PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson passed for 299 yards and four TDs to become UCLA’s career leader in passing touchdowns, Zach Charbonnet rushed for a career high 198 yards and the 18th-ranked Bruins defeated No. 11 Utah 42-32 on Saturday.
Thompson-Robinson also had a rushing score for the Bruins, who are 6-0 overall for the first time since 2005, 3-0 in the Pac-12 and picked up the biggest victory in coach Chip Kelly’s five years in Westwood. They have won nine straight dating back to last season, which is their longest streak since running off 20 straight victories in 1997-98.
Thompson-Robinson’s only mistake came late in the fourth quarter when he was picked off by Clark Phillips III and returned 80 yards for a touchdown.
Cameron Rising passed for 287 yards and ran for a pair of scores for the Utes (4-2, 2-1), who had won five straight in the series by an average of 27 points.
Rising started slow, hitting just one of his first five throws for 14 yards and an interception before finishing 23 of 32. Tavion Thomas rushed for 91 yards and a score.
Thompson-Robinson, who completed 18 of 23, connected twice for scores with Jake Bobo. There was a 7-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone to extend UCLA’s lead to 14-3 in the second quarter and a 10-yard strike late in the third quarter to make it 28-18.
UCLA led 14-10 at halftime and scored on its first four drives of the second half as Utah could not keep pace. The Bruins got the ball to begin the third quarter and converted on Kam Brown’s 5-yard TD catch to push the lead into double digits.
After Rising’s 9-yard keeper got the Utes within 28-25 early in the fourth quarter, Thompson-Robinson connected with a wide open Logan Loya for a 70-yard touchdown. That score with 11:17 remaining was the 76th touchdown pass of Thompson-Robinson’s career, passing Brett Hundley for the most in school history.
UCLA linebacker & Former Rainbow Warrior Darius Muasau had an interception and forced fumble which would lead to a pair of touchdowns.
The Mililani product’s first-quarter pick would later result in Thompson-Robinson’s keeper while the strip sack of Rising in the fourth quarter was recovered by Jaylin Davies and returned 37 yards to the Utah 1. Charbonnet barreled in up the middle on the next play to put the Bruins up 42-35.
Utah: Rising is missing his favorite target in tight end Brant Kuithe, who is lost for the year with a torn ACL. The Utes didn’t have any consistent receivers who could pressure UCLA’s secondary outside the numbers and most of the passes were on crosses to the middle of the field.
UCLA: The Bruins have to be considered a legitimate threat to reach the Pac-12 title game and Thompson-Robinson is making a bid to enter the Heisman Trophy picture.
UCLA should be in the top 15 for the second time in Kelly’s tenure. It got up to 13th last September before a loss to Fresno State. Utah will drop, but should remain ranked.
Utah: Hosts No. 6 Southern California next Saturday.
UCLA: Off next week before traveling to No. 12 Oregon on Oct. 22