and now hold a 12-4 record against Washington (4-1) at home.
The Huskies struck first, but the Bruins fought back and did not trail again after the 9:50 mark in the second quarter. UCLA exploded for 17-consecutive points in the second period and extended its lead in the third, outscoring its Pac-12 foe in three of the four quarters in the contest. The Huskies attempted a late comeback but fell short as UCLA ran out the clock with solid game management and key first down plays.
Thompson-Robinson found his stride in the second quarter, throwing touchdowns on consecutive plays to give UCLA 14 quick points. Bobo was the quarterback's favorite target of the night, hauling in 6 receptions for a season-high 142 yards. Junior Kam Brown and Zach Charbonnet added a touchdown apiece in the game. Charbonnet rushed for 124 yards and added 56 receiving yards, and the running back has now scored five touchdowns in four games played.
In the win, the Bruins surpassed the 40-point mark for the fourth time this season. Friday's performance also marks the second-consecutive week in which the Bruins forced multiple turnovers without coughing up the ball. The UCLA defense only allowed 71 rushing yards in the matchup, limiting the Huskies in their ground attack.
After allowing a Husky touchdown pass early in the first quarter, the Bruins responded on the defensive side of the ball. Washington recovered a fumbled handoff in the end zone but linebacker Laiatu Latu pounced and forced a safety for UCLA's first score of the game. The Bruins followed their defensive score with an offensive attack, taking 11 plays to complete a 93-yard drive and find the end zone. Bobo reeled in a 40-yard reception to put the team in Husky territory, and Charbonnet punched in a 1-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive and give the Bruins a 9-7 lead with 2:54 left in the quarter.
The teams traded blows to start the second quarter. Washington opened the period with a 50-yard field goal, but the Bruins answered in just 2:45 as Thompson-Robinson led an attack in the air to charge down field. The redshirt-senior connected with Bobo for his second receiving touchdown of the season and UCLA reclaimed a 16-10 lead with 9:50 on the clock.
Defense, as the old adage goes, led to offense for UCLA in the second period of play. The Bruins stopped Washington's mid-quarter offensive attempt as redshirt-senior Stephan Blaylock intercepted a ball at Washington's 44-yard line. Blaylock was brought down after returning the ball 29 yards, setting up the Bruins offense on the 15-yard line in Husky territory. Thompson-Robinson needed only six seconds and one play to find Brown in the end zone after the pick, and the Bruins led 23-10 with the clock sitting at 8:02. A three-and-out on the next Husky possession turned into a 24-yard field goal for Barr-Mira and extended UCLA's lead to 16. Defensive back JonJon Vaughns intercepted the first pass on the next Washington drive and the Bruins took their 26-10 lead heading into the half.
BRUINS WITH THE INTERCEPTION...
AND THE TD ON THE NEXT PLAY 🐻 pic.twitter.com/VlpGFmEIgI
— ESPN (@espn) October 1, 2022
The Bruins' momentum carried into the third quarter, as UCLA's offense stayed hot on the opening drive of the second half. Marching down the field in 3:35, the Bruins found success in the run game and scored its 24th-consecutive unanswered point. Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet combined for 58 rushing yards on the 75-yard drive, with Thompson-Robinson dodging a pair of Husky defenders on the goal line and walking in for a touchdown.
Make 'em miss, @DoriansTweets.
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) October 1, 2022
Thompson-Robinson and Bobo paired up for their second touchdown of the game on a 39-yard pass with 3:46 left to go in the third, giving the Bruins a 40-16 lead.
Washington struck back with two-consecutive touchdowns in the fourth quarter, converting 2-point conversions on both drives to bring the score to 40-32. With 3:59 left to play, the Bruins began their final drive back down field. UCLA moved the chains twice despite Washington's best defensive efforts, and the Bruins ran out the clock to squash the Huskies' comeback hopes.
UCLA is set to host No. 12 Utah at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 8 with kickoff slated for 12:30 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcast on Fox or FS1.