UCLA football continues to work through injuries, penalties

  • Arizona wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III (1) is tackled by UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (24) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates with tight end Greg Dulcich #85 after scoring on a 3-yard touchdown reception during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Tight end Greg Dulcich #85 of the UCLA Bruins catches a 3-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Tight end Greg Dulcich #85 of the UCLA Bruins catches a 3-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins throws a 3-yard touchdown reception during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Head coach Chip Kelly of the UCLA Bruins talks with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins rushes the football against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud (4) warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against the UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) warms up before the team’s NCAA college football game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona coach Jedd Fisch, left, talks with UCLA coach Chip Kelly before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona wide receiver Boobie Curry (2) is tackled by UCLA linebacker Mitchell Agude (45) and another defender during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet (24) is brought down during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins throws a pass during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • UCLA tight end Greg Dulcich (85) celebrates a 3-yard touchdown against Arizona with wide receiver Chase Cota during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona running back Michael Wiley (6) celebrates with teammates Donovan Laie (78) and Josh Donovan (56) after scoring a 10-yard touchdown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona coach Jedd Fisch watches the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) celebrates with Brittain Brown after a touchdown during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (24) tackles Arizona wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Things looked bleak for UCLA on Saturday night when it held a slim one-point margin at halftime over winless Arizona, accumulating more penalty yards than passing yards at that point.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly seemed perturbed by the calls, saying, “I can’t comment on the penalties.”

In the first half of the 34-16 win over Arizona at Arizona Stadium, the Bruins had four penalties for 50 yards, while Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed only one of eight passes for three yards with an interception.

Two costly penalties by UCLA helped Arizona in its lone touchdown-scoring drive, culminating with a 10-yard pass from receiver Jamarye Joiner to Michael Wiley on a trick play that cut UCLA’s lead to 14-13.

Joiner took a lateral pass and connected with Wiley in the end zone.

UCLA had two facemask penalties called on Caleb Johnson and Qwuantrezz Knight and a pass interference call on Jay Shaw that significantly aided Arizona’s possession.

“Sometimes you grab a guy’s facemask, that happens,” Kelly said. “Sometimes … I don’t have an answer for some of those.”

A reporter asked, “Reading between the lines, you’re saying those were not penalties?”

“I did not say a word,” Kelly answered.

THOMPSON-ROBINSON’S STRUGGLE

Kelly seemed to be not concerned about Thompson-Robinson’s performance, as he finished completing 8 of 19 passes for 82 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Some of that had to do with UCLA not needing the passing game — the Bruins rushed for 329 yards, their most in a game in eight seasons — and that Kelly has confidence in his senior quarterback no matter what.

“Sometimes the game expresses itself in different ways,” Kelly said. “Today as the game unfolded, we realized we had to run the football and we responded that way.

A reporter asked if the performance is injury related, to which Kelly answered, “No, he’s our starting quarterback. It’s going to take a lot to get Dorian off the field. He’s such a tough competitor.”

PECULIAR SIDELINE SIGHTING

Five people on UCLA’s sideline held up body-length shiny silver flimsy boards behind each UCLA coach in an effort to keep Arizona’s coaches in the booth upstairs from stealing signs when the Bruins were calling offensive plays.

Kelly has not used this tactic before, although he is known for discussions about signs.

When he was coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, he used boards showing Rocky Balboa and the Phillie Phanatic as a way to disguise plays.

INJURY UPDATE

Safeties Quentin Lake and Kenny Churchwell III were limited early in the week at practice because of injuries but both played against Arizona.

Churchwell registered a tackle and Lake had two.

Defensive back Mo Osling III was sidelined during practice this week, and did not play for the second consecutive week. He was limited to individual workouts throughout practice last week before the Arizona State game.

Kelly ruled center Sam Marrazzo “unavailable” for practice earlier this week and he was not listed in UCLA’s two-deep roster entering the game.

