Charisma Osborne, No. 6 UCLA women hold off No. 5 Stanford

  • UCLA guard Charisma Osborne glides past Stanford guard Anna Wilson on her way to the basket during the first half of Friday’s game in Santa Cruz. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA forward Emily Bessoir (11) vies for the ball between Stanford forward Cameron Brink (22) and guard Lexie Hull (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. UCLA won 70-66. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere (21) drives with the ball against Stanford guard Haley Jones (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA guard Charisma Osborne, left, and Stanford guard Lexie Hull vie for possession of the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Stanford guard Lexie Hull (12) shoots over UCLA guard Natalie Chou (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere (21) shoots against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Stanford guard Lacie Hull (24) drives to the basket against UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA guard Charisma Osborne (20) takes a three-point shot against Stanford guard Anna Wilson (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere, right, shoots over Stanford forward Cameron Brink (22) and guard Lacie Hull (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Stanford guard Kiana Williams (23) shoots over UCLA guard Charisma Osborne (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA guard Charisma Osborne (20) shoots over Stanford guard Lexie Hull, left, and forward Alyssa Jerome (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA head coach Cori Close yells to her players during the first half against Stanford in an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere (21) passes the ball against Stanford guard Lacie Hull (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer talks with guard Kiana Williams (23) during a timeout in the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against UCLA in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • Stanford forward Francesca Belibi (5) drives to the basket against UCLA forward Lauryn Miller (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. UCLA won 70-66. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA forward Michaela Onyenwere (21) is fouled by Stanford guard Lacie Hull (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. UCLA won 70-66. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA guard Natalie Chou, center, works for the ball against Stanford forward Cameron Brink, right, and guard Kiana Williams, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. UCLA won 70-66. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA guard Charisma Osborne (20) celebrates the team’s 70-66 victory over Stanford in an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

  • UCLA’s Emily Bessoir, left, Charisma Osborne (20), Michaela Onyenwere and Chantel Horvat, right, celebrate the team’s 70-66 victory over Stanford in an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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The pressure the UCLA women’s basketball team faced on Friday night was considerable, but the Bruins withstood it – and at times thrived under it – as they handed Stanford its second straight loss.

“A lot of people talk about how we don’t have a lot of players and there’s only eight or nine of us, and we don’t really worry about that,” Charisma Osborne said. “I’m just really proud of how my team played, and how everyone came out and just was so tough.”

Osborne had 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals and sixth-ranked UCLA handed No. 5 Stanford its second straight loss, 70-66, on Friday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz. Michaela Onyenwere added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins (9-2, 7-2 Pac-12), Natalie Chou had 12 points and five rebounds, and Emily Bessoir added 11 points.

UCLA blew an 11-point lead in the second half, and the score was knotted three times in the fourth quarter, Stanford rallying to tie it for the last time at 66 with 1:47 remaining. Osborne hit two free throws with 1:23 remaining to put the Bruins back in front for good.

The Cardinal had a chance to tie or win in the final seconds, but Francesca Belibi committed the team’s 14th turnover with 13 seconds left and UCLA put the game away at the free-throw line, Osborne and Onyenwere each making one.

“I wanted to come out in this game and really just play freely and just play how I play,” Osborne said. “Credit to my teammates for giving me a pep talk before the game when we were getting ready and just telling me that no one can guard me and giving me a lot of confidence.”

It was Osborne’s fourth consecutive game logging at least 20 points.

“I just hugged her so tight after the game,” UCLA coach Cori Close said, “and just was like, ‘Look, you did it. You lived it. You earned the confidence now, of what it means to be an elite player in big games on both sides of the ball on the road. I can’t give you that confidence – you’ve got to earn it – but you sure earned a whole lot of confidence tonight.’”

“Everyone on our team knows it’s not about ‘me,’ it’s about ‘us,’” Close praised. “I just thought there was so much selflessness on display tonight. That was the difference in the game – our toughness, togetherness, and our selflessness to be able to play whatever role is needed.”

Early, Stanford (11-2, 8-2) appeared eager for a bounce-back performance after the then-top-ranked Cardinal, lost 77-72 in overtime at Colorado on Sunday, but UCLA was able to match its brisk pace through the opening quarter and capitalized on Stanford mistakes when it mattered most. Osborne turned a takeaway into a layup, then drained a deep 3-pointer to cut Stanford’s lead to 9-8 near the 7:20 mark.

The Cardinal forced the Bruins to the perimeter for many of their shots in the first quarter. Freshman Emily Bessoir hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 11-11, but Stanford was able to pull away for a 20-15 lead.

UCLA responded in the second quarter. Onyenwere made a layup, then hit another just as the shot clock expired to tie it at 27-all. An Osborne 3-pointer gave the Bruins the lead again with 5:40 left and they held a 41-36 advantage at halftime.

UCLA kept its rhythm in the third quarter – when Onyenwere fell hard on her elbow – and led by seven points heading into the fourth.

Kiana Williams led the Cardinal, who lost consecutive games for just the fourth time since 2010, with 19 points and five assists. Belibi had 14 points, Haley Jones added 12 points and five rebounds, and Lexie Hull had 11 points and six rebounds.

The Bruins won their fourth straight game and improved to 3-2 against ranked opponents. They dominated the boards, outrebounding Stanford 44-31, including a 21-7 advantage on the offensive glass, translating to an 18-6 edge in second-chance points.

