If you are a UCLA fan, it is so hard not to look ahead. It is extremely difficult to ponder the possibilities if the road remains aligned after each minute. That’s what it kind of seemed like as the Bruins opened up rather quickly against a Colorado team that hasn’t won a game in four straight.They managed to pick up the slack after losing their footing on special teams, giving the Bruins a 31-14 win, their third in a row.
“As a group our guys are collectively playing with great effort,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “I was very concerned with the passing attack tonight, but overall our group effort took command tonight.”
UCLA exploded in the first half on their first three drives. After their first two scores going up 10-0, Dorian Thompson Robinson launched a perfect pass to Ethan Ferna to the right corner. On just one play, UCLA had their hands on a 17-0 lead. Ferna was mobbed by his teammates after the score, and after that play the Bruins had a much different feeling compared to falling at its lowest point taking a loss to Oregon State at home.
But then the game had turned on the offense. In their next five drives, they only managed a total of 55 yards and couldn’t get any deeper into Colorado territory. Colorado found the endzone once on a successful drive of their own to cut the lead to 10. But then special teams gave the Bruins a lot of love forcing missed field goals on two occasions with the defense forcing some big stops. The second missed field goal that was tipped and hit off the post eventually woke back up the Bruin offense, managing to move down the field, getting Joshua Kelly into the endzone on the ground.
Thompson-Robinson finished with 228 yards passing and two touchdowns. Joshua Kelley had his 10th 100 plus yard rushing game of his career with 126 yards. Eight different receivers found the stat sheet, with really nobody showing off other than Ferna’s fade catch in the corner of the endzone.
“Dorian grows every week,” Kelly said. “The neat thing about Dorian is that he keeps putting a better performance on top of a performance he did the week before. I am very happy about the decisions he made.”
“You can feel everything all around us,” Thompson Robinson said. “Things are becoming more fun overall, more fun at practice and more fun at games. Tonight was a good example.”
The Bruins are finding things fun to win football games compared to how things were a few weeks ago. Starting the season 1-5 and having the program in question from nearly everyone have at the very least quieted that crowd winning three straight and are now in prime position to steal the top spot of the Pac-12 South. Their schedule cannot be any more favorable: a week off, then dates with Utah and USC on the road. As both teams own the top two spots in the Pac-12 South, wins over these programs can slingshot them to the top with a final game against the Cal Bears. Any loss most likely means their season would come to an end fighting for a low end bowl game. While their chance at a college football playoff came to an end weeks ago, their very own playoff continues.
“We want to be 1-0 every week. To be 1-0 every week we have to win Monday. Every day we always put our better training each day. Every week in college football is a season. You are not concerned about September and vice versa. You are concerned about what is ahead of you.”