Pasadena, CA – It was tight at halftime with San Diego State University’s football team (2-0) leading the UCLA Bruins (0-2) 10-7.
The Bruins had deferred to open the game and were poised to receive the ball in the third quarter and right the ship.
Just when the energy was high, the protection broke down and Bruins’ quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (24-35 for 199 and a TD) was sacked, resulting in a fumble and recovery by the Aztec defense.
“We had some people open,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “We just gotta protect him better, he took too many hits today.”
San Diego State’s Ryan Agnew (23-31 for 293 and a TD) would cash in on the turnover with a 34-yard TD strike to Kobe Smith to take a 17-7 lead.
Agnew and the Aztecs would stave off the ensuing comeback hopes of the Bruins and finish the game 23-14 for their first-ever win at the Rose Bowl.
“Obviously I still need to improve on some things,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Like the fumbles, we can’t have that. We have to execute better.”
The Aztecs remain undefeated for the season, but the Bruins fall to 0-2 and the voices of complaint and boos from the fans in attendance were heard loud and clear.
On the bright side, the Bruins were able to get their running game going in the right direction with the return of Joshua Kelley (15 carries for 53 yards and a TD).
Kelley now has a touchdown run in all nine games he has played in for UCLA.
Kelly isn’t concerned with his team righting the ship and he’s not too worried about the boos, but he is focused on getting ready for a tough Oklahoma team next Saturday and has “confidence” that his team will fix the problems.
“There are plays to be made that I don’t think we made,” Kelly said. “We have to make the proper corrections when we look at the film.”