UP NEXT

UCLA hosts Arizona State next Friday. The Bruins were scheduled to play at Cal on Sunday afternoon, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 developments within the Cal program.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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UCLA holds off Marquette with poise down the stretch

  • UCLA guard Johnny Juzang fouls Marquette guard Koby McEwen during the second half of Friday night’s game at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA forward Jalen Hill, right, defends against Marquette guard Koby McEwen during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Marquette forward Theo John, right, looks for a pass around UCLA forward Jalen Hill during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA forward Jalen Hill (24) dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Marquette, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Head coach Mike Cronin of the UCLA Bruins reacts to a play during the first half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Marquette forward Justin Lewis, center, goes up for a shot against UCLA guard Chris Smith, left, and UCLA guard David Singleton (34) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Chris Smith, left, is defended by Marquette forward Justin Lewis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • of an NCAA college basketball game Marquette forward Jamal Cain, left, dunks against UCLA forward Jalen Hill during the first half Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. , right, shoots while defended by Marquette forward Theo John, front left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Marquette guard Greg Elliott (5) shoots against UCLA guard Jules Bernard (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Chris Smith (5) is defended by Marquette forward Theo John (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin looks to the sideline during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Marquette on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Marquette forward Dawson Garcia, right, shoots against UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins and Theo John #4 of the Marquette Golden Eagles fight for the rebound during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • UCLA forward Jalen Hill, right, defends against Marquette guard Koby McEwen during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Marquette forward Justin Lewis, center, goes up for a shot against UCLA guard Chris Smith, left, and UCLA guard David Singleton (34) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Jules Bernard, left, is defended by Marquette forward Jamal Cain during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell celebrates a win over Marquette after an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (4) shoots next to Marquette forward Dawson Garcia (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Theo John #4 of the Marquette Golden Eagles blocks a shot by Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski stands near the sideline during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Jules Bernard shoots over Marquette guard D.J. Carton (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell, right, is defended by Marquette guard Koby McEwen during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jamal Cain #23 of the Marquette Golden Eagles dunks the ball over Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jaylen Clark #0 of the UCLA Bruins and Koby McEwen #25 of the Marquette Golden Eagles fight for the ball during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jaime Jaquez Jr. #4 of the UCLA Bruins steals the ball from Theo John #4 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins dunks the ball over D.J. Carton #21 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Koby McEwen #25 of the Marquette Golden Eagles reacts to a play during the first half against the UCLA Bruins at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Tyger Campbell #10 of the UCLA Bruins brings the ball up court against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jaylen Clark #0 of the UCLA Bruins and Dawson Garcia #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles fight for the ball during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: D.J. Carton #21 of the Marquette Golden Eagles shoots a three point basket defended by Cody Riley #2 of the UCLA Bruins during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Tyger Campbell #10 of the UCLA Bruins drives to the basket during the first half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Justin Lewis #2 of the Marquette Golden Eagles and Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins fight for the rebound during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: D.J. Carton #21 of the Marquette Golden Eagles and Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins fight for the rebound during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Justin Lewis #2 of the Marquette Golden Eagles and Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins fight for the rebound during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Dawson Garcia #33 of the Marquette Golden Eagles looks to pass the ball against Jaime Jaquez Jr. #4 of the UCLA Bruins during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jaime Jaquez Jr. #4 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after getting fouled with Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins defends the rebound against Greg Elliott #5 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins dunks the ball during the second half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Head coach Mike Cronin of the UCLA Bruins reacts to a play during the first half against the Marquette Golden Eagles at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Tyger Campbell #10 of the UCLA Bruins drives to the basket against Koby McEwen #25 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: D.J. Carton #21 of the Marquette Golden Eagles shoots a three point basket defended by Tyger Campbell #10 of the UCLA Bruins during the second half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins drives to the basket against Jamal Cain #23 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: A general view of the empty seats at UCLA Pauley Pavilion while Chris Smith #5 of the UCLA Bruins takes a free throw shot during the second half of the game against the Marquette Golden Eagles on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Jalen Hill #24 of the UCLA Bruins dunks the ball over D.J. Carton #21 of the Marquette Golden Eagles during the first half at UCLA Pauley Pavilion on December 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

  • UCLA guard Jules Bernard (1), forward Jalen Hill (24) and guard Chris Smith (5) celebrate a win over Marquette after an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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LOS ANGELES — UCLA’s shooting performance was a classic tale of hot and cold on Friday night. The Bruins endured separate stretches of five, six and seven consecutive misses. The stretches of six and seven were separated by one made shot.

When the shots weren’t falling, UCLA made up for it on defense, which anchored a 69-60 victory over Marquette at Pauley Pavilion despite a combined shooting performance of 3 for 20 from preseason All-American Chris Smith and sharpshooter Johnny Juzang.

“I’m proud of tonight’s game,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “It’s a game that reinforces what I coach because Chris (Smith) and Johnny (Juzang) going 3 for 20 won’t happen (again). We were still able to win the game.”

UCLA (5-1) held Marquette (4-2) to just six points in the final eight minutes of the game – part of a 14-3 run to finish the night. Three of UCLA’s four blocked shots came in the final five minutes. Two from Jalen Hill and one from Smith.

“Chris showed a lot of maturity tonight,” Cronin said of the team’s lone senior. “He had a big block, big rebounds and free throws to help us win the game.”

Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the Bruins with a career-high-tying 18 points and six rebounds. Jules Bernard, who came off the bench for the first time this season, added 15 points and seven rebounds. Juzang, the Kentucky transfer who started in his second game, finished with nine points (3 for 12 from the field) and Smith (0 for 8) scored four.

Bernard’s 15 points came on just seven shot attempts with no turnovers. He also added two steals.

“I’m a player who’s ready to play,” Bernard said. “Whether I start or come off the bench. I just played aggressive like I always do.”

“He’s become a very, very good player in front of our eyes,” Cronin said.

Juzang delivered a clutch jump shot with 2:12 left that extended UCLA’s lead to five points. If there was a time for UCLA to catch a hot shooting streak, it was at the end of the night. The Bruins converted on six of their last 10 field-goal attempts.

All of Smith’s free-throw attempts came in the final seven minutes, and he converted four of them, which helped to seal the game. It was all by design.

“We were struggling shooting,” Cronin said. “We wanted to get to the free-throw line late game, get Chris closer to the basket and get him to the free-throw line. It worked out for us.”

