UCLA took care of business at the Rose Bowl this past Saturday, defeating the Colorado Buffaloes 44-20. The win breaks a two game losing skid for UCLA and brings them to 6-4 overall on the season (4-3 in conference). As the end of the regular season approaches, let’s take a look at the winners and losers from this performance.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s Legs
It was abundantly clear watching this game just how much of an asset DTR’s mobility is to this offense, both in terms of picking up yards on the ground and scrambling to buy time to throw. DTR finished with nine carries for 99 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. He consistently eluded pass rushers and made plays. While watching him play so physically and take so many hits can be a bit nerve-racking considering how injured he’s been this season, there’s no doubt that DTR’s mobility and ground threat establish the foundation for just about everything this offense does.
UCLA got back to their bread and butter in this one, ultimately finishing the game with 245 yards on the ground. And while Charbonnet only rushed for 3.9 yards per carry on just 67 yards, he had three rushing touchdowns on the day, again showing his power and value on the ground and in the redzone.
Philips continues to be DTR’s favorite target through the air this year. He once again had eight receptions through the air in addition to an impressive punt return for a touchdown.
This group of seniors had a productive day against Colorado. Qwuantrezz Knight and Quentin Lake both had five tackles each, while Stephan Blaylock had 4 tackles and 7 assisted tackles. It certainly helped that they were all healthy and on the field together, which is seemingly a rarity these days.
Miscues And Mistakes
Mistakes in the form of penalties continue to bite this team in the butt and cost them points on the board. A first quarter hold would wipeout a long Zach Charbonnet touchdown on a drive that would instead end with a DTR pick. Later in the first half, a long fourth down conversion that went for a TD through the air would be called back due to an illegal touching penalty on the wide receiver.
As has often been the case this year, this UCLA team just takes a while to get going. Despite ultimately winning 44-20, UCLA was down 20-10 at the half. UCLA has to find a way to get their team and their offense going earlier in games. Their inability to do so is a big reason they have four losses on the year.
The inconsistent first year kicker continued to struggle for the Bruins, missing a field goal and an extra point in this one.
Up next is the Victory Bell matchup, and I don’t have to tell you how important that one is for Southern California. The Bruins’ ability to finish strong over their next three games (bowl game included) will likely play a large role in determining Chip Kelly‘s future in Westwood.