Pasadena, Ca – Game on the line, down by two scores and the only thing in Dorian Thompson-Robinson mind is getting into the endzone and giving his team another shot to tie the game.
The true freshman quarterback had to scramble to put the ball on the 2-yard-line, but on the very next play he put it in the hands of another freshman, Joshua Kelley, for a two-yard touchdown score go cut the Bruins deficit to 24-31 with 1:38 left to play against the No. 10 Washington Huskies.
Unfortunately for UCLA football team, the ensuing onside kick would go to the Huskies as they improved to 5-1 on the season, while the Bruins continue their freefall to 0-5, on Saturday.
“To me it doesn’t mean much, if we don’t get the win,” Joshua Kelley said of his back-to-back 100 yard games. “I mean, shoutout to the line, the tight ends… they really go out and block and do it for me.”
Kelley who finished with 20 carries for 126 yards and a rushing touchdown has been a nice piece of consistency over the last two weeks for the Bruins.
“Josh had some good runs in training up to the Colorado game and it showed there and then tonight,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “He didn’t get much work against Fresno State, but he put his head down and went to work.”
Junior linebacker Krys Barnes had high-praise for the freshman running back and added that Kelley is the type of go who goes at it 110 percent, all the time, with a smile on his face.
Despite the close scoreline against one of the top defenses in the nation, it doesn’t matter if they don’t win.
“We’re not here for moral victories,” Kelly said. “We’re not in the locker room high-fiving saying, ‘We were close.” Close is not good, close is bad.”
While the team may be struggling to find rhythm early in games, the consistent improvement in the second half has been a bright side for the Bruins and as Thompson-Robinson turned in a stellar performance, despite one interception he finished the game 27-for-38 with 271 yards and two touchdowns, there are lots of things to look forward to.
“Dorian continues to improve every day,” Kelly said. “He never makes the same mistake twice.”
UCLA will head to Cal (3-1) next week on Saturday to take on a quietly good Golden Bears team.
“We’re slowly coming together,” Barnes said. “Offense is getting there, defense and even the special teams is coming together too. I think once it all clicks, we’ll be good.”