Pasadena, CA – A really good drive was brewing for Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
The Bruins true freshman quarterback had been looking to bounce back from the early game struggles against Fresno State (2-1).
A few good runs and some completions had the UCLA football team (0-3) looking to mount a comeback.
But the stout and dominant Bulldogs defense wouldn’t let him find his rhythm.
Thompson-Robinson would finish 10-24 with 151 yards passing, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Back-to-back drives ending in tipped pass interceptions by Jeff Allison all but put the game away as the Bulldogs pounded the Bruins 38-14 on Saturday.
“We played a good team,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “We knew that coming in, they won 10 games last year. You can’t turn the ball over and have that many penalties and expect to be in the ball game.”
While the defense was hurting itself, Fresno State’s Marcus McMaryion was having himself a day; he was 22-for-33 for 270 yards and a touchdown, while adding 16 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns.
He was a menace on the goal line for a Bruins defense that just couldn’t get off the field.
A few drives had looked promising and there were some flashes of great defense but the Bruins mustered an abysmal amount of penalties and turnovers.
“We didn’t get any good rhythm in the offensive side of the ball and there’s a lot to it,” Kelly said. “It’s not just the running backs. It’s the offensive line and we had a couple drops.”
The offense hasn’t been clicking and as Kelly said, there are many reasons for that.
Wide receiver Theo Howard (4 receptions, 80 yards, one touchdown) feels that the team just hasn’t gelled yet.
“Obviously it’s a new offense,” he said. “We have a lot of true freshmen. On the line, a wide receiver and a running back. Of course, Dorian too. It just hasn’t gotten there yet.”
Moving on the Bruins go on the road and take on a surging Colorado team that’s started its season 3-0.
With things the way they are, it’s just going to be about “the process” that Kelly continues to look through.
“(Dorian and I) usually have conversations when he comes to the sidelines, what he sees from the defense and all of that,” Kelly said. “We’re just going to have to talk to him and look at film. What did we do wrong and how to we improve upon that.”