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Brittain Brown leads UCLA past winless Arizona

  • Arizona wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III (1) is tackled by UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (24) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates with tight end Greg Dulcich #85 after scoring on a 3-yard touchdown reception during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Tight end Greg Dulcich #85 of the UCLA Bruins catches a 3-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Tight end Greg Dulcich #85 of the UCLA Bruins catches a 3-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins throws a 3-yard touchdown reception during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Head coach Chip Kelly of the UCLA Bruins talks with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins rushes the football against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud (4) warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against the UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) warms up before the team’s NCAA college football game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona coach Jedd Fisch, left, talks with UCLA coach Chip Kelly before an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona wide receiver Boobie Curry (2) is tackled by UCLA linebacker Mitchell Agude (45) and another defender during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet (24) is brought down during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins throws a pass during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • UCLA tight end Greg Dulcich (85) celebrates a 3-yard touchdown against Arizona with wide receiver Chase Cota during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona running back Michael Wiley (6) celebrates with teammates Donovan Laie (78) and Josh Donovan (56) after scoring a 10-yard touchdown during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • Arizona coach Jedd Fisch watches the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against UCLA on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) celebrates with Brittain Brown after a touchdown during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Arizona on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

  • UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (24) tackles Arizona wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Coduto)

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TUCSON, Ariz. — UCLA overcame a rough performance by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson with its potent rushing attack led by Brittain Brown and Zach Charbonnet to beat Arizona, 34-16, on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.

UCLA (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) gained a season-high 329 rushing yards, led by Brown’s 146 yards on 11 carries, including a 48-yard scoring burst in the fourth quarter, and Charbonnet’s 117 yards on 21 rushes.

“Arizona does a lot of things on the back end (of their defense), dropping coverage, so we felt if they were going to try to do that, we need to run the football,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “The (329 yards) is a pretty good day. Both Brittain and Zach did a nice job. We did what we had to do.”

The Bruins, who won at Stanford two weeks ago, earned consecutive conference road wins for the first time since the 2015 season.

Arizona (0-5, 0-2) has now lost 17 straight games.

Thompson-Robinson, who completed only one of eight passes with an interception in the first half, finished with an 8-of-19 performance for 82 yards.

“A lot of what we based our passing game on was what package and personnel they were using,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Going off their keys, they ran some different stuff and keyed on certain guys.

“Based on that, it was hard to get into a rhythm, but at the end of the day, you still have to execute.”

The Bruins have rushed for at least 200 yards in eight of their last 12 games, and they have outrushed their opponent 12 straight times. Arizona gained 122 yards on the ground.

UCLA’s 329 rushing yards were the most for the Bruins since they gained 345 against Nevada in 2013.

Brown said it “was the plan all week” for him and Charbonnet to eclipse 100 yards in rushing.

“The offensive line and the boys up there, they’re doing the best they ever did, all across the board, the tight ends as well,” he said.

Thompson-Robinson’s one completion in the first half was a 3-yard scoring pass to Greg Dulcich with 3:48 left in the first quarter to give UCLA a 7-3 lead.

Arizona, which scored on three of its first four possessions, cut the lead to 7-6 on a 46-yard field goal by Lucas Havrisik with 14:18 left in the second quarter.

Two possessions later for UCLA, the Bruins put together another touchdown-scoring drive of 72 yards, capped by Thompson-Robinson’s 2-yard run, increasing the lead to 14-6 with 3:01 left in the half.

Arizona answered with a touchdown on a trick play with receiver Jamarye Joiner, a former quarterback with the Wildcats, taking a lateral pass and throwing a 10-yard scoring strike to Michael Wiley with 30 seconds left in the half.

Thompson-Robinson then threw an interception with 23 seconds left at the Arizona 44. The Wildcats ran two plays and time expired.

UCLA received the opening kickoff of the second half and Kazmeir Allen immediately gave the Bruins momentum with a 73-yard return to the Arizona 25.

The Bruins’ threat stalled at the 5-yard line and Nicholas Barr-Mira converted a 23-yard field goal with 13:17 left to give UCLA a 17-13 lead.

