UCLA’s upset bid against Oregon doomed by mistakes right to the painful end
They’ll always have “GameDay.”
A day that started before dawn with some feisty fun on a national stage — ESPN analyst Lee Corso donning a bear head and earning a kiss from Bill Walton after picking UCLA to upset No. 10 Oregon — ended with more quiet disappointment, the Bruins slinking off the Rose Bowl field and back into the college football shadows.
Ultimately, UCLA didn’t show itself to be worthy of the hype. Its veterans made inexplicable mistakes, its defense sagged until the final minutes and its battered quarterback left with an injury after being driven into the grass one last time.
Bruins coach Chip Kelly praised his team’s resilience in nearly completing an improbable comeback behind a freshman backup quarterback Saturday before falling short in a 34-31 loss while also acknowledging the opportunity lost on a cool, overcast afternoon.
“I won’t discount that,” Kelly said after his team fell to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-12. “It was a huge opportunity. We just came up a little short, so we still have to take the same approach.”
Ethan Garbers throws game-sealing interception
Dorian Thompson-Robinson was getting looked at by trainers after taking a hard sack, bringing Ethan Garbers in off the bench in a critical situation.
The backup delivered with fourth-down completion to Kyle Philips that kept the chains moving, but DJ James picked off a quick pass to the sideline that sealed the loss for UCLA.
UCLA’s comeback attempts fell short during the 34-31 loss and the Bruins lost their third straight home game.
Thompson-Robinson was 22-of-41 passing for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Garbers was two-of-five for 22 yards and the critical interception.
Oregon’s Anthony Brown had 296 passing yards and two interceptions, but he ran for a touchdown to go with four touchdown runs from Travis Dye.
Jay Shaw delivers clutch interception
Jay Shaw’s interception in the end zone has UCLA in position to pull off a come back.
The defensive back gives UCLA the ball back with three minutes to go, down 34-31. UCLA starts on the 25-yard line.
Brittain Brown scores, UCLA within three
Oregon’s 17-point lead is now down to three after a two-yard touchdown run from Brittain Brown. Maybe some fans who were heading toward the exits early in the fourth quarter are now trying to get back into the Rose Bowl gates.
The Bruins tail 34-31 with 6:34 to go after UCLA scored a touchdown off the Jordan Genmark Heath interception. UCLA went 20 yards on seven plays, converting two third downs in the process. One conversion came after a defensive holding penalty on Oregon negated an incomplete pass.
Jordan Genmark Heath interception gives UCLA hope
Jordan Genmark Heath has another big play, intercepting a pass from Anthony Brown off a tipped pass from Caleb Johnson. Genmark Heath returned the ball 20 yards to the Oregon 20-yard line.
Genmark Heath also came up with a fourth-down stop in the first quarter. UCLA, trying to come back from a 10-point deficit, desperately needed the stop and now needs to cash in on the big opportunity.
UCLA finds its offense again
UCLA’s offense is awake again.
After scoring just three points in the second and third quarters, UCLA found the end zone again on a two-yard touchdown run from Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The Bruins now trail 34-24 with 10:35 to go.
UCLA converted on a fourth-and-four from the Oregon 22 to keep the drive alive as Dorian Thompson-Robinson zipped a nine-yard pass to Greg Dulcich. The Bruins got bailed out on an incomplete pass the following play as Oregon was called for defensive pass interference in the end zone, putting the ball at the two-yard line. Thompson-Robinson did the rest, spinning past a defender into the end zone.
It’s UCLA’s first touchdown since the 4:08 mark of the first quarter.
Thompson-Robinson is now 19-of-33 passing for 185 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He had 21 rushing yards on 13 carries and has been sacked three times.
UCLA’s fourth-down flop starts fourth quarter
UCLA went deep for Kyle Philips on fourth down and came up empty.
The Bruins turned the ball over on downs on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving the Ducks the ball at the Oregon 38-yard line. Chip Kelly decided to keep the offense on the field on fourth-and-18, trailing by 10.
Oregon made the Bruins pay for the decision three plays later as quarterback Anthony Brown rushed up the middle for a 43-yard touchdown. The Ducks lead 34-17 with 13:53 to go.