Marquette had won four of five coming in, including an upset of then-No. 4 Wisconsin. But the Eagles were held to just two field goals over the final seven minutes of their first road game. Marquette’s Dawson Garcia made a pair of free throws to tie the score for the last time at 56-all. Neither team ever led by double digits.

“We played a lot smarter the last eight minutes defensively,” Cronin said. “We got to the foul line and got a few key offensive rebounds.”

UCLA finished the night shooting 41% from the field, but Marquette’s 43% wasn’t much better. Marquette also had 18 turnovers to UCLA’s seven.

The Bruins fell behind by as many as seven in the first half after a Jamal Cain dunk made it 18-11. UCLA weathered an offensive drought that lasted more than three minutes, which included five consecutive empty possessions. David Singleton ended the shooting woes when he drained a corner 3-pointer.

Not only did Singleton’s 3 stop the drought, it sparked an offensive surge that saw the Bruins make nine of their next 11 field-goal attempts. Bernard made back-to-back shots, including a 3-pointer of his own before Jaquez Jr. thundered home an alley-oop in transition delivered from Tyger Campbell.

UCLA carried a 36-34 lead into halftime.

Friday night’s win is UCLA’s best of the season thus far, especially after it thumped mid-majors Seattle and San Diego. Its double-digit victory over Cal was expected and the triple-overtime victory over Pepperdine is looking more respectable after the Waves took down Cal themselves, handily.

Furthermore, the Bruins’ only loss – to San Diego State in the season opener – is hardly embarrassing after the unbeaten Aztecs took down Pac-12 contender Arizona State, 80-68, on Thursday night in Tempe.

“This was a big game for us. We knew (Marquette) had just knocked off Wisconsin,” Bernard said.

UP NEXT

UCLA hosts Long Beach State on Tuesday in a game that had been postponed last month.

Party in Pauley, Bruins win! 👏@jaquez_jr’s ties career-best 18 points as @UCLAMBB moves to 3-0 all-time against Marquette. pic.twitter.com/MYZ9txv5yA

— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) December 12, 2020

“I knew we had struggled from the 3-point line, as far as our shooting was concerned. When I saw an opening, I just took it and knew that we were in the bonus so I was driving, trying to draw fouls.”

Jaime Jaquez Jr. (@jaquez_jr), speaking to the media after UCLA’s win pic.twitter.com/z3r0AZM8by

— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 12, 2020

“Jules Bernard, obviously, the MVP in tonight’s game. His defense on their best players, his toughness, his rebounding, his efficiency on offense … He’s becoming a very good player in front of our eyes.”

Coach Cronin, speaking via Zoom after UCLA’s win pic.twitter.com/1L7U9XoayZ

— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 12, 2020

Jalen Hill finishes off a 6-0 UCLA run with this alley oop from @tygercampbell15!

Bruins lead by six with just 5:05 left in regulation.

📺: @Pac12Network
🖥: https://t.co/ZzjQRYhgcz#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/dG2t2GRs25

— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 12, 2020

.@JohnnyJuzang hits a long jumper to make it a 65-60 game and force a Marquette timeout.

📺: @Pac12Network
🖥: https://t.co/ZzjQRYhgcz#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/W14yZku394

— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 12, 2020

.@jules__bernard is good with the left again and UCLA leads by four!

📺: @Pac12Network
🖥: https://t.co/ZzjQRYhgcz#GoBruins pic.twitter.com/AWaHI8Q5y0

— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 12, 2020

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Johnny Juzang debuts as UCLA routs San Diego for fourth win in a row

  • UCLA forward Cody Riley, right, grabs a rebound next to teammates Chris Smith and San Diego forward Yauhen Massalski during the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego guard Marion Humphrey, right, goes up for a shot against UCLA guard Johnny Juzang during the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego guard Marion Humphrey, right, shoots next to UCLA guard Johnny Juzang during the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA forward Jalen Hill, center, grabs a rebound during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego on Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA forward Cody Riley, right, and San Diego guard Finn Sullivan, left, run after a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego guard Marion Humphrey, right, brings the ball up as UCLA guard David Singleton defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (10) defends against San Diego guard Joey Calcaterra (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego forward Josh Parrish (4) goes up for a shot between UCLA guards Jaime Jaquez Jr. (4) and Johnny Juzang (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin adjusts his mask on the sideline during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard David Singleton, left, defends against San Diego guard Chris Herren Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Johnny Juzang enters the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (10) takes a shot past San Diego forward Yauhen Massalski (25) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego guard Chris Herren Jr., left, is defended by UCLA guard David Singleton (34) and forward Jalen Hill (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA forward Jalen Hill, right, shoots over San Diego forward Yavuz Gultekin during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego forward Yavuz Gultekin (11) goes up for a shot against UCLA forward Jalen Hill (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell shoots during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego plays UCLA during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in an empty arena Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Jaylen Clark dunks during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game agianst San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego coach Sam Scholl yells from the sideline during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (10) shoots during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell, left, takes the ball down the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Johnny Juzang is fouled by San Diego guard Chris Herren Jr. during the second half of Wednesday night’s game at Pauley Pavilion. The Kentucky transfer scored 10 points in 19 minutes in his debut with the Bruins, an 83-56 victory. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Johnny Juzang shoots during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell, right, takes the ball past San Diego guard Marion Humphrey (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • San Diego guard Joey Calcaterra gets past UCLA guard Jake Kyman before taking a shot during the first half of Wednesday night’s game at Pauley Pavilion. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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The recipe has been the same for UCLA the last two games.

There’s a feel-out process that lasts about 10 minutes before the Bruins make their move, create double-digit separation then balloon the lead on their way to a lopsided victory.

It was more of the same Wednesday night, but there was an added ingredient, as Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang made his UCLA debut in the Bruins’ 83-56 victory over San Diego at Pauley Pavilion.

Juzang’s impact was seamless. He scored 10 points with one 3-pointer and grabbed three rebounds in 19 minutes. The former Harvard-Westlake star from Tarzana missed the team’s first four games with foot issues.

