PASADENA—The UCLA Bruins kicked off the 2022 season on Saturday, September 3, at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins got off to a sluggish start which a blocked punt, sloppy play and an interception that left UCLA trailing 17-7 in the first quarter. Thanks to a resilient comeback, and a tenacious defense, the Bruins came away with a 45-17 victory. The UCLA Bruins reeled off 38 unanswered points mauling the Falcons for a decisive victory after the initial slow start.
UCLA improves to 1-0 and possesses one of the most lethal offenses in college football. Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson needed a big play to get UCLA back into the contest early in. He escaped pressure and bolted down the sideline with a 68-yard touchdown run, as this play electrified the crowd, and the momentum turned when the Bruins scored their first points of the season.
Thompson-Robinson ended the day with 298 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 32-of-43 passing, while also adding another 76 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Zach Charbonnet racked up 111 yards on 21 carries while Allen led the way with 85 receiving yards, 10 catches and 13 targets.
Even quarterback-turned-receiver Josiah Norwood – a redshirt senior who earned a scholarship earlier in the week – took a short pass from Ethan Garbers 50 yards for a timely touchdown.
The Bruins’ offense racked up 626 yards of total offense, tied for their most since the wild Washington State comeback in 2019. In addition, the Bruins have won five consecutive games dating back to last season. The first time since 2014.
The Bruins incredible defense can propel UCLA to a Pac-12 title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. UCLA held Bowling Green to 162 yards, only 64 of which came after the Falcons’ lone touchdown drive early in the second quarter. Six punts, a fumble and a turnover on downs were the end results of their meaningful drives in that span, as Bowling Green ran out of steam in the blazing-hot sun.
Many of the Falcons cramped up in the intense heat reaching 125 degrees. Even Bruins Coach Chip Kelly stated this was, “as hot as any game he has coached.”