By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It was like day and night as UCLA traveled to Stanford and bounced back from a tough loss at the hands of Fresno State.
This week the Bruins grinded and bolded their way to a tough 35-24 win over Stanford in front of 47,236. The team was in big time recovery mode after a draining last second loss at the Rose Bowl last week.
Dorian Thomson-Robinson showed his toughness in the fourth quarter after he was tackled near the sideline suffering a shoulder injury causing him to leave the game for a few plays. But it was the perseverance that enabled him to return just moments later and hit Kyle Phillips with a TD pass that iced the game for the Bruins with 2:35 remaining in the contest.
After scoring the while on the sideline Phillips tried to comfort his hurting teammate. “I just told him I loved him,” said Phillips, I was just so proud of him to fight through that injury he really put the team first even though he was going through a whole lot.”
The Bruins (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) built up a 21-7 halftime lead as DTR had a solid day rushing for 30 yards while completing 18 of 28 passes for 252 yards and two TD’s in the air and two on the ground. The last time the Redshirt senior did that was in 2019 against Washington State in a 67-63 comeback thriller win.
Phillips finished the day with 5 catches and led all everyone in receiving yards with 120 and 2 TD’s including a 75-yard catch and run. Zach Charbonnet also hauled in 5 for 57 yards a 11.4 average.
During the first period it was Charbonnet who helped lead the team on an 18-play, 88-yard drive that took eight minutes. The transfer from Michigan had nine carries for 49 yards on the drive that put the BRUINS up14-0.
Charbonnet led all rushers or 118 yards on 23 carries it was the third 100-yard game this season. Brittain Brown added 66 yards on the ground.
Tanner McKee (Corona Centennial High) connected on 19 of 32 passes for 293 yards including a 52-yarder to Bryce Ferrell that tied the game at 21. Ferrell had 2 catches for 80 yards while teammate Elijah Higgins had 5 for 103 yards a 20-yard average.
Defense was tough not allow the Cardinal (2-2, 1-1 PAC-12) a first down until the teams sixth possession that occurred with 7:32 left in the 2nd period.
“It took guts to win this game you know what I mean,” said DB Qwuantrezz Knight who led the team in tackles with seven. Carlin and Junior OLB Carl Jones chipped in with five each.
The UCLA Defense ranks 6th in the nation against the run giving up an average 64 yards a game on the ground- They gave up 67 to Stanford.
Knight summed up the difference between Fresno State and this weeks game:” Last week we weren’t able to go in and absolutely finish the game the way we’ve been coached. This week during practice that’s the main thing coach Kelly talked about we have to finish. We have to finish. We have to Bruin finish.”
BRUIN NOTES: DTR returned to practice this week after suffering a shoulder injury and he’s expected to go at the ROSE BOWL Saturday vs. Arizona State. All fans should bring a covid vaccination card or a test results done in the last 72 hours before the games…the PAC-12 is morning the loss of UTAH’s Aaron Love who was shot during an incident last week.