UCLA holds off No. 15 Washington rally for signature win

UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock tackles Washington Huskies running back Wayne Taulapapa.
UCLA defensive back Stephan Blaylock tackles Washington Huskies running back Wayne Taulapapa during the first quarter Friday at the Rose Bowl.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins’ defense combined to frustrate No. 15 Washington during an upset win Friday at the Rose Bowl.

No. 15 Washington tried to pull off a massive rally in the fourth quarter, but the UCLA Bruins delivered enough first downs to hold on for a 40-32 win over the Huskies Friday night at the Rose Bowl. It is the biggest win of Chip Kelly’s tenure and keeps the Bruins (5-0) undefeated so far this season, while the Huskies dropped their first contest of the year (4-1).

Dorian Thompson-Robinson and UCLA commandeer the spotlight with win over Washington

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson celebrates as he leaves the field.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson celebrates as he leaves the field after the Bruins’ 40-32 win over Washington at the Rose Bowl on Friday night.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

All week, UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had heard one tribute after another lavished upon his counterpart from Washington. The passing yardage that led the nation. The never having been sacked. The nationally ranked team that was the surprise of the Pac-12.

Thompson-Robinson delivered a rebuttal as only he could.

He zipped passes. He hurdled one defender. He sidestepped two others.

If there was a move to be made Friday night at the Rose Bowl, Thompson-Robinson completed it with the flamboyance of a big brother toying with his kid sibling.

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UCLA holds on for upset of No. 15 Washington

And exhale.

UCLA sealed its 40-32 win over No. 15 Washington with a pass from Dorian Thompson-Robinson to Hudson Habermehl on third down, giving the Bruins their biggest win of the Chip Kelly era.

The Bruins (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) handed the Huskies their first loss of the year and are likely headed to the AP poll after collecting their eighth straight win.

Thompson-Robinson outshined Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. by throwing for 315 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-33 passing. He addded another score on the ground with 53 rushing yards. Jake Bobo had 142 receiving yards on six catches and two touchdowns. Zach Charbonnet helped salt the win away with 124 rushing yards on 22 carries.

After Washington pulled to within one score late, UCLA took over with 3:51 on the clock. Washington had all three timeouts.

UCLA ran the ball six straight times to milk the clock then went for the final punch on third-and-five, throwing the ball to Habermehl.

The Bruin defense kept the Pac-12’s best offense to 416 yards compared to UW’s average of 530.8. Penix had two interceptions and fumbled the ball, leading to a UCLA safety. The Heisman hopeful was 33-for-48 passing for 345 yards and four touchdowns.


Washington within one score

Of course. It is Pac-12 after dark after all.

Washington isn’t done yet, scoring a nine-yard touchdown on fourth down and converting the two-point try to pull within one score.

With 3:59 to go, UCLA is clinging to a 40-32 lead.

Michael Penix Jr. found Rome Odunze for the touchdown, which was UW’s second fourth-and-long conversion on the drive. Penix connected with Ja’Lynn Polk for 15 yards on foruth-and-12 earlier in the drive.

The quarterback rolled out to his left for a completion to Jalen McMillan on the two-point try.


UCLA punt team makes its debut

That sound you hear is everyone in the Rose Bowl press box cautiously editing their stories to leave room for a possible Washington comeback and/or UCLA collapse.

UCLA punted for the first time tonight, giving the ball back to UW with 7:58 remaining. The Huskies trail 40-24, meaning they would need two touchdowns and two two-point conversions to just tie it up. It would be a long shot.

But stranger things have happened. The Rose Bowl screen just showed highlights of UCLA’s famous comeback against Texas A&M in which the Bruins scored 35 unanswered points to storm back from a 34-point deficit.


UW adds fourth-quarter touchdown

Michael Penix Jr. has competed nine consecutive passes, including a four-yard touchdown pass to Devin Culp to cut into UCLA’s lead.

The Huskies tacked on a successful two-point conversion with a rush from Ja’Lynn Polk and now trail 40-24 with 12:03 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Penix is 26-of-39 passing for 247 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, but needs his defense to step up if the Huskies want to make this interesting. The UCLA offense has scored touchdowns easily on both of its second-hald drives.


UCLA still in control after three quarters

Washington will have the ball at the UCLA 26-yard line to start the fourth quarter, but it’s already starting to feel like too little, too late for the Huskies.

UCLA has dominated the game to take a 40-16 lead entering the final period. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is outshining his Washington counterpart with 297 passing yards and three touchdowns on 21-for-30 passing. Zach Charbonnet has 108 rushing yards and UCLA is outgaining the Pac-12’s No. 1 offense 441-282.

UW’s Michael Penix Jr. is 23-of-36 passing for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Huskies have just 50 rushing yards on 17 carries.


