UCLA’s Pac-12 title hopes take a huge blow in shocking upset loss to Arizona
An unexpected and most unpleasant sound filled the otherwise quiet Rose Bowl late Saturday night.
“U of A!”
UCLA was powerless to stop Arizona’s offense or its fans in a stunning late-season collapse. The No. 12 Bruins’ 34-28 loss to the Wildcats put a huge dent in UCLA’s Pac-12 championship hopes and removed considerable luster from the crosstown rivalry game next weekend against USC.
With one final chance, facing fourth and 10 at Arizona’s 29-yard line, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scrambled under heavy pressure. He finally unleashed a pass toward wide receiver Jake Bobo streaking across the back of the end zone.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson could not complete a game-winning drive
Dorian Thompson-Robinson and UCLA trail Arizona by six points with 1:07 left in the game.
It’s first-and-10 at the UCLA 28.
Here’s what happened on the final drive:
DTR passed to Kam Brown for a 15-yard gain.
DTR passed to Jake Bobo for a nine-yard gain.
DTR passed to Zach Charbonnet for a four-yard gain.
DTR targeted Bobo and Christian Roland-Wallace was called for pass interference, giving UCLA a 15-yard gain.
DTR’s deep pass to Logan Loya was incomplete.
DTR’s deep pass to Loya was incomplete.
With 10 seconds left on third-and-10 at the Arizona 29-yard line, the Wildcats took a timeout.
DTR’s pass to Bobo was incomplete.
UCLA faces fourth-and-10 with four seconds left.
DTR’s pass to Bobo fell incomplete and Arizona stunned the Wildcats 34-28.
Arizona keeps pressure on UCLA
Jayden de Laura ran extensively laterally but only gained one yard on third-and-six on the UCLA 7.
Arizona ran down the play clock and called time out, setting up a Tyler Loop 23-yard field goal with 1:07 left in the game.
The Wildcats lead 34-28 and Dorian Thompson-Robinson will get one last chance to orchestrate a win.
UCLA can’t counter Arizona’s score, still trail in fourth quarter
Zach Charbonnet has been a beast for UCLA with three touchdowns and more than 200 yards, but the ball bounced out of his hands when Dorian Thompson-Robinson targeted him on third down in the fourth quarter.
The Bruins went for it on fourth-and-six on the UCLA 36-yard line. DTR was pressured and couldn’t get the ball low enough along the sideline for Josiah Norwood to catch it.
A key turnover on downs for UCLA.
The Bruins trail 31-28 and the Wildcats have the ball on the UCLA 36-yard line with 5:47 left in the fourth quarter.
Jayden de Laura frustrates Bruins’ defense
Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura may have run for three times as many yards as his official tally, moving laterally to evade collapsing pockets and looming tackles for a loss.
UCLA’s defense ability to pressure him in the fourth quarter set up a fourth-and-four with 6:41 left on the clock. The Wildcats called a timeout as the ball was about to be snapped as Arizona pursued a first down or score.
De Laura had a lot of time in the pocket and eventually spotted Tetairoa McMillan for a 17-yard touchdown catch. With the extra point, the Wildcats lead 31-28 with 6:34 left in the game.
UCLA shows its resilience
Dorian Thompson-Robinson is accustomed to adversity and has finally reached a point where he doesn’t get down on himself for in-game miscues.
It seems to be a blessing — a quick recovery is great — and a curse — is DTR too comfortable making mistakes?
UCLA called a timeout and didn’t get great results from it.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson faked a handoff to Zach Charbonnet and tossed the ball his direction under pressure. Charbonnet turned to look for the ball as the ball DTR lobbed bounced off his helmet.
But DTR bounced back during the nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Charbonnet eventually rushed for a five-yard touchdown. With the extra point, UCLA pulled ahead 28-24 with 10:22 left in the fourth quarter.
Arizona settles for a field goal
UCLA’s defense finally pinned Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura, forcing him into one incomplete pass on second-and-three at the UCLA four-yard line. Grayson Murphy then sacked de Laura for a 14-yard loss.
Arizona kicker Tyler Loop hit a 35-yard field goal with 13:20 left in the fourth quarter, giving Arizona 24-21 lead.
Wildcats gash Bruins’ defense to close third quarter
UCLA and USC are definitely going to combine for more than 100 points next week.
