Thompson-Robinson rallies No. 17 UCLA past Cal, 35-28
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as No. 17 UCLA rallied from…
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson ran for two touchdowns and passed for another as No. 17 UCLA rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat California 35-28 on Saturday.
The Bruins (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12, No. 16 CFP) racked up 541 yards of offense, including 352 on the ground, and rebounded from a narrow defeat to USC the previous week that eliminated them from league title contention.
Thompson-Robinson passed for 189 yards and gained another 88 on the ground. Zach Charbonnet rushed for 119 yards and a score, and he converted a fourth-and-2 run in Cal territory late in the game that chewed up valuable time. TJ Harden added 89 yards rushing on 12 carries for the Bruins.
The Bears (4-8, 2-7) got a fourth-down stop that gave them the ball back trailing 35-28 with 1:58 remaining. But Jaydn Ott fumbled after a fourth-down reception that would have converted a first down, and Carl Jones Jr. recovered to ice the game for UCLA.
Cal’s Jack Plummer threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Jeremiah Hunter had eight catches for 153 yards and two scores.
UCLA trailed 21-10 with 58 seconds left before halftime. But Thompson-Robinson led his team on a 75-yard drive that took 40 seconds, capping it with a 19-yard touchdown scramble that brought UCLA within 21-17 at the intermission.
UCLA scored on its first possession of the second half to take the lead. But Plummer hit Ott for an 8-yard touchdown that put Cal up 28-27 with 11:16 remaining.
Then Thompson-Robinson engineered a 73-yard scoring drive capped by Charbonnet’s 5-yard touchdown. A 2-point conversion pass to Jake Bobo gave UCLA a 35-28 lead.
UCLA had 113 rushing yards in the first quarter alone and moved the ball at will. But Nicholas Barr-Mira missed a 33-yard field goal, and penalties forced the Bruins to settle for a field goal on another drive. They led 10-7 midway through the second quarter.
That gave Plummer time to find his rhythm. The transfer from Purdue threw three first-half touchdown passes, including two to Jeremiah Hunter, who beat one-on-one coverage for 38- and 22-yard scores.
UCLA: The Bruins kept their poise and leaned on their ground game, ultimately wearing down an opponent that couldn’t match up on paper.
California: The Bears had control of the game late in the first half, but allowing the Bruins to score quickly before halftime snatched away what momentum they had built.
UCLA: Awaits a bowl invitation.
California: Failed to reach last season’s total of five wins.
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