UCLA offense not slowing down

It’s all gas, no brakes for the UCLA offense right now.

The Bruins weren’t deterred by Washington’s methodical drive, scoring with ease on a four-play, 65-yard march that ended with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Dorian Thompson-Robinson to Jake Bobo.

UCLA ran the ball three straight times with Zach Charbonnet, who gained six, three and 22 yards on each carry, respectively. Thompson-Robinson then went for the knockout punch, finding Bobo wide open down the field. The Duke transfer stiff-armed a UW defender on the way to the end zone.

Bobo has 127 receiving yards on five catches and two touchdowns. Charbonnet has eclipsed 100 rushing yards with 108 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. The man making it all happen is Thompson-Robinson, who is a clinical 21-of-30 for 297 passing yards and three touchdowns with another rushing touchdown.

UCLA has 441 yards to UW’s 239.


Washington wakes up

Washington’s halftime coffee has kicked in.

The Huskies snapped UCLA’s 24-point streak with a 19-yard touchdown from Michael Penix Jr. to Jalen McMillan to cut the deficit to 33-16 with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter. UW went for a two-point conversion, but the pass was broken up in the end zone.


Dorian Thompson-Robinson. That’s it. That’s the headline.

It wasn’t enough to just score. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had to add an extra flourish.

The UCLA quarterback added insult to injury on a two-yard touchdown run by juking two Washington defenders into each other and walking into the end zone untouched to put UCLA up 33-10 with 11:35 remaining in the third quarter.

UCLA has now scored 24 consecutive points as Thompson-Robinson continues to shine in this statement game for the Bruins. He is 20-of-29 passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns through the air in addition to 29 rushing yards and one touchdown on six carries.

Thompson-Robinson also had a memorable hurdle in the first half, a flashy move that’s quickly becoming his signature after pulling it off successfully in last year’s rout over USC.


UCLA starts second half on offense

With a 16-point lead that feels more like a 24-point lead, UCLA will get the ball first to begin the second half.

UCLA has had success in the second-half of games this year, outscoring its first four opponents 78-21 in second halves.


UCLA in control at halftime

The UCLA offense started and ended the first half with failed fourth-down conversions, but everything else in between was nearly flawless for the Bruins.

UCLA leads 26-10 at halftime against No. 15 Washington after three UW turnovers and two touchdowns from Dorian Thompson-Robinson.

The Bruins had a chance to land an early haymaker at the end of the first half, but a failed fourth-and-one play from the UW 16 resulted in a second turnover on downs for the UCLA offense. It was an aggressive move for Chip Kelly, who could have taken the field goal with the comfort of knowing that UCLA also gets the ball first to start the second half.

Thompson-Robinson is 17-of-26 passing for 241 yards and two touchdowns while outplaying Heisman contender Michael Penix Jr. The Washington quarterback is 14-for-25 passing for 133 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

UCLA is outgaining UW 296-154. Washington, which averages 530.8 yards per game, is averaging just 4.4 yards per play. The Huskies also have six penalties for 68 yards to UCLA’s four penalties for 20 yards.

Stephan Blaylock and JonJon Vaughns each have an interception for UCLA.


Another interception for UCLA

Washington’s vaunted offense is unraveling quickly in this first half.

Michael Penix Jr. threw a second interception in three drives, this time to JonJon Vaughns, giving the UCLA offense the ball back at the UW 39-yard line.

The Bruins, who added a field goal on their previous drive, lead 26-10 with 2:21 remaining in the first half.

The Huskies, who average a Pac-12-best 41.8 points per game, have three turnovers on offense, including a fumble that resulted in a safety.


Stephan Blaylock’s interception sets up quick UCLA score

Michael Penix Jr. is supposed to be the Heisman contender in this matchup, but the UCLA defense is up for the challenge.

Safety Stephan Blaylock picked off a pass from Penix, setting up a quick strike from Dorian Thompson-Robinton to Kam Brown that put UCLA up 23-10 with 8:02 remaining in the second quarter.

The Huskies got called for holding on third down, backing them up to third-and-12 from their own 16. Penix lofted a pass into double coverage to Jalen McMillan, but Blaylock charged downfield from his safety position to intercept the pass easily. He returned it for 29 yards, setting up Thompson-Robinson for a 15-yard touchdown pass on the very next play.

Penix has missed four of his last five throws and is 12-of-19 for 115 yards with one touchdown, one interception and one sack.

Meanwhile, Thompson-Robinson cashed in for his second touchdown pass and is 13-for-19 for 180 yards.


Dorian Thompson-Robinson gaining momentum as UCLA jumps ahead

After a shaky first drive, Dorian Thompson-Robinson is firing on all cylinders.