After another 46-yard field goal by Havrisik cut the lead to 17-16, UCLA’s defense started to turn back the Wildcats, whose next four possessions ended with two punts and two fumbles.

One of the fumbles occurred when Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud suffered a knee injury when a host of tacklers landed on him on a sack by 320-pound tackle Otito Ogbonnia, forcing him to leave the game with 14:14 left in the fourth quarter.

“The fumble was really big for our team especially in and up-and-down game like this,” Ogbonnia said. “It was, in my opinion, a big turning point, a big momentum shift.”

Thompson-Robinson’s 4-yard scoring run in the third quarter and was followed by Brown’s 48-yard scoring run two possessions later to increase the lead t0 31-16 with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter.

Arizona was held to only 63 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter while UCLA gained 101, of which 79 came on the ground.

Barr-Mira capped the scoring with a 43-yard field goal with 1:43 remaining.

The Bruins go on the road again next Saturday, facing Washington in Seattle, before returning to the Rose Bowl for three of their last five games.

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Brittain Brown leads UCLA past Arizona football

TUCSON, Ariz. — UCLA overcame a rough performance by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson with its potent rushing attack led by Brittain Brown and Zach Charbonnet to beat Arizona 34-16 on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.

UCLA (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) gained a season-high 329 rushing yards, led by Brown’s 146 yards on 11 carries, including a 48-yard scoring burst in the fourth quarter, and Charbonnet’s 117 yards on 21 rushes.

“Arizona does a lot of things on the back end (of their defense), dropping coverage, so we felt if they were going to try to do that, we need to run the football,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said. “The (329 yards) is a pretty good day. Both Brittain and Zach did a nice job. We did what we had to do.”

The Bruins, who won at Stanford two weeks ago, earned consecutive conference road wins for the first time since the 2015 season.

Arizona (0-5, 0-2) has now lost 17 straight games.

Thompson-Robinson, who completed only one of eight passes with an interception in the first half, finished with an 8-of-19 performance for 82 yards.

“A lot of what we based our passing game on was what package and personnel they were using,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Going off their keys, they ran some different stuff and keyed on certain guys.

“Based on that, it was hard to get into a rhythm, but at the end of the day, you still have to execute.”

The Bruins have rushed for at least 200 yards in eight of their last 12 games, and they have outrushed their opponent 12 straight times. Arizona gained 122 yards on the ground.

UCLA’s 329 rushing yards were the most for the Bruins since they gained 345 against Nevada in 2013.

Brown said it “was the plan all week” for him and Charbonnet to eclipse 100 yards in rushing.

“The offensive line and the boys up there, they’re doing the best they ever did, all across the board, the tight ends as well,” he said.

Thompson-Robinson’s one completion in the first half was a 3-yard scoring pass to Greg Dulcich with 3:48 left in the first quarter to give UCLA a 7-3 lead.

Arizona, which scored on three of its first four possessions, cut the lead to 7-6 on a 46-yard field goal by Lucas Havrisik with 14:18 left in the second quarter.

Two possessions later for UCLA, the Bruins put together another touchdown-scoring drive of 72 yards, capped by Thompson-Robinson’s 2-yard run, increasing the lead to 14-6 with 3:01 left in the half.

Arizona answered with a touchdown on a trick play with receiver Jamarye Joiner, a former quarterback with the Wildcats, taking a lateral pass and throwing a 10-yard scoring strike to Michael Wiley with 30 seconds left in the half.

Thompson-Robinson then threw an interception with 23 seconds left at the Arizona 44. The Wildcats ran two plays and time expired.

UCLA received the opening kickoff of the second half and Kazmeir Allen immediately gave the Bruins momentum with a 73-yard return to the Arizona 25.

The Bruins’ threat stalled at the 5-yard line and Nicholas Barr-Mira converted a 23-yard field goal with 13:17 left to give UCLA a 17-13 lead.

After another 46-yard field goal by Havrisik cut the lead to 17-16, UCLA’s defense started to turn back the Wildcats, whose next four possessions ended with two punts and two fumbles.

