PASADENA—The current No.18 UCLA Bruins are the toast of the town after defeating the No.11 Utah Utes, 42-32 on Saturday, October 8 at the Rose Bowl. At a mark of 6-0, it’s the Bruins best start since 2005. UCLA Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is receiving national attention after being overlooked for years, and has quickly ascended from dark horse to legitimate Heisman trophy candidate.
The Bruins pulled off their second ranked upset in a row, asserting their dominance against another PAC-12 foe. In all three facets; offense defense and special teams UCLA was magnificent.
Coming into the showdown, Utah is the defending PAC-12 champion who owned the Bruins over the past decade. The Utes were boasting one of the premier defenses in college football. The Bruins mauled them for 511 yards with their trio of DTR, Jake Bobo and Running Back Zach Charbonnet leading the way.
Thompson-Robinson finished the afternoon game throwing for 299 yards on 18-of-23 passing and four touchdowns and an interception for the Bruins (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12). DTR also broke the all-time Bruins record with his 76th career touchdown pass to Kam Brown.
This year DTR has thrown for 1,510 yards, 15 touchdown passes to only two interceptions and 75 percent completion. He’s up to 231 yards and 4 touchdowns.
His favorite target, Jake Bobo, finished the day with three receptions for 22 yards including an outstanding catch with 7:34 left in the second quarter in the back of the end zone. He was able to plant one foot inbounds on the sky-blue chalk for the 7-yard TD.
Running Back Zach Charbonnet rounded out the Bruins putting up 511 total yards against the Utes. Charbonnet had 198 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, he displayed his speed and spark on separate big plays, his bursts in the open field of 49-yards, and a 44-yard angry run.
Charbonnet lowered his shoulders on these big runs running out of bounds- he decided whichever Ute tried to tackle him was going to feel his power and determination.
UCLA lost their last five matchups with Utah. Chip Kelly turned the Gutty Little Bruins into a bona fide contender. “It’s not about attention, the thing that makes me so happy is our players have embraced the process and that’s the joy,” said Kelly postgame to Canyon News.
Utah Quarterback Cameron rising did not throw for a touchdown and running back Tavion Thomas was limited to 12 yards in the second half. The Bruins forced two turnovers, while adding a pair of sacks. UCLA Defensive Back Stephan Blaylock was disqualified in the first quarter for a targeting hit, but the Bruins controlled the line of scrimmage thanks to defensive lineman Gary Smith III.
UCLA has a bye week, which Coach Kelly refers to as, “an improvement week” before traveling up to Eugene, to face Kelly’s old team, the No. 12 Oregon Ducks on October 22.
“We want more,” Thompson-Robinson said. “You say top 10. We want top five. We want it all.”
The Bruins return home on October 29 against the Stanford Cardinals for a Halloween matchup.