Pasadena, CA – After UCLA trailed 20-3 against Stanford, UCLA managed 31 unanswered points. The Cardinal snagged back-to-back touchdowns to close out the fourth quarter, capitalizing on UCLA’s only turnover. It took two overtimes for Stanford to overcome UCLA 48-47 in a crazy final drives that put Stanford one point better.
Win or lose, this was a game that UCLA really wanted, even with Dorian Thompson-Robinson sitting out the second half after suffering a leg injury late in the second quarter. Chase Griffin took the helm and truly shined in Thompson-Robinson’s absence. With Thomson-Robinson and the Bruin offense struggling, Griffin takes over and holds the fort with four passing touchdowns on just 11 attempts. With Demetric Felton also sitting out just minutes before kickoff, graduate transfer Brittain Brown managed over 200 yards rushing. Confidence was also boosted from Kyle Phillips, Greg Dulcich, and Chase Cotta, all snagging touchdowns with Dulcich bringing in two of them.
Of course, even with the 31 unanswered, Stanford let loose near the end with Simi Fehoko’s record setting day. His three touchdown catches all came in the last five minutes and overtime. Along with his sixteen total catches, also a career high, the Bruins did not have an answer for him near the end of the game.
Still, UCLA has a lot of promise going into next season. Each of their losses were by just one possession, and they hung tight against the Pac-12 finalists. Only Felton will be departing as he is a Senior, which means the Bruins gained a lot of experience heading into next season.
However, a season like this now starts the conversation of Chip Kelly being in the hot seat. Even with yet another season below .500, the Bruins have a lot of highs that they can look forward to for next season. It does seen as if the Chip Kelly project has taken three years, and it could be the fourth that could give Bruin fans all they should have been hoping for all along.
If the schedule holds for next season, the Bruins will have all three of their non-conference games at home, which includes a date with LSU. In Kelly’s first two seasons, the Bruins fell in all three of their non-conference contests before starting Pac-12 play. Next season could be a no-excuse season, but with how 2020 ended up for UCLA, even ending the season with a tough loss, there is a lot to look forward to heading into August of 2021.