The quarterback completed all four of his pass attempts on UCLA’s latest drive, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jake Bobo to put the Bruins up 16-10 with 9:50 remaining in the second quarter.

Thompson-Robinson has connected on nine of his last 10 passes and is 12-of-18 overall for 165 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for seven yards during a second-and-five on the scoring drive. Bobo has 74 receiving yards on three catches.

The Bruins overcame back-to-back false start penalties on the drive with help from to costly flags on UW. The Huskies were called for holding and a late hit after a 17-yard gain on a pass from Thompson-Robinson to Michael Ezeike. The play and penalties moved the Bruins from their own 49-yard line to the UW 12, setting up the touchdown pass to Bobo.


UCLA’s first sack forces UW field goal

Call this Laiatu Latu’s revenge game.

The UCLA linebacker playing against his former team came up with a big third-down sack to force a long UW field goal. It was the first time this season that UW’s Michael Penix Jr. had been sacked.

Peyton Henry’s 50-yard kick sailed through the uprights with an extra yard of clearance, putting the Huskies up 10-9 with 12:41 to go in the second quarter.

The drive was disjointed with miscues from both teams. Washington had to take a timeout before its first play. UCLA jumped offsides on back-to-back plays, including a mistake from linebacker Darius Muasau that gave the Huskies a free third-down conversion on third-and-three. UW was called for holding.


UCLA leading after first quarter

Despite giving up a touchdown on the opening drive, UCLA still leads 9-7 after the first quarter.

Washington is driving with second-and-11 on the UCLA 35-yard line after Michael Penix Jr. found Devin Culp for a nine-yard completion on a screen play.

Penix is 10-of-13 passing for 96 yards and one touchdowns. He has completed passes to six different receivers, but had the critical fumble that resulted in a safety that helped UCLA get on the board after the Bruins turned the ball over on downs on its first offensive drive.

UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson is eight-for-14 for 113 yards. Jake Bobo is UCLA’s leading receiver with 62 yards on two catches. Zach Charbonnet has UCLA’s only touchdown with 16 rushing yards on six carries.


Zach Charbonnet scores to put UCLA ahead

No red zone woes this time.

After earning first-and-goal from the eight-yard line, UCLA handed the ball off to Zach Charbonnet three consecutive times and the running back finally scored on a one-yard, third-down run.

With the safety and touchdown, UCLA leads 9-7 with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson was five-of-six passing on the drive, including two third-down conversions. He found Jake Bobo for a 40-yard completion on third-and-four, giving the UCLA offense momentum after starting deep in its own territory, and connected with Titus Mokiao-Atimalala for 21 yards on third-and-eight that put the Bruins at the UW eight-yard line.

Thompson-Robinson is eight-for-14 on the game for 113 passing yards. Charbonnet has 16 rushing yards on six caries.


Safety dance

UCLA has one of the best offenses in the Pac-12, but relied on its defense to score the first points Friday.

The Bruins are on the board after a Washington safety. UCLA trails 7-2 with 7:06 remaining in the first quarter after UW running back Wayne Taulapapa bobbled the pitch from Michael Penix Jr. in the end zone.

Penix is officially credited with the fumble. UW’s free kick rolled to the UCLA five-yard line and was returned by Kazmeir Allen to the seven.


UCLA flops on fourth down

UCLA tried to match Washington’s aggressive fourth-down energy and came up empty.

The Bruins went for it on fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line but turned it over on downs after Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s pass fell incomplete. Washington’s Bralen Trice pressured the quarterback and forced a rushed throw, which drew a smattering of boos from the crowd.

Washington retains a 7-0 lead with 8:00 remaining in the first quarter.

UCLA failed to capitalize on great field position after a 40-yard kickoff return from Kazmeir Allen. The former state champion sprinter was tripped up by UW’s kicker, who slide tackled Allen and drew a 15-yard penalty that put the Bruins at the UW 43-yard line to begin the drive.

Thompson-Robinson went three-for-eight for 34 yards on the drive. Zach Charbonnet had six yards on two carries.

The Huskies, which had eight sacks last week against Stanford, is already putting some heat on Thompson-Robinson with three quarterback hurries.


Washington converts on fourth down for opening-drive touchdown

Facing fourth-and-six from the UCLA 33-yard line, Washington didn’t hesitate.

The Huskies left their offense on the field and Michael Penix Jr. found Rome Odunze for the game-opening touchdown, scoring on a 33-yard pass play against UCLA’s Devin Kirkwood to take a 7-0 lead with 10:28 to go in the first quarter.

UW was close to a three-and-out, facing third-and-11, but Penix connected with Odunze to keep the drive alive.

UCLA’s defense could struggle against UW’s potent offense as the Bruins are without three of their top four interior defensive linemen. Martin Andrus Jr., Gary Smith III and Jay Toia are all injured and missed tonight’s game.