One of the fumbles occurred when Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud suffered a knee injury when a host of tacklers landed on him on a sack by 320-pound tackle Otito Ogbonnia, forcing him to leave the game with 14:14 left in the fourth quarter.

“The fumble was really big for our team especially in and up-and-down game like this,” Ogbonnia said. “It was, in my opinion, a big turning point, a big momentum shift.”

Thompson-Robinson’s 4-yard scoring run in the third quarter and was followed by Brown’s 48-yard scoring run two possessions later to increase the lead t0 31-16 with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter.

Arizona was held to only 63 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter while UCLA gained 101, of which 79 came on the ground.

Barr-Mira capped the scoring with a 43-yard field goal with 1:43 remaining.

The Bruins go on the road again next Saturday, facing Washington in Seattle, before returning to the Rose Bowl for three of their last five games.

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No. 13 UCLA unable to complete comeback against Fresno State

  • Wide receiver Ty Jones #8 of the Fresno State Bulldogs drops a pass in the end zone against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Ty Jones #8 of the Fresno State Bulldogs drops a pass in the end zone against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins makes his way onto the field prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Zach Charbonnet #24 celebrates as he jumps into the arms of teammate offensive lineman Paul Grattan #65 of the UCLA Bruins after running for touchdown against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Ty Jones #8 of the Fresno State Bulldogs drops a pass in the end zone against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • UCLA Bruins makes his way onto the field prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • UCLA Bruins fans wait for their team to enter the field prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins makes his way onto the field prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Brittain Brown #28 of the UCLA Bruins is tackled by defensive end Arron Mosby #3 of the Fresno State Bulldogs for a loss of yards in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Kazmeir Allen #19 of the UCLA Bruins runs a Fresno State Bulldogs kick back for yardage in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Ty Jones #8 of the Fresno State Bulldogs cache a pass for first down over defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight #24 and teammate defensive back Cameron Johnson #3 of the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Head coach Chip Kelly of the UCLA Bruins looks on against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Ronnie Rivers #20 of the Fresno State Bulldogs runs for first down against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Quentin Lake #37 of the UCLA Bruins jumps on a fumble by wide receiver Jalen Cropper #5 of the Fresno State Bulldogs that was ruled down after a replay in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Jake Haener #9 of the Fresno State Bulldogs passes over linebacker Kain Medrano #20 of the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Defensive back Quentin Lake #37 of the UCLA Bruins jumps on a fumble by wide receiver Jalen Cropper #5 of the Fresno State Bulldogs that was ruled down after a replay in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Tight end Mike Martinez #88 of the UCLA Bruins catches a pass for first down against defensive back Evan Williams #32 of the Fresno State Bulldogs in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Ty Jones #8 of the Fresno State Bulldogs cache a pass for first down over defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight #24 and teammate defensive back Cameron Johnson #3 of the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Ethan Fernea #36 of the UCLA Bruins leaps over defensive back Evan Williams #32 of the Fresno State Bulldogs for the first down in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Ronnie Rivers #20 of the Fresno State Bulldogs runs for a first down against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Ty Jones #8 of the Fresno State Bulldogs cache a pass for first down over defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight #24 and teammate defensive back Cameron Johnson #3 of the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Jake Haener #9 of the Fresno State Bulldogs scrambles for the first down against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Ethan Fernea #36 of the UCLA Bruins leaps over defensive back Evan Williams #32 of the Fresno State Bulldogs for the first down in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins dives for yardage against defensive end Arron Mosby #3 of the Fresno State Bulldogs in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Keric Wheatfall #1 of the Fresno State Bulldogs catches a pass for fairest down against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Zach Charbonnet #24 of the UCLA Bruins runs for as touchdown against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Wide receiver Jalen Cropper #5 of the Fresno State Bulldogs dives for the touchdown against the UCLA Bruins in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Zach Charbonnet #24 of the UCLA Bruins runs for as touchdown against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Running back Ethan Fernea #36 of the UCLA Bruins leaps over defensive back Evan Williams #32 of the Fresno State Bulldogs for the first down in the first half of a NCAA Football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • offensive lineman Justin Williams #69 of the UCLA Bruins shoes prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Head coach Chip Kelly of the UCLA Bruins prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA plays air guitar prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins makes his way onto the field prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins makes his way onto the field prior to a NCAA Football game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • UCLA linebacker Mitchell Agude (45) celebrates the team’s win over LSU in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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PASADENA — Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and No. 13 UCLA couldn’t overcome their first half struggles in a 40-37 loss to Fresno State Saturday night in the Rose Bowl.

