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Dorian Thompson-Robinson fights through shoulder injury, leads UCLA past Stanford

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UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) celebrates with wide receiver Chase Cota (23) after scoring
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) celebrates with wide receiver Chase Cota (23) after scoring a touchdown against Stanford Saturday.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Despite a painful right shoulder injury, UCLA quarterback Dorian Robinson-Thompson delivered key passes to hold off a Stanford rally during a 35-24 Bruins road win Saturday.

UCLA senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson fought through pain on Saturday, delivering a pair of touchdown throws that turned away a Stanford rally and sealed the Bruins’ 35-24 road win.

Chip Kelly on Dorian Thompson-Robinson: ‘Trainers said he was OK’

UCLA coach Chip Kelly told the Pac-12 Network broadcast team that quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson said he was fine before returning to the field for the Bruins’ final scoring drive.

Thompson-Robinson was clearly protecting his right arm after a hard hit in the first half. He was tackled late in the fourth quarter and motioned for help from the athletic trainers. Kelly sent backup Ethan Garbers onto the field to lead the offense with the Bruins leading 28-24.

Two plays later, Thompson-Robinson was back on the field and threw a touchdown pass that sealed the win.

When asked what happened before Thompson-Robinson returned, Kelly said there wasn’t much of a conversation and “the trainers said he was OK.”

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Stanford kicker Joshua Karty misses a field goal to close out UCLA win

UCLA’s defense limited Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee on the Cardinal’s final drive of the game and kicker Joshua Karty missed a 54-yard field goal with nine seconds left.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson then took a knee for UCLA to end the game.

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Dorian Thompson-Robinson returns to score touchdown

After a few plays on the sideline, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson shook off an apparent shoulder injury and passed to Kyle Philips for a 5-yard touchdown.

Clearly fighting through pain, Thompson-Robinson has pushed the Bruins to counter Stanford’s second-half rally.

With the extra point, UCLA leads Stanford 35-24 with 2:35 left in the game.

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Dorian Thompson-Robinson heads to sideline with apparent shoulder injury

Dorian Thompson-Robinson had to carry the ball twice to extend UCLA’s drive and a hit as tumbled out of bounds caused too much pain for him to continue.

Doubled over, he was helped to the bench for treatment of his right shoulder and arm. Backup QB Ethan Garbers took over with less than three minutes left in the game.

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Dorian Thompson-Robinson passing efficiently despite apparent arm injury

Dorian Thompson-Robinson continues to lead the offense while trying to protect his right arm that he appeared to injure in the first half. The injury hasn’t hindered his pass plays, but he is taking fewer risks on scramble plays and sliding earlier to protect the arm and shoulder.

Somehow, his effort to avoid tackles has led to sharper, quicker passes that have moved the chains.

UCLA faces second-and-four at the Stanford 15 with 4:26 left in the game.

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UCLA limits Stanford to field goal

The UCLA at Stanford game is starting to feel a lot like the Bruins’ loss to Fresno State last week, with both teams trading dramatic scoring plays in the fourth quarter.

The Bruins’ secondary, however, did get a key stop on a pass play to limit the damage after UCLA regained the lead.

Joshua Karty hit a 48-yard field goal to trim UCLA’s lead to 28-24 with 9:14 left in the game.

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UCLA responds with Dorian Thompson-Robinson deep touchdown pass

Dorian Thompson-Robinson responded to Stanford’s back-to-back scoring drives with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Philips.

Thompson-Robinson took a key hit in the first half that clearly injured his right arm, but he has remained in the game and connected on key throws for the Bruins.

With the extra point, UCLA pulled ahead 28-21 with 13:06 left in the game.

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Tanner McKee hits deep pass to tie the game at 21

Dorian Thompson-Robinson mixed up pass and run plays, but he couldn’t evade pressure at the Stanford 46-yard line and UCLA was forced to punt with 22 seconds left in the third quarter.

Momentum continued to shift in Stanford’s favor, with Tanner McKee stringing together more explosive plays for the Cardinal to open the third quarter.

McKee, a Centennial High grad, closed a quick drive with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Farell. With the extra point, Stanford tied the game at 21 with 13:16 left in the game.

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Stanford’s Tanner McKee delivers 56-yard touchdown pass

After Stanford and UCLA traded punts, Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee delivered his first big pass play of the game.