Brown’s rushing touchdown is the first Oregon touchdown not scored by running back Travis Dye. Brown has 281 yards through the air with 57 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
UCLA has life with fumble recovery
UCLA fans are awake again.
After turning the ball over on downs and punting on offense, UCLA gets the ball back on a fumble recovery from Jay Shaw. The Bruins take over at the Oregon 30 after the turnover.
The stop is the first from the UCLA defense since the first quarter. Oregon had scored touchdowns on four straight drives.
Oregon’s Kris Hutson fumbled the ball after a seven-yard completion from Brown. UCLA’s DJ Warnell is credited with the forced fumble.
The Bruins, trailing 27-17, now face fourth down to open the fourth quarter. Dorian Thompson-Robinson was sacked on third-and-10 by Kayvon Thibodeaux for an eight-yard loss.
Travis Dye scores again for Oregon
Oregon doesn’t have many rushing yards, but the Ducks are making them count.
Travis Dye scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the night on a five-yard rush to put UCLA up 27-17 with 8:52 to go in the third. Oregon’s extra point attempt went off the left upright.
Dye has just 16 rushing yards on eight carries, but has scored touchdowns on half of his rushing attempts. Oregon has 40 rushing yards, but is still moving the ball well against UCLA with 248 passing yards from quarterback Anthony Brown.
The Ducks got a short field after a botched punt from UCLA put Oregon at the UCLA 22. It took only four plays for the Ducks to get into the end zone.
UCLA’s first punt of the game goes from bad to worse
A UCLA three-and-out turned into a disaster when punter Luke Akers dropped the snap and Oregon recovered at the UCLA 22-yard line.
The play was briefly reviewed for potential targeting on Oregon that would have given the Bruins a first down, but it was reversed and Oregon took over just outside the red zone.
It was Akers’ first time on the field today as the Bruins had moved the ball well and avoided having to punt. UCLA had not had a three-and-out before the drive. (But did have a one-play, intercepted drive in the first quarter.) The mistake comes at a bad time for UCLA as Oregon is gathering momentum. The Ducks have scored touchdowns on three straight drives.
UCLA DB Cameron Johnson ejected for targeting; Oregon takes lead
UCLA cornerback Cameron Johnson was ejected for targeting after lowering his helmet on a tackle on Mycah Pittman. Pittman still broke free of the tackle and ran for extra yardage on a 29-yard completion.
The additional penalty yardage pushed Oregon into the red zone and the Ducks scored two plays later on a touchdown run from Travis Dye. The running back now has three touchdowns, helping the Ducks take a 21-17 lead with 12:00 to go in the third.
Oregon’s Anthony Brown has 231 passing yards on 20-of-27 passing. Dye has all three of Oregon’s touchdowns on seven carries for 11 yards.
Oregon starts second half
With UCLA leading 17-14, Oregon will start the second half with the ball at its own 25-yard line.
UCLA outgained Oregon 204-202 in the first half.
UCLA ends first half with late field goal
UCLA tacked on a 37-yard field goal as time expired on the first half to put the Bruins ahead 17-14 going into halftime.
The Bruins were driving for a touchdown, but had to settle for the field goal after Dorian Thompson-Robinson was sacked with two seconds remaining on first down. Oregon’s start linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux broke through and crushed the UCLA quarterback, forcing a fumble that was recovered by UCLA offensive lineman Jon Gaines II.
The Bruins had the ball for nearly three minutes to end the half, aided by a delay of game on the Oregon defense that turned a fourth-and-six into a fourth-and-one. UCLA converted easily with Zach Charbonnet. The Ducks were penalized for trying to bait the UCLA offense into a false start.
Thompson-Robinson has cooled since his hot start and now has 112 passing yards on 13-of-18 passing with one touchdown, one interception and two fumbles that were both recovered by UCLA. Brittain Brown is UCLA’s leading rusher with 36 yards on eight carries.
Kyle Philips has a team-high five catches for 37 yards.
Oregon’s Anthony Brown has 167 passing yards, completing 15 of his 22 attempts. The Ducks have just 29 rushing yards, led by 11 from Travis Dye.
Oregon ties it up after another UCLA mistake
Another UCLA offsides penalty wiped a Bruin interception off the board and Oregon used the penalty to tie the game at 14-14 late in the second quarter.