The Bruins, who came off a bye week, didn’t earn any style points with AP Top 25 voters in their first showing as a ranked team and were unable to complete a second half rally in suffering their first loss in three games.

Thompson-Robinson kept the offense moving with a pair of long touchdown passes to receivers Kam Brown (39 yards) and Kyle Philips (42 yards). He finished with 278 passing yards and three touchdowns. He was also UCLA’s leading rusher with 75 yards on 13 carries.

The offense struggled in the first half as Thompson-Robinson completed just 2 of 5 pass attempts. Running backs Zach Charbonnet, Ethan Fernea and Brittain Brown combined for 23 rushing yards as the Bruins trailed 23-10 at the half.

Charbonnet would finish the night with 19 rushing yards and two touchdowns on six carries.

Running back Ronnie Rivers led the Bulldogs’ offense with 137 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener passed for 455 yards and two touchdowns.

For UCLA, defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia, defensive back Quentin Lake and tight end Mike Martinez all suffered injuries and did not return.

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UCLA football receives commitment from three-star WR Braden Pegan

San Juan Hills receiver Braden Pegan announced his commitment to Coach Chip Kelly and the UCLA football program on Tuesday via Twitter.

Pegan’s announcement comes one day after tweeting that he received a scholarship offer from the Bruins.

He was on campus Monday to workout with receiver coach Jerry Neuheisel and the Bruins.

Pegan told 247sports that he was called into Kelly’s office and offered a scholarship.

He is the second recruit at the position to commit to the 2022 recruiting class in as many days.

As a junior, Pegan had 24 catches for 426 yards and three touchdowns in four games played for San Juan Hills in 2020. He also had an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Pegan has offers from Utah, Colorado and Boston College.

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DL Jay Toia commits to UCLA after spending spring with USC

Grace Brethren defensive lineman Jay Toia has flipped his commitment to UCLA, after spending spring camp with USC.

The 6-foot-2, 315-pound incoming freshman becomes the highest-rated recruit for the Bruins’ 2021 class. He first committed to the Trojans in 2018 and signed his national letter of intent in December 2020.

He entered the transfer portal after announcing his decision to leave USC in May. He enrolled early and found himself competing alongside the first- and second-team defense throughout spring practice.

“The 2020 pandemic was tragic to so many that lost so much,” Toia wrote in a Twitter post on May 31. “For me and especially my parents we felt forced to make a major decision signing with USC based on limited information because of COVID-19 restrictions. We were not able to take any official or unofficial visits to any of the other schools on our short list such as Michigan, Utah, UCLA, Miami among others.”

Following his departure from the Trojans, he made visits to Michigan and UCLA.

USC coach Clay Helton identified Toia as one of the standouts from the Trojans’ spring game in April.

“You’re talking about off the field the sweetest human being you will ever meet, but I don’t know who he becomes when it’s a competitive situation,” Helton said. “He is a different person and it has been really neat to see how talented he is but also what an unbelievable sense of urgency that guy has to be great and to help this team next year.”

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UCLA can’t catch North Carolina in NCAA regional opener

LUBBOCK, Texas — Love was on the mound Friday at Dan Law Field and that wasn’t a romantic thing at all for UCLA in an opening-round game of the NCAA baseball tournament.