McKee, a Centennial High alum who carved up USC’s defense earlier this season, hit Elijah Higgins for a 56-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. With the extra point, UCLA now leads Stanford 21-14 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

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Promising UCLA drive fizzles as Bruins miss field goal

A fumbled snap threatened to derail UCLA’s drive to open the third quarter, but Dorian Thompson-Robinson converted on third-and-11. He connected with Greg Dulcich for 17-yard gain.

The drive paused, however, while Bruins starting center Sam Marrazzo was treated on the field for an injury. Marrazzo, a former walk-on, had just worked his way back into the lineup.

When the drive resumed, Bruins running back Brittain Brown and Thompson-Robinson carved up the Stanford run defense. Those plays set up a pass to Kyle Phillips that moved UCLA into the red zone.

Stanford turned stuffed Brown and Zach Charbonnet to force third-and-seven when the Cardinal found a gap in the line and sacked Thompson-Robinson.

Nicholas Barr-Mira missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt to close out the once promising dive to open the third quarter.

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UCLA and Stanford trade punts before Bruins rumble for another TD

UCLA and Stanford both were forced to punt before the Bruins got the ball back on their 45-yard line with 1:50 left in the second quarter.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson expertly ran the Bruins’ two-minute offense. The quarterback who had the most success handing off or scrambling early on the game completed six passes during the drive. Some of those passes were short-range throws and went to tailback Zach Charbonnet, keeping the Stanford defense on its heels.

Thompson-Robinson closed out the drive by faking the handoff to Charbonnet and coasting in for a 2-yard touchdown. With the extra point, UCLA took a 21-7 lead with 23 seconds left.

Stanford pushed for a late score, but a 53-yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright and out as time expired.

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Stanford pokes holes in UCLA pass defense

After UCLA’s defense stopped Stanford from crossing midfield during the first quarter, the Cardinal’s offense found key seams during the second quarter.

Tanner McKee passed for 74 yards and scrambled for another 11 yards to helped the Cardinal cut UCLA’s lead to 14-7 with 4:31 left in the second quarter.

Stanford was facing second-and-19 at the UCLA 30 and it seemed the Bruins might be able to limit the damage on the drive, but McKee ran for 11 yards before finding Brycen Tremayne in the front left corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown.

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Bruins’ run game dominates first quarter

A week after UCLA coach Chip Kelly was questioned why the secondary offered such soft coverage and the run game wasn’t showcased as much as possible, the Bruins’ defense swarmed Stanford in the first quarter and the run game helped UCLA take an early 14-0 lead.

Zach Charbonnet carried the ball 13 ties for 63 yards and a touchdown during the first quarter, while Dorian Thompson-Robinson carried the ball five times for 12 yards and a score.

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Zach Charbonnet and Dorian Thompson-Robinson run over Stanford defense

UCLA sprinkled in three passes to compliment a dominant rushing effort during an 88-yard scoring drive that ate up a big chunk of the first quarter.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson was shaky on two deep throws early in the first quarter, but he delivered a 9-yard pass to take some pressure off at the top of the drive.

He scrambled for a gain on the next play, but a penalty shoved UCLA back. It seemed the Bruins were destined to punt, but Zach Charbonnet rumbled for 16 yards and Chip Kelly instructed his team to quickly go for it on fourth-and-two on the Bruins’ 33-yard line. Charbonnet rewarded the gamble by rumbling for five yards and the first down.

After Charbonnet helped power the Bruins to another first down, Thompson-Robinson passed to Kam Brown for a 16-yard gain to extend the drive.

As Stanford tried to tighten up on Charbonnet, Thompson-Robinson scrambled for eight yards.

The duo continued to trade key runs before Charbonnet punched the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown. With the extra point, UCLA took a 14-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the first quarter.

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UCLA and Stanford trade stops

Stanford’s offense couldn’t immediately respond to the UCLA touchdown, going three-and-out.

The Cardinal special teams and defensive units, however, tightened up coverage. The Bruins didn’t return the punt and went three-and-out.

Stanford is opening its next drive on its 35-yard line.

The score remains 7-0 UCLA with 9:12 left in the first quarter.

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UCLA 58-yard punt return sets up Bruins touchdown

Kyle Philips returned a Stanford punt 58 yards, shaking off multiple tackles before the Cardinal long snapper stopped him at Stanford’s 13-yard line.

Zach Charbonnet carried the ball three times before Dorian Thompson-Robinson punched it in from the one-yard line. With the extra point, UCLA earned a 7-0 lead with 12:16 left in the first quarter.

