The UCLA Bruins traveled to Autzen Stadium to face the #11 Oregon Ducks on Saturday, November 21. An impressive debut, career-high game, and tough defense would almost lead the Bruins to a near comeback victory but they would fall to one of the best teams in the country.
The game would start off rocky for the Bruins as they coughed up two fumbles helping Oregon go up 14-0 in the first quarter.
Despite an early fumble of his own, Griffin got off to a good start throwing consecutive completions and driving the Bruins down the field for an eventual one-yard score from Demetric Felton.
A forced fumble from linebacker Bo Calvert would turn into a scoop and score touchdown by safety Qwuantrezz Knight, making the score tied at 14-14. A 32-yard connection from Griffin to tight end Greg Dulcich would keep UCLA’s momentum going and put them ahead by seven.
UCLA’s defense brought the pressure to Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough despite finishing the game throwing 19-30 with 334 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Defense lineman Osa Odighizuwa “lived rent-free” in Oregon’s backfield as he was able to pressure Shough multiple times throughout the game.
A Pick 6 on an attempted Hail Mary play from Griffin would end the half leaving the score 24-21
The second half would start with a back-and-forth scoring battle between the two offenses in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter became a nail-biter for the Ducks when UCLA brought the game within three points after another score from Felton. In the end, Oregon was able to get away with the win with a final score of 35-38.
Despite the loss, the Bruins left Autzen Stadium with some bright spots moving forward with their remaining games of the season and foreseeable future as a program.
Demetric Felton proved that he can be a workhorse back after 34 carries (4.9 avg), leading to a career-high of 167 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Despite the two interceptions, Chase Griffin looked confident throughout the game and led the team to a near comeback against a nationally-ranked opponent.
Though Dorian Thompson-Robinson will most likely remain the starter, UCLA can only look to the future with optimism after the impressive debut performance of Griffin.
The Bruins can also find a sense of confidence in their defense after holding the top-rushing offense in the PAC-12 to under 100 yards.
UCLA’s record now stands at 1-2 (third in the PAC-12 South) as they prepare to host Arizona on Saturday.