No. 9 UCLA Edged by Arizona, 34-28
PASADENA, Calif. – A last-minute comeback attempt by No. 12 UCLA fell short in the back of the end zone, as Arizona held on for a 34-28 victory on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
Trailing by six with 1:04 to play, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson orchestrated a drive to the Arizona 29, but the drive stalled there after four straight passes fell incomplete, the final one going just beyond Jake Bobo's reach outside of the back of the end zone.
Arizona jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring two touchdowns on its first three drives. Michael Wiley scored both, first on a 10-yard rush with 8:47 remaining in the quarter and the second on a 22-yard touchdown reception.
The Bruins rebounded in the second quarter, however, tying it up at 14-14 after a one-yard touchdown run by Zach Charbonnet and a 99-yard drive that culminated in a 51-yard touchdown pass from Dorian-Thompson Robinson to Hudson Habermehl. The Wildcats answered with a 75-yard drive, regaining the lead, 21-14, on a three-yard touchdown scamper by quarterback Jayden de Laura with 2:01 left in the half.
After finding themselves trailing at the half for just the third time this season, UCLA tied it up again with 3:38 left in the third quarter on a one-yard Charbonnet run. On the next possession, Arizona came up with a huge first down – a 30 yard pass from de Laura to Jacob Cowing on 4th and 3 to the UCLA 11 to end the third quarter. However, UCLA's defense held the Wildcats to a 35 yard field goal after Grayson Murphy sacked de Laura on 3rd and 3 at the UCLA 4.
Down 24-21, Charbonnet almost single-handedly gave the Bruins the lead, contributing 66 yards on the Bruins' nine play, 65-yard scoring drive. His five-yard touchdown run with 10:22 to play put UCLA ahead, 28-24, and put him over 175 yards rushing on the day.
The Wildcats, though, came right back to regain the lead, 31-28. A 48-yard catch by Dorian Singer put Arizona on the UCLA 34, and de Laura hit Tetairoa McMillan for a 17-yard touchdown on 4th and 4 with 6:34 remaining. UCLA could not answer on its next possession, Thompson-Robinson's pass to Josiah Norwood on 4th and 6 falling incomplete to allow the Wildcats to take over on downs with 5:47 to play. Arizona ran the clock down to 1:07 and settled for a 23-yard field goal by Tyler Loop, giving UCLA one last chance.
Starting the drive on their 28, UCLA gained two quick first downs to advance to the Arizona 44. A pass interference penalty by the Wildcats put UCLA on the 29 yard line with 22 seconds left, but after three consecutive incomplete passes put UCLA at 4th and 10 with 4 seconds left, Thompson-Robinson scrambled and threw to the back of the end zone, but out of Bobo's reach.
Charbonnet finished the contest with 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 24 carries. It marked his second consecutive game, and third this season, with three rushing scores. Thompson-Robinson threw for 245 yards and a touchdown on 26-of-39 passing.
UCLA returns to action next Saturday at the Rose Bowl, hosting USC at 5:00 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on FOX.