“It’s been a long time, a lot of training, a lot of pickup games, nothing real,” Juzang said after playing in his first college game in nine months. “To get out there and when the (first) shot went in, it was like ‘Ahh.’ It felt great, man. I’ve been waiting to play a game in this jersey for a while now. I felt great out there tonight, my conditioning, my body in general, my foot as well – everything felt really good.”

UCLA (4-1) had five players score in double figures. Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the way with 17 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots. Tyger Campbell had 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and no turnovers, Chris Smith added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Cody Riley had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

UCLA coach Mick Cronin attributed Juzang’s presence to be more than what appeared in the box score.

“Johnny is such a weapon to score, he gives space to guys like Jaime and Chris Smith to drive to the basket,” Cronin said. “You always have to be guarding him.”

The Bruins have won their last three games by 26 (against Seattle), 20 (Cal) and 27, respectively. Each game was essentially put away by a gut-punch run in the first half. Wednesday’s was a 13-0 run that lasted roughly four minutes. San Diego (0-1), which was playing its season opener because of a 14-day quarantine following a positive COVID-19 test in the program, had the score tied 15-15 at the 9:36 mark. Then it was 28-15 in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

Hill and Smith combined for five consecutive trips to the free-throw line before back-to-back jump shots from Jake Kyman helped give UCLA the 13-point advantage. Defensively, the Bruins were disruptive, forcing the Toreros to miss nine straight shots. San Diego shot 26% from the floor in the half, and the Bruins led 33-23 at halftime.

“It’s our mentality to keep our foot on the gas the entire game, every night,” Jaquez Jr. said. “With that being said, we get results like tonight.”

The Bruins had 10 players score Wednesday night and nine logged 17 minutes or more. That depth is a weapon Cronin believes will make UCLA very good.

“Our bench is a big part of it. We have multiple guys that can start,” Cronin said. “Trying to wear teams down with fresh bodies is going to be a big factor for us going forward. Whoever we put in the game, we have to be able to count on them to be solid on the defensive end and make good decisions on the offensive end. It will allow us to play at a pace that wears teams down.”

A Juzang jump shot at the 10:28 mark in the second half made it 52-36, a 14-point advantage. The game never got closer than that the rest of the night as the Bruins scored 50 points after the intermission.

The one bright spot for USD was Joey Calaterra’s 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Frankie Hughes pitched in 10 points and Yauhen Massalski tied his career-high with 14 rebounds for the Toreros, who have nine newcomers and just two returning starters. Their roster includes five transfers.

“You just can’t give up 16 offensive rebounds and expect to win,” USD coach Sam Scholl said.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR UCLA?

The Bruins will take on Marquette (4-1) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion in what will be the team’s biggest test since the season opener against San Diego State.

Marquette’s only loss this season was to Oklahoma State (70-62) and the Golden Eagles are coming off an impressive 67-65 victory over then-No. 4 Wisconsin on Dec. 4.

UCLA will make up its postponed game against Long Beach State on Tuesday (Dec. 15) at 6 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion before its out-of-state trip to Cleveland to take on Kentucky (1-3) on Dec. 19 in the CBS Sports Classic.


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UCLA football has winning record for the first time since 2017

The UCLA football program continues to move in a positive direction and the victory over Arizona State helped paint that picture.

The Bruins’ first road win of the season put the program over .500 with a 3-2 record for the first time since Oct. 21, 2017.

“It feels amazing,” said third-year quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. “I think the whole UCLA community has been waiting for this. Like I said and (coach Chip) Kelly said all along, we’re headed in the right direction and it’s all about the process. We’re taking it day by day and working very hard, so I’m very proud of this team and where we are headed.”

Thompson-Robinson was one of at least five players to return after missing the last two weeks to quarantine.

The Bruins leaned on the running game, led by Demetric Felton and Brittain Brown, who produced most of the scoring on offense while the starting quarterback was out.

Kelly spoke highly of Thompson-Robinson, who returned to practice just days before taking the trip with the team.

“To be able to get Dorian back in the middle of the week was huge for us,” Kelly said.“Not only can he beat you throwing the ball, but I thought he was really big for us in the run game.”

Thompson-Robinson continued where he left off as one of the Pac-12’s leaders in touchdown passes with eight. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown.

The quarterback rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries but was also on the receiving end of five sacks by the ASU defense.

“It’s all part of the game plan,” Thompson-Robinson said. “We do what coach Kelly tells us to do. All three backs do what they’re supposed to do, …  really just having a good team around us, a good offensive line, and everyone is working as one right now.”

While Felton ran for more than 167 yards in each of the last two games (against Oregon and Arizona), he was held to just 41 yards against ASU in a controlled role.

Kelly confirmed that Felton was held back against ASU but didn’t provide details on whether the team’s leading rusher was dealing with an injury. Felton was seen limping in the fourth quarter against Arizona the week prior.

Brown led the Bruins with 94 yards while a returning Keegan Jones had five carries for 10 yards.

Like Jones, receiver Delon Hurt returned after missing a pair of games and contributed immediately on offense, catching Thompson-Robinson’s 9-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Defensive back Quentin Lake also returned  and made UCLA’s only pass breakup to help seal the victory in the final seconds of the game. Lake also had six tackles.

Caleb Johnson was an impact player for the Bruins on defense, with a game-high 10 tackles including 2.5 for a loss.

Johnson produced two of the Bruins’ five sacks and recovered a fumble after miscommunication between quarterback Jayden Daniel and a teammate.

“I just saw (Daniels) drop to the field, and I just had to dive for it real quick,” Johnson said. “We had just talked about how we needed to get turnovers and jump whenever we see a fumble.”

Linebacker Damian Sellers  forced a fumble, early in the third quarter, out of the hands of ASU’s Rachaad White on a 51-yard play but White was able to recover the ball.

The Bruins will return to the Rose Bowl for a Pac-12 South game against quarterback Kedon Slovis and unbeaten USC.

