By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
In this COVID filled football season UCLA football appeared to be the most confident it’s been in a long time. The offense did well and the defense had big moments in a 25-18 win against Arizona State.
For the first time in some games the Bruins jumped out to and lead instead of struggling to come back to win a game. With Dorian Thompson-Robinson returning after a couple of games off helped his team jump out to a 17-3 halftime lead over Arizona State. Under Chip Kelly UCLA is 8-1 after leading at the half and the 3 points are the fewest given up since 2018 vs. CAL.
Early in the second quarter DTR led the team on a 9-play 73-yard drive with the big play being a 38-yard completion to Delon Hurt that got the Bruins on the board 7-0. DTR and Hurt were among several players who returned from COVID-19 protocols.
Later in the drive Hurt would catch a nine-yard TD pass to open the scoring for the Bruins. The junior from Servite High had 4 catches for 68 yards.
In his first game back DTR showed a little rust with some high passes but looked solid on the way to completing 18 of 24 passes for 196 yards no interceptions and a touchdown giving him a 82.4 QBR. The junior also carried the ball 15 times for 49 yards including a 27 yard scamper.
“It feels amazing I think the whole UCLA Community has been waiting for this,” said an excited DTR. “Like coach said were headed in the right direction.”
Brittian Brown led all rushers with 94 yards on 7 carries including a 64 yarder. Demetric Felton had with 41 yards on 10 carries.
Caleb Johnson led the defense with 10 tackles six of them solo and two sacks and a fumble recovery. He was part of a defense that gave up 165 yards on the ground. It also marked the first time all season they had did not allow the opponents to score. Former Bakersfield High standout Carl Jones had 3 tackles 2 of them solo.
Stephan Blaylock had seven tackles while Quinten Lake and Osa Odighizwa chipped in with six apiece. Odighizwa also had a sack.
Jayden Daniels went 21 of 35 for 225 and one touchdown for the Sun Devils. The sophomore from Cajon high was sacked 5 times and was picked off by the Bruins Jay Shaw in the endzone it was his second career interception. It was Daniels first interception in 231 passes.
ASU had a Nov.14 game postponed against CAL then had back-to-back games against UTAH and Colorado canceled giving them a three week lay-off before taking on the Bruins.
Marlin Robertson of Junipero Serra High had 8 tackles three of them solo to the lead the ASU defense.
BRUIN NOTES: The Bruins (3-2) are over .500 for the first time since 2017 under Chip Kelly… It’s the first time since 2013 that UCLA has had back-to-back games without a turnover, they are a plus 15 in turnover margin in wins … DTR had thrown at least 1 TD pass in seven straight games and 13 of 14… Felton had his 17th consecutive game with at least one catch… This was the first regular season win in December since defeating USC13-9 in 2006… They will take on the Trojans this week at the ROSE BOWL Saturday 4:30 on channel 7.