Home @ Scotiabank Arena Toronto, ON2020 January 22nd at 4:30pm
Home @ AmericanAirlines Arena Miami, FL2020 January 22nd at 4:30pm
The play started like so many others that had ended in success for Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
The quarterback took off running early in the fourth quarter with UCLA holding a 32-point lead over No. 24 Arizona State, eluding defenders as he made his way downfield.
He covered 12 yards before getting crushed by Chase Lucas, the hit jarring the ball loose. Arizona State’s Kobe Williams recovered the fumble and Thompson-Robinson remained down on the Rose Bowl turf for a few minutes.
Thompson-Robinson appeared to injure his left leg on the play and had to be helped off the field, never to return during the Bruins’ 42-32 victory Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
He was limping afterward but coach Chip Kelly did not have an update on the extent of the quarterback’s injury.Thompson-Robinson was in only his second game back after being hurt against Arizona last month because of ankle and knee injuries that sidelined him for the final quarter of that game and the Bruins’ loss to Oregon State one week later.
The sophomore played well in his return against Stanford on Oct. 17 and appeared to be on the way to another big showing against the Sun Devils, completing 16 of 23 passes for 176 yards with two touchdowns.
His first touchdown was one of the best passes he had thrown this season, a perfectly placed 20-yard throw to Kyle Philips in the front corner of the end zone with 25 seconds left before halftime. Thompson-Robinson threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Devin Asiasi with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.
Thompson-Robinson also ran eight times for 15 yards.
Injury-plagued UCLA running back Martell Irby, who has not carried the ball since the season opener against Cincinnati, returned against Arizona State and experienced a breakthrough … at receiver.
Irby entered the game in the first quarter, lining up in the backfield but not getting a carry. He became instrumental on UCLA’s final scoring drive of the first half after the Bruins took over at their 35-yard line with 63 seconds left before halftime.
Thompson-Robinson connected with Irby on consecutive plays, the first pass going for 10 yards and the second for 12. Irby later hauled in another catch for seven yards before Thompson-Robinson found Philips for his first touchdown pass.
Irby finished with three catches for 29 yards and made one carry for two yards.
Sophomore running back Kazmeir Allen also made his season debut after being cleared from the academic issues that caused him to sit out the first seven games.
He finished with 22 yards in eight carries and received a social media shout-out from former UCLA receiver Theo Howard, who recently announced his intentions to transfer.
“YEAAAA KAZZZZ,” Howard tweeted after Allen gained four yards and a first down in his first carry.
Yeah! … no!
UCLA cornerback Jay Shaw was called for targeting in the fourth quarter after leveling Ethan Long in front of the goal line on a two-point conversion.
The play initially drew audible admiration from the crowd of 39,811 and then boos when officials announced the targeting infraction upon a replay and ejected Shaw from the game.
Arizona State was allowed to try the play again and made the conversion. Shaw will have to sit out the first half of UCLA’s game against Colorado next Saturday as part of his penalty.
UCLA got sloppy late in the game considering that its first penalty didn’t come until only 1 minute 12 seconds remained in the third quarter, when guard Christaphany Murray was called for a false start. The Bruins finished with nine penalties for 47 yards. Arizona State had nine penalties for 72 yards.… Defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa was briefly shaken up in the first quarter but returned to the game.… Linebacker Krys Barnes was injured in the third quarter and left the game.