UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson eyed the two open receivers as he rolled out inside Cincinnati’s 10-yard line on his team’s first offensive series.
He found neither of his targets, the ball slipping out of his grip for a fumble.
Later in the game he spotted tight end Devin Asiasi over the middle on another play that could have gone for a touchdown but ended in disappointment. Thompson-Robinson lost the ball as he cocked his arm back to throw. It was the last of his four turnovers that also included two interceptions.
Almost a week after his mistakes heavily contributed to UCLA’s season-opening 24-14 loss to the Bearcats, Thompson-Robinson identified a common theme with the fumbles.
“I think I got a little too excited,” Thompson-Robinson said Wednesday, noting that he was in a rush because he was enticed by the open receivers. He finished the game completing only eight of 26 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Thompson-Robinson also acknowledged not being as confident as he would have liked because of the uncertainty of playing an opener against a team that had not revealed any tendencies.
“Playing the unexpected, you’re not as confident as you can be,” Thompson-Robinson said. “So I think that’s where that came from and I wasn’t as confident per se.”
UCLA coach Chip Kelly expressed assurance in his quarterback this week, sentiment that buoyed a player who has been savaged on message boards and social media.
“This team, and this coaching staff and everybody around here, they have great support for me, and they’ve all been encouraging me this week,” Thompson-Robinson said. “ … A lot of people outside this building won’t obviously have your back when things go bad, so to have them is really good.”
Thompson-Robinson said the Bruins had adopted a more businesslike approach heading into their home opener against San Diego State (1-0) on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
“Guys aren’t all about talking, it’s more about actually putting in more work, and really just I think amping up everything, amping up accountability, amping up the intensity at practice,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Not to say that wasn’t there before, but it’s definitely up to a new level now that we have had the eye-opener [in] Week 1.”
Cornerback Darnay Holmes did not participate during the portion of practice open to reporters, working on the side with a trainer and backup quarterback Colson Yankoff. Running back Martell Irby briefly joined them for a series of stretches before returning to drills. Kelly said there was no update on the availability of Holmes or running back Joshua Kelley, receiver Theo Howard or offensive linemen Michael Alves and Alec Anderson for the game against San Diego State; all five players sat out against Cincinnati. … Kelly said running back Kazmeir Allen remained out indefinitely because of academic issues.