It’s easy to find soft windows in both defenses.
Arizona closed the third quarter with momentum. On fourth-and-three on the UCLA 41, Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura had lots of time to set his feet, scan the field and deliver the ball to receiver Jacob Cowing with at last five yards of cushion. Cowing gained 30 yards on the play.
The Wildcats and Bruins are tied at 21, but Arizona will open the fourth quarter with first-and-10 on the UCLA 11-yard line.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson shines on key scoring drive
UCLA’s defense delivered a stop on its opening drive of the second half, forcing Arizona to punt after a five-play, 24-yard drive.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson then delivered under pressure. Pinned near the UCLA end zone, he fired off passes for gains of 11 and 17 yards.
The pocket began to collapse on DTR, but he came up big on a fourth-and-five on the Arizona 44, finding Jake Bobo for a 23-yard gain. Thompson-Robinson was sacked on the next play, but the Bruins would not be denied and Zach Charbonnet eventually punched the ball in for a one-yard touchdown.
With the extra point, the game is tied with 3:38 left in the third quarter.
Arizona blocks UCLA scoring drive
Arizona’s defense and special teams unit emphatically shut down UCLA’s push to open the third quarter with a game-tying touchdown.
Facing first-and-10 at the Arizona 21-yard-line, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was dropped for two consecutive three-yard losses. After an incomplete pass to Jake Bobo, Dion Wilson Jr. blocked Nicholas Barr-Mira’s 46-yard field-goal attempt.
Arizona still leads 21-14 with 10:54 left in the third quarter.
UCLA fumbles late scoring opportunity
UCLA ended the first half a sour note, coughing up a strong potential scoring opportunity.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson scrambled to the Arizona 20-yard and fumbled. A review confirmed Arizona recovered the ball and the Wildcats ran out the final four seconds on the clock to a take a 21-14 lead into halftime.
Jayden de Laura haunts the UCLA defense
Elusive Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura continues to challenge the UCLA defense.
De Laura is 13-of-15 passing for 161 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing 10 times for 53 yards and a touchdown.
His ability to keep extending drives under pressure and make plays on the run helped the Wildcats reclaim the lead in the second quarter.
De Laura capped a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive with a three-yard touchdown scramble.
With the extra point, Arizona leads 21-14 at the 2:01 mark in the second quarter.
Hudson Habermehl slices his way to a touchdown
UCLA was pinned against its end zone until a 12-yard Zach Charbonnet run gave the Bruins a bit breathing room.
Later in the drive on third-and-10 at the UCLA 12-yard line, Dorian Thompson-Robinson connected with Hudson Habermehl.
Habermehl turned, squeezed between two defenders and ran up field for an 51-yard touchdown.
With the extra point, UCLA tied the contest at 14 with 8:11 left in the second quarter.
UCLA pass rush delivers
After struggling to contain Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura early in the game, UCLA’s defense applied steadier pressure during the Wildcats’ first possession of the second quarter. De Laura fumbled and recovered the ball to set up third-and-17 from the UCLA 42-yard line.
Zach Charbonnet puts UCLA on the board
UCLA picked up where it left off at the end of the first quarter, scoring its first touchdown of the game early in the second period.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for a 19-yard gain and then nearly turned the ball over before recovering his own fumble.
The Bruins regrouped and Zach Charbonnet eventually delivered a one-yard touchdown run. With the extra point, UCLA trails Arizona 14-7 at the 13:12 mark in the second quarter.
Bruins wrap rough first quarter
UCLA closed a rough first quarter on a positive note, moving the ball 49 yards on eight plays. The Bruins will open the second quarter facing second-and-nine on the Arizona 24.
Wildcats carve up Bruins’ defense
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson broke Cade McNown’s record for most career starts, but his celebratory night is off to a sluggish start.
The Bruins punted on their second possession after a few promising Zach Charbonnet runs, failing to counter Arizona’s first touchdown.
The UCLA defense seemed to have Arizona Jayden de Laura on the run. He fumbled the ball in the red zone, setting a challenging third-and-18 down. De Laura rolled back to evade a swift Bruins’ pass rush and seemed poised to take a sack or pressured into throwing the ball away. He kept rolling and eventually found Michael Wiley for a 22-yard touchdown.
With the extra point, Arizona took a 14-0 lead at the 3:50 mark in the first quarter.
