By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
In a tale of two halves UCLA fell in a big hole but looked like a high ranked college team on it’s way back from a 17-point halftime deficit.
It was one of the most thrilling games at the Rose Bowl in recent years following an exciting game versus crosstown USC. The one sad thing about the night there were no fans on hand to see the young Bruins fight back before falling in a 48-47 double overtime loss to Stanford. They have an 8-3 OT record and 5-1 at home.
They did so without their leader quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson who left the game in the second period with an injury. After the half they rolled up 31 unanswered points to take the lead over the Cardinal (3-2, 3-2).
After scoring touchdowns in the previous overtimes Bruin head coach Chip Kelly decided to go win the game instead of kicking the extra point and forcing a third frame. “We just kept running out of guys, so I didn’t know much longer we could go,” said Kelly. “So we’re going to take a shot.”
With DTR out of the game Chase Griffin rose to the challenge. The redshirt freshman completed 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards and a career high 4 touchdowns. He looked poised and confident in helping build a 14-point second half lead for the Bruins.
During the second overtime he fired a fourth and 18-yard laser to Kyle Phillips for the final touchdown. “On the play I just wanted to hold the safety” said Griffin. “All the receivers did a great job getting open.”
Brittan Brown put on a show rushing for 219 yards on 29 carries in helping roll up 291 yards on the ground. The transfer from Duke had a career highs in both.
The defense made some key plays intercepting Stanford QB David Mills three times including Jay Shaw who returned one 39 yards for a score. That’s the Bruins first pick-six since Darnay Holmes 2018.
The Cardinal were led by junior TE Simi Fehoko had a big day with 16 catches for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns including a 14-yard game winner in double overtime. Mills completed 32 of 47 for 428 yards three touchdowns and three interceptions.
It was a really good comeback in the wake of a 43-38 tough last second loss last week against USC. The young Bruins have matured and appear to be on the way to growth for a title contenders.
BRUIN NOTES: The 47 points are a season high for UCLA…Bruin D-Lineman Osa Odighizuwa finished his career playing 27 straight games. Carl Jones of Bakersfield had a sack giving him 3.5 on the season…Caleb Johnson led all tacklers and tied a career high with 10 tackles…Nicholas Barr-Mira hit on two 30 plus yard field goals he has converted six of seven on the season.