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UCLA football finding what works under pandemic constraints

While the UCLA football program continues to go without some players as a result of coronavirus contact tracing, the team has found a successful balance with its offense and defense complementing one another.

On offense, UCLA’s backfield has carried a majority of the load the past two week while starters such as quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson remain out.

The duo of Demetric Felton and Brittain Brown have kept the offense moving forward on the field and on the scoreboard.

Felton has set career-highs in several rushing categories over the last two games, including the 206 yards he had against Arizona on Saturday.

“I was really happy for (Felton),” Kelly said. “He’s worked extremely hard since he moved to running back and has really turned himself into a quality back.”

Brown scored two touchdowns for the Bruins, including a 16-yard reception off a pass from quarterback Chase Griffin, that produced the lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the evening. It was just the second touchdown catch in the grad transfer’s career, with the first coming in 2018 when he played at Duke.

Kelly has also been impressed with the way others have contributed in order to help the duo move the ball down the field.

Griffin, made his second straight start for the Bruins, and managed the offense in the victory.

“It’s pretty awesome” Griffin said. “As a quarterback, I’ll play in any situation, but to have two backs who are really ready to go, and an offensive line and tight ends up front who are ready to block, and receivers on the outside who are ready to make plays, it makes it a whole lot easier.”

Arizona defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, who spent the past two seasons as the Bruins’ defensive back coach, was well aware of the Bruins’ potential on offense.

“(Rhoads) made some really good adjustments at halftime,” Kelly said. “They did a couple of things. And then we had to counter their counter.”

The Bruins scored 20 points in the first half but were shut out in the third quarter and held to seven points in the fourth, which came on UCLA’s last possession of the game.

“We shut them down until that last drive,” Arizona linebacker Anthony Pandy said. “(Rhoads) made the adjustments that we needed. He’s a great (coordinator). And we came out and played hard.”

Pandy was the Wildcats’ second-leading tackler with nine tackles. Rhoads’ defense produced three tackles for a loss but did not record a sack Saturday against the Bruins.

The Bruins’ defense were presented with an unexpected situation than they’d prepared for throughout the week, after Arizona’s starting quarterback Grant Gunnell went down on the first play from scrimmage with an injury. Freshman Will Plummer would finish out the rest of the game for the Wildcats but it didn’t change what the Bruins did defensively.

“I think that the way they used Plummer was the same way they’d used Grant,” Kelly said. “They weren’t afraid to put him in there and put him in the mix.”

The Bruins applied pressure throughout the game on Plummer, forcing him to scramble. He finished the night with 49 yards and was the Wildcats’ second-leading rusher.

“They were pressuring from a lot of off the edge pressure, corner blitzes, internal pressure,” Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin said. “Obviously, his mobility helps him in those situations to escape and he utilized that.”

Defensive back Obi Eboh and linebacker Mitchell Agude each recorded a sack on Plummer. Agude also forced two fumbles.

The secondary also took advantage of opportunities through the air, intercepting two of Plummer’s passes in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

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Demetric Felton has career game in UCLA’s victory over Arizona

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins dives for the touch down against the Arizona Wildcats in the fourth quarter NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins dives for the touch down against the Arizona Wildcats in the fourth quarter NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Elisha Guidry #30 of the UCLA Bruins locks away a pass intended for wide receiver Tayvian Cunningham #11 of the Arizona Wildcats in the second half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Obi Eboh #22 of the UCLA Bruins sacks quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats in the second half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins is tackled by defensive back Rhedi Short #24 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Linebacker Choé Bryant-Strother #9 of the UCLA Bruins pressures quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for yardage against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins dives for the touch down against the Arizona Wildcats in the fourth quarter NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Elisha Guidry #30 of the UCLA Bruins locks away a pass intended for wide receiver Tayvian Cunningham #11 of the Arizona Wildcats in the second half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Obi Eboh #22 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after sacking quarterback Will Plummer (not pictured) of the Arizona Wildcats in the second half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for yardage against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Linebacker Choé Bryant-Strother #9 of the UCLA Bruins pressures quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for yardage against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for yardage against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Chase Griffin #11 of the UCLA Bruins passes against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for yardage against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Chase Griffin #11 of the UCLA Bruins passes against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Chase Griffin #11 of the UCLA Bruins passes against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for a first time against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Obi Eboh #22 of the UCLA Bruins sacks quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins runs for a touch down against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Head coach Chip Kelly of the UCLA Bruins looks on against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Chase Griffin #11 of the UCLA Bruins scrambles against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Obi Eboh #22 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after sacking quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Linebacker Bo Calvert #33 of the UCLA Bruins pressures quarterback Will Plummer #15 of the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins runs for a touch down against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Chase Griffin #11 of the UCLA Bruins scrambles against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Demetric Felton #10 of the UCLA Bruins runs for a first time against the Arizona Wildcats in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, November 28, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

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PASADENA — Running back Demetric Felton led UCLA  in Saturday’s 27-10 victory over Arizona in Pac-12 South play.

Felton rushed for a career-high 206 yards, breaking his previous high of 167 set last week against Oregon. He would exit the game after a slight limp running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. The status of his injury is unknown. He had 32 carries and was two shy of matching his career-high of 34 from last week.

Running back Brittain Brown said Felton looked fine after the game and was just taken out as a precaution.

UCLA ran for at least 200 yards for the third straight game, including 281 against Arizona and ran for at least 200 yards in eight of its last 12 games dating back to last season.

With the win, UCLA (2-2) has won seven of its last nine meetings against Arizona (0-3), including the last five against the Wildcats at the Rose Bowl.

The Bruins did not let their turnover struggles carry over into the Rose Bowl, winning their second straight home game. Turnovers have proven costly for the Bruins, especially in the pair of losses against Colorado and Oregon on the road.

Redshirt quarterback Chase Griffin managed the Bruins’ offense in his second start while Dorian Thompson-Robinson remained sidelined due to coronavirus contact tracing.