Washington starts on offense in battle of unbeatens

Hello friends, this is Thuc Nhi Nguyen. I’m driving this live blog tonight as UCLA hosts No. 15 Washington at the Rose Bowl in a battle of undefeated teams.

UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) is looking for a much-needed statement win after a less-than-inspiring nonconference schedule and Pac-12 opener against lowly Colorado. Beating the resurgent Huskies (4-0, 1-0) would be the biggest win of Chip Kelly’s UCLA tenure.

UW, under first-year head coach Kalen DeBoer, has the Pac-12’s most prolific offense, scoring 44 points per game with 530.8 yards per game. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. transferred from Indiana where his career was stalled by injuries and is now a Heisman contender. UCLA fans may still be haunted by DeBoer, who coached Fresno State last year and upset the Bruins in the Rose Bowl.

The Huskies start on offense after UCLA won the toss and deferred.

Tonight’s game could be a shootout, with UCLA ranked second in the Pac-12 in total offense with 508.3 yards per game.


Chip Kelly didn’t waste any time prepping UCLA for Washington showdown

UCLA coach Chip Kelly wears mirrored sunglasses while talking into a headset on the sideline.
UCLA coach Chip Kelly watches from the sideline during a win over Bowling Green on Sept. 3.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Chip Kelly didn’t settle for a one-hour time change when he flew from Boulder, Colo., to Westwood on Saturday night.

After a 45-17 rout of Colorado, the UCLA coach had his players turn their body clocks forward by about 12 hours to prepare for a Friday game against No. 15 Washington at the Rose Bowl. Less than 24 hours after landing in L.A., UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12 Conference) already was back on the practice field to prepare for the matchup of unbeaten teams that represents the Bruins’ first major test of the season.

Kelly praised his players’ conditioning after the Bruins improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2015. Including Saturday’s 24-7 second-half advantage, UCLA has outscored its four opponents this season 78-21 after halftime with two second-half shutouts. An upcoming stretch against three consecutive ranked opponents will reveal how prepared the Bruins are for a championship run.

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Why UCLA’s plans for an on-campus football stadium were dashed and unlikely to be revived

UCLA football players participate during Spring Showcase on the field at Drake Stadium.
UCLA football players participate during Spring Showcase at Drake Stadium.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)

To hell with the hassle. Matt Phillipi is going to see his UCLA Bruins play football, no matter the headaches.

The hour or so spent in Friday afternoon traffic. The bus that will deposit him on the opposite side of the Rose Bowl from his tailgate, requiring a long walk. The late-night ride back to campus that might feel funereal if the Bruins lose.

Philippi will endure it all to see UCLA face No. 15 Washington in a battle of Pac-12 Conference unbeatens, having made the same sacrifice to support his favorite team for years.

“It’s just a whole process every time,” said the junior psychobiology major.

Like many of his classmates, Phillipi has contemplated what it would be like not to make that 26.2-mile slog from Westwood to Pasadena, to revel in a short walk to games like other college football teams they watch with envy on television.

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UCLA goes big-game hunting against No. 15 Washington: Five things to watch

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson hands off to running back Zach Charbonnet.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson hands off to running back Zach Charbonnet during the Bruins’ win over South Alabama on Sept. 17.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

UCLA has started the season with four consecutive wins, but you would never know it given the team received only one vote in the Associated Press poll.

The Bruins have won seven in a row going back to last season, but you might never imagine it given the smattering of fans at the Rose Bowl.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the Pac-12 Conference by completing 74.8% of his passes, but you might not have been told given everyone wants to talk about the quarterback across town.

The disrespect could end here.

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UCLA vs. Washington: Betting odds, lines, picks and predictions

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is pursued by Colorado safety Trevor Woods.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is pursued by Colorado safety Trevor Woods during the Bruins’ win on Sept. 24.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

The undefeated UCLA Bruins (4-0, 1-0 in Pac-12) host the No. 15 Washington Huskies (4-0, 1-0) at 7:30 p.m. PDT Friday at the Rose Bowl.

Washington opened as three-point road favorites at most sportsbooks and as high as 4, but early sharp money came in on UCLA and has dropped the line to Washington -2.5. At that number, 77% of the bets and 66% of the bets at DraftKings is on the Huskies. For the most up-to-date betting trends, see VSiN’s college football betting splits page.

Early bettors obviously thought the spread was too high as the Bruins are off to a great start this season with blowout wins over Bowling Green, Alabama State and Colorado with a closer-than-expected win vs. South Alabama in Game 3. The opening schedule wasn’t too challenging, but Chip Kelly’s offense exploded for 515 yards, 8.2 yards per play and zero turnovers in the conference opener. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was an efficient 19 for 23 for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Zach Charbonnet rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns in nine carries.

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