The Bruins are used to adversity, but they’ll need a boost soon to dig out of this hole.
And the defense will have to do it without coordinator Bill McGovern, who Ben Bolch reports is out for a third consecutive game.
Arizona strikes first
UCLA’s defense couldn’t break up Arizona’s seven-play, 55-yard drive capped by a Michael Wiley 10-yard touchdown.
Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura is 3-of-4 passing for 25 yards, with Wiley catching a pass in addition to four carries.
With the extra point, the Wildcats took a 7-0 lead with 12:02 left in the first quarter.
And we’re off ...
Good evening, my name is Iliana Limón Romero and I’m providing UCLA vs. Arizona live updates. Ben Bolch anchors our coverage from Rose Bowl Stadium, where it’s later and colder that our veteran reporter would prefer.
The game is airing on Fox, which picked up coverage after No. 25 Washington’s 37-34 upset of No. 6 Oregon wrapped up.
How does that impact UCLA’s College Football Playoff semifinal hopes? A strong top of the Pac-12 helps the champion rise in the playoff rankings, but it still seems the Bruins remain in strong position if they win out.
Onto tonight’s game.
UCLA won the coin toss and elected to defer.
Arizona and UCLA both went three-and-out on their opening drives.
College Football Playoff rankings snub UCLA, but Bruins can make up ground quickly
USC and UCLA will settle the debate on the field Nov. 19 in the Rose Bowl, but until that fateful Saturday in Pasadena, the weekly College Football Playoff rankings’ unveiling will have to suffice fanning the flames between the crosstown rivals.
And Tuesday’s second release of the CFP top 25 provided some pretty good fodder.
UCLA, despite winning by two touchdowns on the road at Arizona State without star running back Zach Charbonnet to improve to 8-1, stayed put at No. 12.
USC, despite giving up five touchdowns to a tepid California offense during a 41-35 win at the Coliseum, moved up one spot to No. 8, taking advantage of losses by Alabama and Clemson, which dropped to No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.
Brains and brawn: Harvard transfer Jacob Sykes has bolstered UCLA’s defense
Being a Harvard man is something. It might rank up there with being a seventh-grade boy teaching a college class.
Jacob Sykes can claim both distinctions. Having aced a college algebra class one summer, the baby-faced middle-schooler graduated to teacher’s assistant the following year. He was a natural tutor given his easygoing nature, not to mention his ability to dispense pointers on quadratic equations to wide-eyed students.
“I was just a seventh-grader having a good time,” he said plainly, as if the endeavor was on par with a binge session of video games. “They kind of had fun with it at first, but then they asked me genuine questions and I would do my best to kind of convey the material.”
In the statistics class Sykes took that summer at Langston University, about 45 minutes outside of Oklahoma City, he spoke in French so that the professor could brush up on his proficiency in the language. Sykes was already fluent, having attended an immersion school starting in first grade. He even sleep-talked in the language.
What to watch for when UCLA plays Arizona. Will Zach Charbonnet play?
Saturday qualifies as the latter.
Arizona is on the rise under second-year coach Jedd Fisch and might be good some day, but that time is not now. The Wildcats’ mix of elite passing offense and dreadful defense has resulted in a four-game losing streak that essentially eliminated them from bowl contention.
To be fair, those losses came to a murderer’s row of Oregon, Washington, USC and Utah — and Arizona was competitive against the Huskies and Trojans. No. 9 UCLA (8-1 overall, 5-1 Pac-12) will be the fourth team ranked No. 12 or higher in the Associated Press rankings that the Wildcats (3-6, 1-5) will have faced in their last five games, making them the first Pac-12 team to complete such a brutal stretch since Washington in 2012.
UCLA vs. Arizona: Betting odds, lines and picks against the spread
UCLA is No. 12 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings and is in a battle with No. 8 USC and No. 13 Utah with one conference loss apiece behind the No. 6 Oregon Ducks as they all battle for the top two Pac-12 records to earn a spot in the conference championship game on Dec. 2 in Las Vegas.
The vast majority of bettors think the Bruins won’t have any problem with Arizona (3-6, 1-5 in Pac-12) as 75% of the bets and a whopping 91% of the money is on UCLA -19.5 at DraftKings sportsbooks. For updated betting splits on all major sports, see the dedicated VSiN page.