Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA past No. 15 Washington, 40-32

UW QB Michael Penix finished 33 of 48 for 345 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson had been reading and hearing the comments about UCLA’s unbeaten start, which didn’t mean much given the quality of the opponents he was playing against.

On Friday night, Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins made a statement with their first win over a top-15 team since 2014.

Thompson-Robinson jumped 315 yards and three touchdowns in UCLA’s 40-32 win over No. 15 Washington in a duel of undefeated Pac-12 teams at the Rose Bowl.

“People have been saying all week that we are the worst 4-0 team out there and writing us off. I think my boys came here with a chip on their shoulder,” said Thompson-Robinson, who completed the sixth 300-yard pass of his career. “I think I told you all on Monday, see if Washington can run with us, not the other way around.”

The fifth-grader also ran 2 yards for a goal in the third quarter as he dodged defenders Bralen Trice and Jayvion Green, causing them to fall into each other in a pile near the goal line to make it 33-10.

Thompson-Robinson provided the highlights, but many other Bruins helped give them their first 5-0 start since 2013.

Zach Charbonnet rushed for 124 yards and a score, Jake Bobo had six receptions for 142 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Bruins posted their first safety in four years and forced a pair of turnovers.

“Our defense did a great job in the first half. So they can give us that lead when we need every inch of it,” said coach Chip Kelly. “Dorian was clutch. We have full confidence in everything he does.”

The Bruins have had eight straight wins since last season — their longest unbeaten streak since 2005. They have at least 40 points in six of those wins.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. came on as the nation’s leader but struggled in the first half as UCLA (2-0 Pac-12) scored on four straight drives to lead 26-10 at halftime.

“We dug too big a hole in the first half,” said coach Kalen DeBoer. “Our boys know now that we are a team that people will stand up to play for. Not that we went into the game any differently, but we have to be emotionally and physically ready to play.”

Penix finished 33 of 48 for 345 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. The junior passed two touchdowns and 2-point conversions in the fourth quarter when the Huskies came within eight, but UCLA ran out the final three minutes.

Rome Odunze had eight receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

“It’s just not going to happen. We have to do better,” said Penix. “Personally, I have to take better care of the ball. And that was really all, just bad execution.”

Washington (4-1, 1-1) appeared to roll early after taking the opening shot and scored 10 games later when Odunze defeated safe Devin Kirkwood in a single cover and delivered a 33-yard touchdown pass to the Finished fourth and sixth.

The Bruins drove to a 3 on their opening drive, but turned it over to downs after three incomplete passes in a row. Two plays later, the defense had its first big play when Penix botched a pitch and linebacker Laiatu Latu attacked Wayne Taulapapa in the end zone.

Latu, who also had three tackles and a sack, started his career in Washington before making the move this year. It was UCLA’s first safety since the 2018 season finale against Stanford.

After the free kick, the Bruins rushed for 93 yards in 11 games, culminating in Charbonnet scoring from one yard to give them a 9-7 lead. That was the first time Washington was behind in a game this season.

The Huskies recaptured the lead with Peyton Henry’s 50-yard field goal before the Bruins went on to score 24 straight points. Bobo caught a 12-yard smack midway through the second quarter to finally give UCLA the lead. A play after Stephan Blaylock picked up Penix and returned it to the UW 15, Thompson-Robinson found Kam Brown alone in the end zone to extend the lead to 23-10.

Washington: The Huskies were ranked in pass defense at the end of the conference as their secondary had many problems containing Thompson-Robinson and Bobo.

UCLA: The Bruins had lost 11 straight games to top-15 opponents, including two to the Huskies, before Friday night’s win. Her last win was in the Alamo Bowl against No. 11 Kansas State to cap out the 2014 season. UCLA’s last win against a top-15 Pac-12 team was also in 2014 against No. 14 Arizona.

UCLA hadn’t garnered many votes for playing the softest non-conference schedule of any Power Five team, but defeating the Huskies should give them plenty of momentum to jump up the leaderboard. A rally late in the fourth quarter should keep Washington in the polls.

Washington: Next Saturday in the state of Arizona.

UCLA: Host No. 12 Utah next Saturday. Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA past No. 15 Washington, 40-32

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