The Bruins’ offense sputtered and coughed for most of the night in a 5-4 loss to North Carolina at the Lubbock Regional, with UNC ace pitcher Austin Love setting the tone by striking out nine and allowing only six hits and three runs in 6-2/3 innings.

In a game that turned into a bullpen chess match in the final few innings, UCLA (35-19) never managed more than one run in an inning and struggled to produce in clutch situations, going 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and 2 for 11 with two outs.

Love had plenty to do with that, locking in after a rocky start and mowing down 15 of 16 hitters during a key stretch to stymie the Bruins.

UCLA starter Jesse Bergin battled through 5-1/3 innings, allowing eight hits but only a pair of earned runs.

“I thought it was a hell of a game,” Bruins coach John Savage said. “Love did his duty, struck out nine. I thought Jesse competed hard and made some pitches.”

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels (28-25) chipped away early on Will Stewart’s productive groundout in the second inning and his clutch two-out, two-run single two innings later to open a 3-1 lead.

UNC’s Danny Serretti supplied what turned out to be huge – and somewhat shocking – insurance with a two-run home run in the seventh against UCLA reliever Adrian Chaidez on an 0-and-2 count. That was just the second long ball and eighth hit Chaidez has allowed all season and marked the first time he surrendered more than a single run in his 28 appearances.

“Chaidez has been outstanding all season, but he left a pitch up and you’ve got to give credit where credit is due,” Savage said.

“They did a great job extending innings and giving themselves a chance to score some runs.”

The Bruins finally snapped their drought against Love when Kevin Kendall began the sixth with a double down the right field line. He got to third base on a wild pitch and darted home on Matt McClain’s sacrifice fly to close the gap to 3-2. The homer extended the lead to set the stage for a significant UCLA threat in the seventh.

Mikey Perez gave the Bruins a leadoff man on for the second straight inning with an infield single and Love walked JonJon Vaughn before recording the second out. Kendall delivered again with an RBI single that ended Love’s night, but North Carolina left-hander Caden O’Brien came on and struck out pinch-hitter Michael Caulfield in a full-count check swing to keep the Bruins two runs down.

UCLA cut the deficit to one run in the eighth when McLain scored on a wild pitch, but that was all the Bruins could manage despite two hits and a walk in the inning.

Things began with plenty of promise for the Bruins when McClain’s double chased home Kendall, who led off with a base hit to center field.

Before UCLA could inflict any more damage, though, Love struck out cleanup hitter JT Schwartz and coaxed a fly ball out of Mikey Perez with two runners in scoring position to slam the door.

Now the Bruins will attempt to stay alive in the four-team event when they take on Army (28-24) in an elimination game on Saturday at noon PT. Army dropped a 6-3 decision to host Texas Tech (37-15) earlier Friday.

“That’s why they call it a double-elimination tournament,” Savage said. “Our backs have been against the wall all season, so this is no different.”

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Virginia Tech outplays UCLA softball in super regional opener

It’s just the second appearance in the NCAA softball super regionals for the Virginia Tech softball team, but the Hokies wasted no time making their presence known.

ACC Pitcher of the Year Keely Rochard held the second-seeded Bruins to three hits while striking out 12 and Virginia Tech capitalized on a handful of defensive errors to take the opener of the best-of-three series, 7-2, on Thursday night at UCLA’s Easton Stadium.

“Credit Virginia Tech, they came out, they executed, and I am very confident that that was not the team that we know who we are,” UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said.

It’s the first loss of the postseason for the Bruins (44-5), who won three consecutive games against Long Beach State, Fresno State and Minnesota in the four-team NCAA Los Angeles regional to advance to the final 16 of the bracket.

The Hokies (37-13) have been on a roll, beating Brigham Young and No. 15 seed Arizona State to win the Tempe regional, and they got on the board quickly at Easton Stadium.

Kelsey Brown and Cameron Fagan reached on singles, then Kelsey Bennett hit a two-run triple to right center field to get the scoring started for Virginia Tech.

Fagan added a two-run single in the fourth inning, then an RBI single from Addy Greene and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch extended the Hokies’ lead to 6-0 in the fifth.