Coach Chip Kelly was pleased with the effort of his quarterback and how the offense protected the ball.

The Bruins took the lead in the second quarter when Griffin threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brown.

Brown also scored on a 2-yard run late in the fourth quarter to seal the deal. He has scored a rushing touchdown in each of the last three games.

“It’s a lot of fun being a 1-2 punch (with Felton),” said Brown, who added 72 yards on 16 carries. “He’s shown what he can do and I’ve shown what I can do. Our offensive line also does a great job creating big holes for us.”

When Arizona turned the ball over on downs in the second quarter, Felton would add to the lead on a six-play drive punctuated with his one-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 lead and the Bruins would lead 20-10 at half.

The Wildcats suffered their 10th straight loss under coach Kevin Sumlin, as starting quarterback Grant Gunnell went down with an injury on the first play from scrimmage.

Will Plummer entered the game in relief of Gunnell but was unable to get the Wildcats on the scoreboard.

But he got help from Michael Wiley, who scored on a 3-yard touchdown run that gave the Wildcats their only lead, 7-0, after the Bruins had failed to convert a fourth down on their own 22. Arizona was held to a field goal in the third quarter.

The Bruins have outscored each of its opponents in the fourth quarter this season and allowed just three points in the final period of the season-opener against Colorado.

The defense has come alive this season behind its ability to get behind opposing offensive lines and pressure the quarterback.

The Bruins entered the game averaging nine tackles for loss per game but only recorded five against Arizona.

Defensive back Obi Eboh had two of the five tackles for a loss and also had a sack.

“You’ve got to give credit to the game plan that (defensive coordinator Jerry) Azzinaro and (assistant head coach Brian) Norwood put together for us,” Eboh said.

What the Bruins lacked in tackles for a loss, they made up for with two second half interceptions.

Junior defensive back Stephan Blaylock made his first career interception while redshirt junior defensive back Elijah Gates added his second career interception. Gates also had an interception against the Wildcats in 2018.

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Short-handed UCLA loses to San Diego State in season opener

  • San Diego State forward Matt Mitchell shoots as UCLA guard Jules Bernard, left, defends during the second half of Wednesday’s season opener in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., left, is called for charging on San Diego State guard Terrell Gomez (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • San Diego State guard Jordan Schakel, left, drives to the basket as UCLA guard Jules Bernard defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin yells during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego State, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (10) dribbles behind his back as San Diego State guard Trey Pulliam defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell drives to the basket as San Diego State guard Trey Pulliam defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell, right, drives to the basket as San Diego State guard Trey Pulliam defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Chris Smith (5) blocks a shot from San Diego State guard Jordan Schakel (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Jules Bernard, left, reaches for the ball as San Diego State guard Jordan Schakel (20) looks to pass it during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Chris Smith (5) drives to the basket as San Diego State forward Matt Mitchell (11) defends, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell, right, loses control of the ball as San Diego State forward Nathan Mensah (31) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin yells during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego State, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • San Diego State forward Matt Mitchell, right, drives to the basket as UCLA guard Chris Smith (5) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA guard Tyger Campbell shoots during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego State, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • San Diego State forward Matt Mitchell, center, tries to get possession of the ball between UCLA guards Chris Smith, left, and Tyger Campbell during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • San Diego State forward Joshua Tomai scores during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against UCLA on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin, center, watches during the final minute of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against San Diego State, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA forward Cody Riley is fouled by San Diego State forward Joshua Tomai during the second half of Wednesday’s season opener in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • San Diego State players on the bench react during the final minute of the team’s 73-58 win over UCLA in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • UCLA plays San Diego State in front of empty stands at Viejas Arena during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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Expected starters Johnny Juzang and Jalen Hill were ruled out of UCLA’s season opener two hours before tipoff on Wednesday night due to injury. The absence of Juzang, known for his offensive skill set, and Hill, the team’s second-leading returning scorer, left preseason All-American Chris Smith with a lot of scoring responsibility.

The problem is, foul trouble sidelined Smith for much of the game and host San Diego State took advantage in its 73-58 season-opening victory over short-handed UCLA in a Viejas Arena that was otherwise empty due to COVID-19 protocols.

The 22nd-ranked Bruins will remain in San Diego for Thanksgiving and take on Pepperdine (1-0) on Friday at noon.

Smith, the Bruins’ only senior, finished with 10 points (all in the first half) in 27 minutes. When he was on the bench with foul trouble the Bruins struggled offensively.

“Two starters not out there didn’t help,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said.

San Diego State had two big runs. One in the first half to take the lead, and the other in the second half to balloon it. The game had just one lead change. When Smith picked up a second personal foul and had to sit, San Diego State went on a 13-2 run that turned its three-point deficit into a 25-21 lead with just under six minutes left in the opening half.

During that stretch, UCLA was 1 for 8 from the field in an eight-minute window, which included a four-minute scoring drought.

San Diego State eventually extended its lead to 34-28 by halftime.

In the second half, Smith picked up his fourth personal foul at the offensive end. forcing Cronin to take him out again. The Aztecs, who played suffocating, disruptive defense, went on a 10-2 run that pushed their lead to 58-42, with 9:20 left. The closest UCLA got for the rest of the night was within 13.

Smith eventually fouled out with 4:47 left.

On top of UCLA’s offensive woes, Cronin was disappointed by the team’s defensive performance.

“Our defensive effort, mentally and physically, was atrocious,” said Cronin, whose team went 19-12 last season and was picked to win the Pac-12 this season.

“We got outplayed physically. I’ve been doing this a long time. … You go on the road and just get physically beat up the way we got beat up, and our defense was atrocious. We didn’t follow the scouting report at all. We got beat off the dribble, we walked away from shooters, we did mind-boggling stuff, to be honest with you. Like, total regression. I don’t know if that’s borne out of overconfidence – I don’t know what that’s borne out of. But obviously, I have to fix that immediately.”