Bo Calvert was caught in the neutral zone on second-and-10 from the UCLA 19-yard line and gave the Ducks a free play. Anthony Brown tried a shot down field that was tipped and ended up in the arms of Devin Kirkwood, but the freshman resigned to taking a knee in the end zone before the play was negated. Two plays later, Travis Dye rushed in for a four-yard touchdown to tie the game.
After the offsides penalty, defensive backs Stephan Blaylock and Obi Eboh were seen shouting at teammates for another costly mistake. The Bruins have been called for offsides four times, with the Ducks accepting two. UCLA has been called for just three accepted penalties.
Nicholas Barr-Mira misses field goal
A missed field goal from Nicholas Barr-Mira keeps the score at 14-7 with 8:06 remaining in the second quarter.
Barr-Mira, who was named Pac-12 special teams player of the week two weeks ago, has missed two of his last three field goal attempts, including one-of-two kicks at Washington last week.
After Barr-Mira’s 35-yard attempt against Oregon sailed wide, UCLA cheerleaders mistakenly grabbed their U-C-L-A flags to run and celebrate. They were forced to bail out halfway down the field when they realized no one else in blue and gold was cheering.
Oregon gets on the board to open second quarter
Oregon has entered the chat.
The Ducks scored on a one-yard touchdown run from Travis Dye to make the score 14-7 with 13:46 remaining in the second quarter.
UCLA helped the Ducks with three offsides penalties on the drive, including one by Quentin Lake on the touchdown play that was declined. That was the second straight offsides penalty on Lake, who thought he stopped the drive with an interception on the goal line. He ran all the way to the 30-yard line on the opposite end of the field to celebrate, but had to do the jog of shame back when referees announced the play was negated.
Oregon’s other big play on the drive, a 32-yard completion from Anthony Brown to Devon Williams, also featured an offsides penalty that was declined. Defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight was caught in the neutral zone.
Brown now has 115 passing yards with 10-of-14 passing. The Ducks have just 11 rushing yards on nine carries.
UCLA off to strong start after first quarter
UCLA looked unbeatable on offense in the first quarter, taking a 14-0 lead and outgaining Oregon 110-81.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson was six-of-eight passing for 51 yards and a passing touchdown with 26 rushing yards. Each of his six completions have gone to a different receiver.
Oregon has just four rushing yards on eight carries and is relying on the arm of Anthony Brown, who is seven-of-11 passing for 77 yards.
Blocked punt leads to touchdown for UCLA
A blocked punt from Martell Irby provided UCLA with another jolt of energy and the Bruins cashed in for an early 14-0 lead.
The UCLA defense forced a three-and-out after Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s interception, and Irby blocked Oregon’s punt to give the ball to UCLA at the Oregon 30-yard line. UCLA needed only four plays to score on a five-yard touchdown run from Kazmeir Allen.
The Bruins are up by two touchdowns with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Irby has been a budding start for the Bruins this year after switching from running back to linebacker. He was buried on the depth chart in the backfield, but has eagerly accepted a new defensive role, entering the game with 14 tackles and two tackles for loss.
UCLA’s dream start stalled by interception
Just when UCLA thought it had the perfect start, Dorian Thompson-Robinson did that.
On the first play after a fourth-down stop from Jordan Genmark Heath gave UCLA the ball at the Oregon 33-yard line, Thompson-Robinson threw an interception that gave the Ducks the ball back at the UCLA 48.
Genmark Heath stopped Oregon’s Travis Dye on fourth-and-two, holding the running back to one yard. The play was initially ruled an Oregon first down, but reversed on review.
Thompson-Robinson was trying to throw deep over the middle to tight end Greg Dulcich, but was hit while throwing and the ball fluttered short into the arms of DJ James.
UCLA scores easily on opening drive
It may be early, but UCLA is ready to play.
The Bruins opened the game with a nearly flawless touchdown drive, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run from Brittain Brown to take a 7-0 lead with 9:45 to go in the first.
UCLA went 75 yards in 12 plays and had just one negative play, a false start penalty on Jon Gaines II. The one flag was the lone blemish.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed four-of-four passes for 27 yards and ran for two first downs, totaling 26 rushing yards on three carries. Zach Charbonnet had 14 rushing yards on four carries.