Given a lead before she entered the circle, Rochard came out dealing, striking out the first six UCLA batters and retiring 13 consecutive Bruins to start the game. UCLA got its first base runner when Maya Brady walked in the bottom of the fifth. Kinsley Washington followed with a double and pinch hitter Jenavee Peres drove both of them in to get UCLA on the scoreboard.

“It honestly felt really good to be able to be back out on the field and be able to produce for my team,” said Peres, a redshirt senior. “Obviously, it was a very tough game against Virginia Tech tonight, so being able to come through for them … was a really humbling and really good feeling.”

Megan Faraimo relieved UCLA pitcher Rachel Garcia, who was unbeaten going into game, in the fifth inning. Bubba Nickles, who was previously day-to-day with a wrist injury, also came into the game at center field.

“Bubba is a huge part of UCLA softball. She’s a big part of our confidence,” Inouye-Perez said. “If there’s an opportunity for her to play with us, that’s going to do nothing but build confidence for this team. So that was tonight, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Garcia gave up nine hits while striking out seven in four innings. Faraimo pitched two innings, yielding one hit and striking out four.

Holly Azevedo entered the circle for the final inning and logged three strikeouts, but not before Brown drove in Greene with a single to cap the scoring for Virginia Tech.

The best-of-three super regional continues Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Easton Stadium.

📼 SUPER REGIONALS HIGHLIGHTS: @HokiesSoftball defeats (2) @UCLASoftball, 7-2, in game one of the Los Angeles Super Regional.#RoadToWCWS pic.twitter.com/artbx32tHV

— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 28, 2021

Ks for Days! 🔥 @_keelsss_#RoadToWCWS x @HokiesSoftball pic.twitter.com/m3rCAnwdmc

— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 28, 2021

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UCLA softball blasts Long Beach State in NCAA regional opener

First, it was Briana Perez. Then it was Rachel Garcia. Then another from Delanie Wisz. Home runs were contagious on Friday evening, with the UCLA softball team hitting three on consecutive at-bats.

“We all kind of have this inside joke between all of us that whoever is leading, it’s not going to be a lead for long,” Wisz said. “So we all kind of just joke with each other in the dugout about the team leader in home runs, but we don’t really care who’s the leader as long as we’re all just getting it done.”

The three straight homers accounted for five runs and powered the Bruins, the No. 2 national seed, to an 8-0 run-rule victory over Long Beach State in five innings at the four-team NCAA Los Angeles Regional.

UCLA (42-4), the Pac-12 champion, gave pitcher Megan Faraimo far more support than she required. Armed, superstitiously, with watermelon gum and Aquaphor chapstick in her back pocket, Faraimo had 11 strikeouts and held Long Beach to two hits in five innings.

“I do try to tell myself when I’m on the mound that it’s a 0-0 ball game so that I’m competing just as hard,” said Faraimo, who pitched with a lead from the second inning on. “Just trying to get my team back in the dugout so they can keep scoring runs.”

Wisz (2 for 3, two RBIs), who caught Faraimo, added her second home run of the game in the fourth inning to cap the scoring.

Two innings earlier, Perez, who finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs, started the onslaught with a three-run homer that extended the lead to 5-0.

“I love watching Bri settle in,” UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “That’s as good as it gets, hitting the ball dead center as hard as she did. I think it’s the start of things to come, but her experience is definitely kicking in. She was able to slow it down and just do what Bri has been doing all season for us.”

UCLA scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on just one hit. Aaliyah Jordan was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a Perez single and scored when Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice, as LBSU committed an error. One out later, a walk to Maya Brady loaded the bases, and one more out later, a free pass to junior Kinsley Washington brought in Perez to make it 2-0.

Long Beach State (30-10) struggled to find its stride, with Rylie Seip and Emily Salazar collecting the only hits for the Big West Conference champs. Kellie White, recently named to the NFCA All-West Region third team, pitched one inning, then Samantha Fowler took over for the remaining three.