San Diego State’s deep roster was definitely a recipe for trouble for the short-handed Bruins.

“We have great depth,” SDSU coach Brian Dutcher said. “We used a lot of guys, 10 guys, and we don’t drop off much. This might be as deep a team as we’ve ever had. UCLA was short-handed. They were missing two players, potentially two starters, so I just think we wore them down. We picked them up full court the entire game and I think we just wore them down to the point where maybe they were on tired legs by the end of the game.”

The Aztecs were led by Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schakel, with 15 points apiece. They each made three 3-pointers, and the Aztecs, picked to repeat as Mountain West Conference regular-season champions, finished 9 for 23 from behind the arc.

Aguek Arop and Terrell Gomez added 10 points each for SDSU, which was 30-2 last season and expecting its highest seed ever in the NCAA Tournament before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the Bruins with 17 points and six rebounds. Forward Cody Riley pitched in 14 points and 12 rebounds.

“I don’t really care about the stats and stuff,” Jaquez Jr. said. “I just play my hardest.”

UCLA emphasized a goal of faster play this season but couldn’t get its transition game going and had just one fast-break point.

“We couldn’t get a stop, and when we did get a stop, we couldn’t get a rebound,” Cronin said. “There are facets of the game where we have to be solid and physically tough. We aren’t a team full of (NBA) lottery picks.”

One of the most glaring statistics to Cronin was UCLA’s turnovers (15) and how many more shots that gave San Diego State. The Aztecs attempted 58 shots to UCLA’s 43.

“It was total regression tonight,” Cronin said with disappointment. “Total regression.”

Juzang has been ruled “week-to-week” with a stress reaction in his right foot. Hill, a 6-foot-10 swingman, is “day-to-day” with right knee tendinitis. Hill could play in Friday’s game.

CROWD NOISE

Asked if his players were bothered by the faux crowd noise at usually raucous Viejas Arena, Cronin said: “The problem wasn’t the crowd noise. The problem was San Diego State, their toughness, their execution.”

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UCLA football duo invited to compete in Reese’s Senior Bowl

UCLA defensive linemen Osa Odighizuwa and running back Demetric Felton will compete in the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl, after accepting an invitation.

The senior bowl is an annual all-star college football exhibition game played in Mobile Alabama on Jan. 30, 2021.

Odighizuwa had 101 tackles, including 25 for a loss, and nine sacks in 39 career games for the Bruins.

Please OFFICIALLY welcome the next accepted invite to the 2021 @Reeses Senior Bowl 💪💪💪@UCLAFootball Osa Odighizuwa (@Osagoeshard) #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE #8Clap @JimNagy_SB @PaniniAmerica #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/vkQfhlB4IX

— Reese’s Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) November 21, 2020

Felton has played both wide receiver and running back during his UCLA career. He has rushed for 597 yards and three touchdowns on 136 carries in 39 games. As a receiver, the Great Oak alumnus has 87 catches for 873 yards and six touchdowns.

It’s OFFICIAL. @UCLAFootball WR Demetric Felton @demetricfelton7 is heading to the @Reeses Senior Bowl! #BestOfTheBest #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE #GoBruins @JimNagy_SB @PaniniAmerica #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/15695PBKTb

— Reese’s Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) November 21, 2020

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UCLA rally falls short in season opener against Colorado

  • UCLA running back Demetric Felton, front center, is stopped by, from left to right, Colorado linebacker Carson Wells, linebacker Akil Jones, defensive end Mustafa Johnson and cornerback Chris Miller in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer, right, throws a pass under pressure from UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, left, looks to throw the ball under pressure froim Colorado cornerback Chris Miller in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado linebacker Carson Wells, left, celebrates his interception of a pass with defensive tackle Lloyd Murray Jr. in the first half of an NCAA college football game against UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado linebacker Carson Wells, center, inercept a pass thrown by UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, right, for wide receiver Kyle Philips, left, in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA running back Demetric Felton, front, is tackled by Colorado linebacker Akil Jones after catching a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson looks to pass the ball against Colorado in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA linebacker Bo Calvert, left, looks to tackle Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer after a short gain in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado running back Jarek Broussard reacts after rushing for a touchdown against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado special teams player Derrion Rakestraw, left, forces UCLA punt-returner Kyle Philips to fumble a punt in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado safety Isaiah Lewis, front right, hits UCLA running back Demetric Felton who loses control of the ball for an incomplete pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA defensive back Grady Liddell (20) leads teammates onto the gridiron to face Colorado in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, center, leads his players onto the gridiron to host UCLA in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA defensive back Quentin Lake, left, stops Colorado wide receiver Dimitri Stanley after he caught a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado running back Jarek Broussard, front center, rolls into the end zone for a touchdown against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, left, looks to pass the ball as Colorado defensive end Mustafa Johnson, center, fights for position with UCLA offensive lineman Paul Grattan, right, in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • A guard holds up signs for rules to follow for fans to deal with the coronavirus in the first half of an NCAA college football game as Colorado hosts UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado running back Jarek Broussard reacts after rushing for a touchdown against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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A lot of crazy and unpredictable things have happened in 2020, but UCLA’s football team isn’t one of them.

The Bruins are still an exciting and excruciating team to watch, but the results remain the same.

It was hoped that junior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, as flashy and productive as he was, would protect the ball better in his third-year starting after tying for the most turnovers in college football last year with 19.

It was hoped that bringing defensive backs coach Brian Norwood over from Navy and implementing his 4-2-5 defense would improve the embarrassment of not being among the top 100-ranked defenses over the last two years.

And there was hope that Bruins coach Chip Kelly, once a college football coaching star at Oregon, would finally get the Bruins going after winning just seven games in his two previous seasons, and going 4-8 last year.

After game one, the answer is no, but at least the Bruins kept fighting.

Thanks to four turnovers in the first half, Colorado raced to a 28-point lead and even though the Bruins clawed back, they couldn’t claw all the way back, falling to the Buffaloes 48-42 at Folsom Field in a game that was one of the most winnable on their short seven-game schedule.