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No. 24 UCLA kicks off to Stanford, forces Cardinal to go three-and-out

No. 24 UCLA at Stanford is under way at Stanford Stadium.

The Bruins kicked off to the Cardinal with no return on the play.

UCLA’s defense got off to a solid start, with a Stanford penalty on first down and a near interception on the second play of the drive. The secondary maintained pressure and forced Stanford to go three-and-out.

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Stanford QB Tanner McKee eyes second win over a hometown team when he faces UCLA

Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee prepares to throw against USC
Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee prepares to throw against USC Sept. 11 in Los Angeles.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

He heard the whispers it might sabotage his football career. At the very least it would leave him out of shape, maybe force him to lose his edge if not the desire to become a top college quarterback.

The cynicism nudged Elder Tanner McKee out of his bunk bed each morning in the seaside town in southern Brazil, providing a purpose beyond spreading the message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The missionary who grew up in Corona and starred at Centennial High would curl a makeshift bar with cement slabs on each end, adding resistance bands he slipped underneath his feet. He would throw a football to his companion on the mission, a kid on the streets — anyone he could find, really. He would walk for miles and miles while sharing the Gospel, possibly the one part of the mission that served a dual purpose for someone who always remembered his eventual destination.

“I know in his mind, he’s never doubted one day that he was going to be able to come back and be as good as he had always dreamed of being,” said Tanner’s father, Jeremie, “but there were a lot of other people who didn’t think that was possible.”

Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee scrambles out of the pocket against Southern California
Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee, left, scrambles out of the pocket against Southern California on Sept. 11 in Los Angeles.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Everyone, it seems, is a believer now in the Stanford sophomore.

USC was awed by the lifelong Trojans fan who beat his beloved team on its home field earlier this month, throwing for two touchdowns in his first college start.

Vanderbilt was similarly impressed the next week after the 6-foot-6, 225-pound McKee threw for two more touchdowns and ran for one while leading his team to a second consecutive victory.

UCLA is next in line to find out what the 21-year-old can do when the No. 24 Bruins (2-1) face the Cardinal (2-1) on Saturday afternoon at Stanford Stadium in his home debut.

It will be McKee’s third consecutive start, much to the disappointment of those who wish it was his fourth. David Shaw went with Jack West during Stanford’s season-opening thud against Kansas State before the coach replaced his struggling quarterback with McKee, who threw for the team’s only touchdown.

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UCLA at Stanford: Here are the top storylines as Bruins try to regain momentum

UCLA coach Chip Kelly talks with an official during a game against Hawaii
UCLA coach Chip Kelly talks with an official during a game against Hawaii at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 28.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Any reasonable calculus of UCLA’s final record counted this game as a win after the Bruins opened the season with two convincing victories and Stanford sputtered against Kansas State. But Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee’s emergence amid back-to-back triumphs over USC and Vanderbilt moves it back into could-go-either-way territory. Los Angeles Times staff writer Ben Bolch looks at the game’s matchups and storylines:

Scary similarities

UCLA opened the season with a thrilling victory over a Southeastern Conference team and a dominant win over Hawaii at the Rose Bowl.

It moved into the national rankings. It lost a game to a Group of Five team.

Then it went on the road to face Stanford in a must-win game for its beleaguered coach.

The year was 2017. It was the beginning of the final countdown for coach Jim Mora, who lost that game to Stanford and was fired two months later after a loss to USC.

Embattled UCLA coach Chip Kelly, whose team has taken a comparable path heading into its game against the Cardinal, would probably call the similarities “TBU — True But Useless.” He might be right, if his team can win the game to put his shaky status on more solid footing.

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UCLA vs. Stanford: College football betting picks, odds and analysis

UCLA’s dreams of an undefeated season ended last week with its loss to Fresno State, but the good news is that was a nonconference game and the Bruins still have goals such as a Pac-12 championship that they can still attain.

But it won’t be easy, starting with Saturday night’s conference opener at Stanford. VSiN’s Matt Youmans breaks down the matchup.

UCLA (-4 1/2) at Stanford

Hit the brakes on the Chip Kelly hype train. The UCLA coach touted his “special” team after double-digit victories over Louisiana State and Hawaii, but Kelly had nothing to brag about Saturday after the Bruins were stunned as 11-point favorites in a 40-37 loss to Fresno State in Pasadena.

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