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UCLA vs. Fresno State: Three things to know

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson throws a pass to to running back Zach Charbonnet.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson throws a pass to to running back Zach Charbonnet during the game against LSU.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

No. 13 UCLA (2-0) vs. Fresno State (2-1)

Location: Rose Bowl.

Time: 7:45 p.m.

TV: Pac-12 Networks.

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Weather forecast: 79 degrees, clear.

Latest line: UCLA by 11 points.

About UCLA: Coach Chip Kelly joked the late game will be played in prime time in the Philippines — kickoff is actually 10:45 a.m. Manila time — but it could be the last bedtime start of the season for the Bruins if they notch a third consecutive win. The combination of a running attack that has produced 227 yards per game and a defense that’s holding opponents to an average of 37.5 yards rushing — ranking No. 4 nationally — has led to decisive wins over Hawaii and Louisiana State.

Kazmeir Allen’s star faded after a sensational debut as a UCLA running back three years ago. A switch to receiver helped unleash his world-class speed.

About Fresno State: The Bulldogs’ “Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere” mantra is no empty boast; they have won 38 games against current Power Five conference teams — including three consecutive victories over UCLA — and might have notched another major upset this season had they not lost three fumbles against Oregon during a 31-24 loss. Quarterback Jake Haener, a transfer from Washington, has looked capable of playing for anyone this season while completing 73.6% of his passes for 1,009 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

Three things you need to know:

1. This could be the first stop on UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s Redemption Tour 2021. His first career home start came against Fresno State in 2018 and it didn’t go well, Thompson-Robinson losing a fumble and having two passes intercepted during the Bruins’ 38-14 loss.

2. Bruins edge rusher Mitchell Agude has four forced fumbles in two games, putting him on track to shatter the school’s modern record (dating to 1975) of six in a season shared by linebackers Robert Thomas (2000) and Donnie Edwards (1993).

3. UCLA has not won a game as a nationally ranked team since beating Oregon State when it was No. 22 on Nov. 7, 2015. The Bruins lost to Washington State the next week and USC later in the season after having returned to the rankings. They also lost to Texas A&M while ranked to open the 2016 season and to Memphis after having been ranked two weeks into the 2017 season.

UCLA linebacker Bo Calvert leaned on a tight bond with his father to fight through the darkest moments of his career and now is eager to build on the Bruins’ success.


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