Undefeated UCLA wants more after beating Utah
October 13, 2022
In the 2022 Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll, the Utah Utes were the pick to win the Pac-12 football title. The defending Pac-12 champion Utes received 26 of the 33 first-place votes. The UCLA Bruins were picked to finish fourth in the conference and received no first-place votes. With the first half of the regular season complete, it would appear that the media got it wrong.
On Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl, before a crowd of 42,038 fans and a national television audience on FOX, the Bruins led from start to finish, defeating the Utes 42-32. The Utes came in as the 11th ranked team in the nation according to the AP poll and are now ranked 20th in the nation with a 4-2 record, 2-1 in Pac-12 conference play.
The Bruins with the victory are 6-0 for the season and have replaced the Utes as the No. 11 team in the nation. The victory was the ninth consecutive win for the Bruins dating back to last season. The Bruins have not lost a game since October 30, 2021, when they fell to the Utes in Salt Lake City, 44-24. The Bruins are 6-0 for the first time since 2005.
UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had another outstanding performance in the win over the Utes, completing 18 of 23 passes for 299 passes and four touchdowns. He added a seven-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Thompson-Robinson's fourth quarter touchdown 70-yard touchdown pass to Logan Loya gave Thompson-Robinson the all-time UCLA record for most career touchdown passes with 76, passing up former Bruin great Brett Hundley, who had 75 career touchdown passes.
The Davey O'Brien Foundation selected Thompson-Robinson as the National Quarterback of the Week for week six of the college football season. Thompson-Robinson, who often mentions the chip on his shoulder after each game, said it was no different after this week's win. "We want more," Thompson-Robinson said. "You say top 10. We want top five. We want top two. We want it all."
Bruins head coach Chip Kelly had praise for Thompson-Robinson's work ethic. "The work that he has put in, I think that people don't realize if you don't see him on a daily basis," Kelly said. "How important being good is, it just takes a lot for a quarterback. There is way more than just films and meetings and all those other things. There is so much work that you have to do. He has invested a ton in himself and he's reaping the rewards of that. So, I'm really happy for Dorian and it is well-deserved."
Kelly added this about the Bruins team. "I think that we have gotten better each week," Kelly said. "The cool part about this group is that our goal is to be the most prepared team and the least distracted team. I don't think that any of us are governed by the fear of what other people say. Just go play football and that's the fun part. Our kids really enjoy playing football and that is what you saw on display today."
Thompson-Robinson had help in the backfield from running back Zach Charbonnet, who had a career high of 198 yards rushing on 22 carries and had one rushing touchdown. Charbonnet is a strong candidate for the Doak Walker Award for the top running back in the nation and is currently ranked 6th in the nation in rushing yardage per game at 123 yards per game and he leads the Pac-12 in that category. His biggest fan might be Coach Kelly.
"Zach is our workhorse," Kelly said. "The physicality that he plays with. You feel really confident in handing him the ball because you know that it's going to be a positive result when you give him the football. He is another guy that, what you see on Saturday is what we see every day with him. He has done a tremendous job and we are very fortunate to have him."
The Bruins are averaging 41 points per game and 505 yards per game on offense, both in the top ten in college football. The speed of the team does not go unnoticed, as Utes head coach Kyle Wittingham noted. "That's a really good football team we played today," Wittingham said. "They deserve a ton of credit. They're athletic, fast, they have a lot of length, so, they were as advertised."
The Bruins are off this weekend and will return to action on Saturday, October 22nd, at Eugene to play the 12th ranked Oregon Ducks. The Ducks are 5-1 and also off this weekend. The game will start at 12:30 PST locally. The good news is the Bruins are undefeated and when asked what 6-0 means to him, star wide receiver Jake Bobo replied, "Bowl eligible." It is fun to be playing football for the Bruins these days