UCLA will start on offense
Oregon won the toss and deferred to the second half, giving UCLA the ball to start the game.
The Bruins will begin on offense at the 25-yard line with Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback.
Kyle Philips announced as starter
Kyle Philips, UCLA’s leading receiver, was announced a starter before today’s game against Oregon after the redshirt junior missed last week’s win against Washington.
When asked of Philips’ absence, head coach Chip Kelly said the receiver was simply “unavailable.” Philips returned to practice this week and participated fully in drills.
The San Marcos native has 24 catches for 369 yards and six touchdowns, all team highs.
Lee Corso picks UCLA to beat Oregon on GameDay
UCLA was the underdog entering the ESPN College GameDay guest picker segment that is capped by analyst Lee Corso putting on the head gear of the team he picked.
Corso loves Oregon’s duck mascot, but he earned roars of approval from the crowd and a kiss from celebrity guest picker Bill Walton Saturday morning on UCLA’s campus when he put on a bear head to signify he was picking the Bruins.
UCLA fans deliver creative ESPN College GameDay signs
UCLA students answered athletic director Martin Jarmond’s call, arriving before 6 a.m. Saturday with creative signs for the ESPN College GameDay broadcast on campus.
Here are a few of the signs fans held up:
UCLA a slight favorite against ranked Oregon despite struggling at the Rose Bowl
UCLA has notched its first nonconference victory under coach Chip Kelly. It has picked up its first big nonconference victory. Can the Bruins log their first momentous Pac-12 victory?
The betting sentiment has moved in UCLA’s favor for its showdown against No. 10 Oregon that starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Bowl and will be nationally televised by ABC. Las Vegas oddsmakers have made the Bruins (5-2 overall, 3-1 Pac-12) a one-point favorite over the Ducks (5-1, 2-1) after UCLA opened as a three-point underdog. A victory would undoubtedly be the biggest of Kelly’s four seasons with the Bruins.
Here’s a look at the game’s matchups and story lines:
UCLA vs. Oregon: College football betting, odds, lines and analysis
The Bruins (5-2 overall, 3-1 in the Pac-12 South and a half-game behind Utah) and the Ducks (5-1, 2-1 and tied atop the Pac-12 North) aren’t in the same division, but this is still an important game as both are trying to earn a spot in the conference title game.
VSiN’s Tim Murray breaks down the matchup and gives his best bet.
Oregon Ducks at UCLA (-1 1/2, 60)
There are four games on the schedule this week featuring an unranked team favored over a ranked team, including this showdown in the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are 1-5 against the spread this season but their lone cover came as 14 1/2-point underdogs at Ohio State in Week 2.
Last Friday, Oregon needed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in order to slip past Cal 24-17. Quarterback Anthony Brown has done a nice job with ball security this season with just one interception, but he’s only completing 58.9% of his passes.
UCLA eager to make most of ‘GameDay’ spotlight as it preps for Oregon
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly UCLA hailed as its resurgent football team?
The Bruins will no longer be a sleepy story line Saturday morning, even if most people are asleep when they take the national stage before facing No. 10 Oregon at the Rose Bowl. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is breaking new ground, not to mention daybreak, with a predawn broadcast from UCLA’s Wilson Plaza in its first appearance on campus.
The show’s 6 a.m. local start time will beat sunrise by a little more than an hour. Realizing that’s when many students are just entering REM sleep, Bruins athletic director Martin Jarmond is visiting dorms, fraternities, sororities and dining halls late this week to tout the chance to be part of history.
“This is arguably going to be one of the best moments in your college career,” Jarmond said of his message to students. “Not everybody gets to experience something like this.”
Beating Oregon could help Chip Kelly finally take flight at UCLA
Almost a decade after he left that giddy success behind, the narrative about what makes him brilliant remains unchanged. It’s all about past innovation, about all those points scored in a hurry, about what he once did with shiny helmets and speedy offense.
That could change Saturday at the Rose Bowl. This is Chip Kelly’s chance to blur his way to a new path against his old team.
Want to be known for more than what you did at Oregon? Beat Oregon.
Want to erase the rancid taste of those NFL failures? Beat Oregon.