“That’s not the way we want to start off the tournament,” LBSU coach Kim Sowder said. “Just got off to a rough start in the first inning, and just had a little bit of control problems in the circle. It’s just so important at this point in the season to be working ahead in the count against a powerful lineup.”

A powerful lineup that jokes about leading in home runs. For the record, it’s Wisz with 14. Perez and Garcia have 12 each.

UCLA will face Fresno State (37-10) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., while LBSU will face Minnesota (29-12) at 4 p.m. in an elimination game. The winner of the Long Beach-Minnesota game will meet the UCLA-Fresno State loser in another elimination game Saturday night.

Fresno State 3, Minnesota 0: Fresno State scored two runs in the sixth inning and tacked on another in the seventh to beat Minnesota in Friday’s early game at Easton Stadium.

Hailey Dolcini pitched seven innings for the Bulldogs, giving up two hits and striking out 13 batters. Schuylar Broussard went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Keahilele Mattson was 2 for 4 with one RBI.

For the Gophers, Eilee Jensen went 1 for 3 and Makenna Partain was 1 for 2.

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No. 2 UCLA softball splits doubleheader with No. 4 Washington

A bat darted through the outfield of Easton Stadium on Saturday night, chasing insects through the air for a late-night dinner. Over in right field, Aaliyah Jordan leaned back, ready to swat at the nocturnal animal.

The UCLA softball team played well into the night on Saturday after starting a doubleheader against Washington with a game that lasted nearly three hours. But the effort was worth it, as the Bruins won the second game, 6-1, after dropping the matinee, 7-4.

“There was a lot of action, there was a lot of hits on defense and that, emotionally, can wear on you,” said UCLA coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “Being out here as long as we have all day, we knew this was a mental challenge and we’re really focusing on our mental toughness and our ability to stay focused and play the game one inning at a time, but it is a challenge for all teams.”

After beating the Huskies just a day before, Washington snapped the Bruins’ seven-game win streak. UCLA put up two runs in the first two innings and two more in the final two. Meanwhile, the Huskies only had two innings without denting the scoreboard.

Aaliyah Jordan hit an RBI single in the first inning, then Kinsley Washington singled for an RBI in the second for the Bruins (27-3 overall, 9-2 in Pac-12)

Maya Brady cracked a solo home run in the sixth inning and Delanie Wisz (2-4, RBI) followed up in the seventh to score Briana Perez (1-3, two runs).

The homer was the second of Brady’s freshman campaign, and she went on to add another in the second game.

“I’d like to say that I’m happy with how I’m doing,” said Brady, “but I honestly can’t because I hav a lot more high expectations for myself and I want to contribute more to my team. I want to say tonight is the beginning of the real season.”

Baylee Klingler homered for the Huskies (35-8, 13-3) in the top of the first inning and Washington (1-3, RBI, two runs) scored an unearned run for UCLA in the bottom. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Bruins’ offense fully came to life.

Washington started the five-run flurry, scoring Kelli Godin (3-3, run) on a single. Jordan sent Washington home on a ground out, then Wisz hit an RBI single and Brady wrapped up the party with her two-run homer.

All the while, Holly Azevedo pitched a complete seven innings, recording six strikeouts and giving up seven hits.

“Our head coach brought us together before the inning started and told us, ‘What are we doing?’ and how we need to help our pitcher out because she was pitching a great game against a great team,” Brady said. “So just really wanted to help out our pitcher, Holly, and get our team some run s especially coming after the loss. Getting a lot of runs is a huge confidence booster for our team.”

In the first game, Megan Faraimo pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Bruins, recording five strikeouts while giving up 10 hits. Rachel Garcia entered in the second inning and dealt four strikeouts and yielded four hits.

UCLA finishes the four-game series against Washington at 1 p.m. on Sunday, an event that should end much faster than Saturday’s six-hour endeavor.

“We just have to play us,” Godin said. “The only people that are going to beat us are ourselves, so I think if we go in there tomorrow, and just play some UCLA softball, we’re going to be just fine.”

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