UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson shakes off injury, returns to practice
Dorian Thompson-Robinson backed into the imaginary pocket, firing a 10-yard pass into the end zone.
His arm motion was fluid. The pass was accurate. There was nothing unusual about it.
UCLA fans could exhale Monday morning. The Bruins quarterback was back at practice as if nothing had happened two days earlier, as if he had never been forced to leave the team’s 35-24 victory over Stanford because of an injury before returning to throw a clinching touchdown pass.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s gutsy performance lifts UCLA to a 35-24 victory over Stanford, but the quarterback’s shoulder injury could be cause for concern.
A right-hander, Thompson-Robinson said after practice Monday that the injury was to his non-throwing arm.
“It’s a shoulder-slash-arm-slash-a-whole-bunch-of-things,” he said.
With UCLA trying to extend its 28-24 lead, Thompson-Robinson left the game after being tackled out of bounds at Stanford’s seven-yard line. Backup Ethan Garbers ran for two yards on the next play before Thompson-Robinson came back onto the field. He threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Philips with 2½ minutes left, extending UCLA’s advantage to two scores.
His return was about putting his team first, no matter how much his body hurt.
“I’ve been preaching ‘We not me’ the whole time,” Thompson-Robinson said, “so being able to go out there and play for my teammates knowing that they need me to finish the game was a proud moment for myself.”
Thompson-Robinson’s gutsy performance won him a new legion of fans but came as no surprise to coach Chip Kelly.
UCLA’s gutsy victory over Stanford on Saturday might be enough to quiet speculation about coach Chip Kelly’s long-term future with the program.
“I think it’s always been impressive and he’s been that type of player since the jump,” Kelly said of Thompson-Robinson’s resolve. “I remember the first start of his career at Oklahoma and how tough he was taking on the Oklahoma team, so it was not of any surprise to me. One of Dorian’s best qualities is his toughness and I think that shone through on Saturday.”
Thompson-Robinson finished the game completing 18 of 29 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns in addition to his two rushing touchdowns.
UCLA’s practice depth was also bolstered Monday by the return of safety Quentin Lake, who sat out the Stanford game because of an undisclosed injury after having been hurt the previous week against Fresno State.
Unable to participate in practice were center Sam Marrazzo, who wore a protective sleeve over his right leg, defensive back Mo Osling III and running back Ethan Fernea.
Kelly didn’t like what he wasn’t seeing. The flag remained in an official’s pocket after a play against Stanford, ignoring a call Kelly felt should have been made.
So the coach voiced his displeasure before the final play of the game. The complaint earned Kelly what he said was the first unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of his lengthy career.
N.C. State’s upset of No. 9 Clemson and Baylor’s win over No. 14 Iowa State would have deeper meaning if the College Football Playoff pool were expanded to `12 teams.
No colorful language was involved, according to Kelly. There were also no regrets.
“I feel it was the appropriate time because we were taking a knee, so it didn’t affect the outcome of what was going to happen,” Kelly said. “I would not have done it if it would have affected the outcome of what was going to happen. We just got moved back 15 yards and we’ll take a knee from 15 yards back, so learn when we can do it and when we can’t do it.”
Kelly started his remarks by extending his thoughts and prayers to the Utah football team and the family of Utes defensive back Aaron Lowe, who was fatally shot early Sunday morning. … UCLA’s game against Arizona on Oct. 9 at Arizona Stadium will begin at 7:30 p.m. It will be broadcast by ESPN.
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