“I think we put our defense in a bad situation in the first half,” Kelly said during a zoom call afterward. “We dug to deep a hole in the first half to be able to come back.”

Thompson-Robinson put up good numbers, and almost engineered a big comeback, throwing for 303 yards and four touchdowns, and rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown, but he also had two turnovers, and one that led to a touchdown and was part of the reason the Bruins fell in a big hole early.

Thompson Robinson’s 9-yard TD pass to Mike Martinez with 1:35 left brought the Bruins to within six points, but the Buffaloes grabbed the onside kick and that was that.

It was obviously another frustrating start and loss for Kelly, and those quick to judge him because he’s in his third year means little to him.

“I don’t think the year has anything to do with it,” Kelly said. “I don’t care if it was year one or year forty. Penalties and turnovers are things you can’t do if you’re trying to win football games in this league.”

UCLA’s defense couldn’t do anything to stop an offense led by Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer, a redshirt senior making his first start.

Noyer nearly transferred from Colorado this season after they converted him to safety, but they talked him out of the portal and with another shot to play QB, who better than UCLA to make him look like a star.

Noyer threw for 257 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 64 yards and a TD. Jarek Broussard rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns, and the Buffaloes piled up the yards like teams did against them all last year, finishing with 525 yards combined through the air and ground.

“Nothing,” Kelly said when asked what Colorado did differently on offense, particularly under new first-year coach Karl Dorrell. “It  was the same offense they ran a year ago. Again, we put our defense in bad situations.”

Kelly was asked about the Buffaloes’ 261 yards rushing.

“I can’t look at that part of it and say we didn’t come up where we needed to come up, I think they’re obviously going to run a lot more because they were up the way they were up,” Kelly said. “They’re trying to work clock and they probably ran the ball more than they thought they were going to coming into it.”

The knockdown punches came early.

With UCLA’s first chance to get the ball, Kyle Phillips fumbled the punt and it led to Broussard eventually scoring on a six-yard TD run. And then Thompson-Robinson made things even worse following the ensuing kickoff,  throwing a pick to Carson Wells that was almost returned for a touchdown, with Wells returning it 14 yards to the Bruins’ 1.

That set up another easy score for Broussard, his second touchdown in less than two minutes and a 14-0 lead.

Thompson-Robinson was disappointed with the turnovers and the start, noting that coaches remind him how deflating they can be.

“Yeah, I mean, any turnovers hurt right,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Our coaches bring up a statistic from the NFL. If you have two or more turnovers you might as well go home. So, It’s hard to turnover the ball and still win the game. The coaches talked about it after the game, we dug ourselves a big hole and couldn’t dig ourselves out.”

After trading scores, The Bruins’ turnovers continued to haunt them with Demetric Felton fumbling inside their own 10, and it took Broussard just two plays to cash it in, scoring on a one-yard run for a 28-7 lead.

After the Buffaloes extended their lead to 35-7 on Jaren Mangham’s two-yard run, Bruins tight end Greg Dulcich was able to stop the bleeding, turning a short pass into a 52-yard touchdown and the Bruins trailed 35-14 at half.

The Bruins used that momentum to open the third quarter with Thompson-Robinson going 65-yards for a touchdown to cut the Buffaloes’ lead to 35-21.

The Bruins’ good fortune continued after Jay Shaw blocked a field goal attempt with Qwuantrezz Knight, grabbing it and returning it 17 yards to the Bruins’ 40.

It took the Bruins just six plays to cash it in on Felton’s 15-yard touchdown run to pull with seven, trailing 35-28. Felton, a combo back, had a decent game, rushing for 57 yards to go with seven receptions for 46 yards.

But the Bruins could never pull ahead.

“I think there are a lot of positives you can build on,” Kelly said. “Mounting the comeback that we did, there were some positives things there. But it’s a matter of everything, you have to look at the whole game and how do we clean up what happened to us in the first half and build on what happened to us in the second half.”

Colorado snapped UCLA’s 21 straight unanswered point streak after Noyer finished a 10-play, 75 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run to go back up, 42-28.

UCLA answered back with Thompson-Robinson and Keegan Jones hooking up for a 26-yard score, cutting Colorado’s lead to 42-35, but the Buffaloes added a pair of field goals from Evan Price to extend their lead to 48-35 early in the fourth quarter.

Thompson-Robinson noted the long layoff between last season to Saturday’s game probably contributed to the poor start and some of the sloppiness.

“For sure, we haven’t played against a live opponent in almost a year,” Thompson-Robinson said. “You see it around the country, guys are making mistakes early on, and even later on in the season too. It’s definitely a tough year, it’s different, it’s not like any other year.”

The Pac-12 was late to the college football party, deciding late in the summer to start the season in November and play a seven-game schedule over seven weeks.

Two Pac-12 games were cancelled over the weekend due to coronavirus outbreaks including Arizona’s game against Utah and California’s opener against Washington. UCLA is scheduled to host Utah next Friday, but the Utes game was cancelled because of positive coronavirus cases within their program, so the Bruins will learn more about whether their game will continue early next week.

“I think our league and everybody is working on trying to come to a resolution,” Kelly said about next week’s game. “Utah is working very hard from their end but we haven’t got any final clarification on that.”

 

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UCLA alumnus Krys Barnes test positive for coronavirus, placed on reserve/COVID-19 list by Packers

The Green Bay Packers placed linebacker Krys Barnes and reserve quarterback Jordan Love on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The list is for a player who has tested positive or has been in close contact with an infected person.

Barnes, who is asymptomatic, played in the Packers’ 34-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. Barnes left the game early with a calf injury. He has started seven of the eight games he has played in this season, totaling 49 tackles and a sack.

Love is not known to have tested positive but is a roommates with Barnes.

The Packers drafted Love in the first round out of Utah State while Barnes went undrafted before signing with the Packers after four years at UCLA. The rookies were also teammates Liberty High in Bakersfield.

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