The big storylines ahead of this game were how would Dorian Thompson-Robinson play after being out for two weeks and how would UCLA’s defense handle ASU dual-threat quarterback Jayden Daniels. What I predicted to be a high-scoring affair turned out to be a low-scoring game that provided some anticipation right at the end. The Bruins would hold off ASU’s late-game comeback with a final score of 25-18. Here are key takeaways from the victory.
Chase Griffin provided excellent services to the Bruins’ offense during the absence of Dorian Thompson-Robinson but the one thing that separates DTR from Griffin is his mobility. Defenses simply have not been able to contain Thompson-Robinson whenever he leaves the pocket and Arizona State was no different. Despite only rushing 50 yards, DTR picked his spots and made the Sun Devils pay with a touchdown of his own.
While DTR’s mobility added another dimension to the Bruin’s offense, his pocket presence was key in the win as well, throwing 18 out of 24 with 192 yards and one touchdown.
The Bruins defense held the deadly Sun Devil rushing attack to only 41 yards in the first half. This forced Jayden Daniels to stand in the pocket and struggle against the heavy defensive pressure.
On what would’ve tied the game in the third quarter, the Bruins forced a key fumble on their goal line. Another crucial stop on fourth down in the final seconds in the game would seal the victory.
The Resurgence Of Brittain Brown
Demetric Felton had a career game against Arizona but it was his fellow back that would shine this week. Brittain Brown was put in as a starter ahead of Felton. His seven carries (13.4 avg.) ultimately led to 94 yards.
A key highlight was when Brown broke free for a 64-yard run which set the team up for a field goal. This performance was his season-high in yards.
Chip Kelly’s Job Security
To lose to a team that hadn’t played in over a month wouldn’t have been an ideal situation for Chip Kelly but after another victory, Kelly is finally above .500 in his third year as head coach. The team has improved as the Jim Mora era recruits began to fade away.
Despite the setbacks, Kelly has redeemed himself with another win to his resume. If the Bruins manage a win against USC this week then they will have their first winning record since 2015 when they went 8-5.
Overall, the Bruins improve to 3-2. The fact that DTR was out for 2 weeks has to be taken under consideration for one of their two losses this season. There is no question that this team is much better than the teams in the past two seasons. With one game left against rival USC, the Bruins will look to finish the season, 4-2.