May 22, 2022

UCLA rally falls short in 34-31 loss to No. 10 Oregon

View Original Notice ? UCLA rally falls short in 34-31 loss to No. 10 Oregon

PASADENA — UCLA’s homecoming game ended up being one for an Oregon running back.

Former Norco High star Travis Dye set an NCAA record with four touchdowns on four consecutive carries to lead No. 10 Oregon to a 34-31 Pac-12 victory over UCLA on Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 55,675 at the Rose Bowl.

The Ducks’ defense, however, provided the heroics, stepping up in the final minutes of the game after the Bruins’ defense set the stage for a potential comeback.

Bruins defensive back Jay Shaw’s interception deep in UCLA territory gave the Bruins the ball back with three minutes to play.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the Bruins on their final drive before going out with an injury on a hit by Oaks Christian alumnus Kayvon Thibodeaux with 1:23 to play.

“With our protocol, the trainer just tells me if (Thompson-Robinson) is in or out,” said Kelly about the status of his starting quarterback on the potential game-winning drive. “I don’t have any information on where he is or what his situation is.”

Redshirt freshman Ethan Garbers came in and completed 2 of 4 passes for 22 yards to get the Bruins down to the Ducks’ 39-yard line.

“We just worked off the two-minute menu, which Ethan knows the same as Dorian does,” Kelly said. “We didn’t change anything. We had a really big play on the fourth-down conversion – really proud of that.”

On second and 10, Oregon’s DJ James stepped in front of a pass, telegraphed by Garbers and intended for receiver Kyle Philips on the right sideline, for the game-saving interception at the Oregon 27. The Ducks were then able to run out the clock.

Kelly didn’t want to comment on the interception because he “didn’t get a good look on the last play.”

“He was in the game and we trust him to do his job,” Offensive lineman Jon Gaines II said about Garbers. “It just didn’t go the way we wanted it to go.”

Thompson-Robinson, who was under pressure all day, and the offense jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Running back Brittain Brown ran for a 1-yard touchdown to open the scoring at 9:45, followed by Thompson-Robinson connecting with Kazmeir Allen for a 4-yard strike at 4:08.

Dye scored twice in the second quarter, on runs of 1 and 4 yards, the second tying the game at 14-14 with 2:49 left before halftime.

The Bruins were moving the ball down the field and in position to score a touchdown before Thompson-Robinson was sacked by Thibodeaux for an eight-yard loss and fumbled. UCLA recovered the ball with two seconds left and Nicholas Barr-Mira hit a 37-yard field goal as time expired for a 17-14 halftime lead.

Dye added two more touchdowns, from 1 and 5 yards, in the third quarter as the Ducks went up 27-17 after a missed PAT following the second score. The junior finished with 35 yards on 14 carries.

Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown was the only other Duck not named Dye to score a touchdown. His 43-yard touchdown run, which put the Ducks up 34-17 with 13:53 to play, sent Bruins fans toward the Rose Bowl exits.

Thompson-Robinson began to rally the Bruins with a 2-yard touchdown run to cut the Ducks’ lead to 10 after the PAT at 10:35 of the fourth quarter.

Bruins linebacker Jordan Genmark-Heath provided added momentum, intercepting Anthony Brown’s pass, which was tipped by Caleb Johnson, and returning it 20 yards to the Oregon 20.

“Anytime we can put our offense in to end the game, that’s a great job,” Genmark-Heath said. “We should have had four turnovers because of those small mistakes that we talked about. … Once we take care of those little things, the game won’t even be close. But yeah, every time we can take the ball away, it’s a huge momentum change.”

Brown scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run to trim the Ducks’ lead to 34-31 with 6:34 remaining.


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