EL PASO, TX—With 34 seconds left in the Sun Bowl and the Bruins clinging to a one-point lead, the University of Pittsburgh kicked a game winning 47-yard field goal on the final play of the game. UCLA suffered a 37-35 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Sun Bowl on Friday, December 30.

UCLA Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson ended his career on a sour note. DTR sustained an injury in the second half forcing him to leave the game. Although the Bruins allowed Pittsburgh to score 20 unanswered points in the second half, UCLA rallied behind backup quarterback Ethan Garbers.

Garbers and UCLA summoned the will to score a touchdown in the final two minutes.

Taking over at its own 30-yard line with 2:01 to go, UCLA scored in eight plays. Garbers completed two of three passes, including a 14-yarder to Jake Bobo, and freshman T.J. Harden who cut outside for an eight-yard touchdown run that gave the Bruins a 35-34 advantage with 34 seconds left.

All UCLA’s defense needed to do was come up with one final stop. The Bruins made a controversial decision rushing only three defenders on Pittsburgh’s final offensive series. The Panthers started at their own 25-yard line with 34 seconds left and no timeouts, the Bruins secondary came up short and the Panthers got into field-goal range.

Nick Patti, Pittsburgh’s backup quarterback, found holes even with all the extra defensive backs dropping into coverage with the hope of protecting the Bruins’ 35-34 lead. He completed one pass for 18 yards.

And the final drive of both team’s season continued. Patti the fifth-year senior tucked the ball in his arm and took off running, gaining 11 more yards to the UCLA 29 with 10 seconds left.

Had UCLA been able to bring down Patti before he reached the first down marker, time would have expired since Pitt had no timeouts remaining.

UCLA QB Thompson-Robinson completed 16 of 24 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns with three picks – and ran for 15 yards and a score – before getting knocked out of the game with an injury.

Everything from the pre-game skirmish, endless trash talking and chippy play, this contest had the feeling and bad blood of a bitter longstanding rivalry. There was no love lost between the Bruins and the University of Pittsburgh.

Bruins fans are angry and distraught by the Sun Bowl outcome, as well as dropping three of their final four games. UCLA had their best season since 2014 when they won the Alamo Bowl.

Posting a final mark of (9-4), the Bruins and Head Coach Chip Kelly have made tremendous strides for the program, and the future looks bright for the program moving forward.

DTR will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in UCLA history. His passion, intelligence and his love of the game will be sorely missed in Bruins Nation. UCLA will look forward to 2023 and a move to the Big 10.