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UCLA finds its clutch gene: 4 takeaways from victory more than No. 15 Washington


They are the plays that separate fantastic teams from types that have a way to go.

They are also types that UCLA struggled to make in latest seasons.

Remember the big kickoff return, followed by the big pass perform, the Bruins yielded in the last moment in opposition to USC in 2020? Or the late prevent they unsuccessful to deliver in the final seconds against Fresno Point out in 2021?

Now, producing those people performs are getting to be schedule. A victory over South Alabama ended with UCLA stuffing a bogus industry-intention engage in in advance of driving for its individual subject objective to win the sport.

On Friday evening at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins erased any final-minute drama by converting two 3rd downs on the ultimate generate of their 40-32 victory over No. 15 Washington.

Right here are four takeaways from the match that moved UCLA (5- in general, 2- Pac-12) into a tie with USC atop the Pac-12 standings:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was plainly miffed by media experiences that experienced dismissed his team inspite of its unbeaten get started in advance of the Washington activity. Right after throwing for a few touchdowns and operating for a further rating Friday, he retweeted a blurb from United states of america Today inquiring, “Have you ever seen a fewer remarkable 4- workforce?”

“I do study it,” Thompson-Robinson reported of what is becoming penned. “I get notifications just like most people else does. And if you imagine words and phrases really do not hurt, they do. They do and I constantly remember even if I never say absolutely nothing. So we have a good deal of issues ahead of us. Right now, we’re focused on Utah.”

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The narrative experienced adjusted by late Friday, Thompson-Robinson profitable widespread admiration on social media. Between those people featuring compliments was Chargers large receiver Keenan Allen, who tweeted, “UCLA QB is tuff!”

“Appreciate it!” replied Thompson-Robinson, who accomplished 24 of 33 passes for 315 yards while upstaging Washington counterpart Michael Penix Jr.

Pulling rank

Extensively disregarded right after 4 wins towards lesser competitors, the Bruins grabbed a lot of interest with the nationally televised victory over the Huskies.

Does UCLA are worthy of to be rated?

Stated security Stephan Blaylock, who had 1 of his team’s two interceptions: “I believe that so, but we’ll go away that up to” poll voters.

Stated Thompson-Robinson: “We’ll permit y’all decide that.”

It’s a protected wager to say the Bruins will go into the national rankings for the initially time considering the fact that very last Oct, when a decline to Arizona State knocked them out for the relaxation of the 2021 time.

The bigger question is irrespective of whether they can continue to be ranked with showdowns in opposition to No. 12 Utah and No. 13 Oregon looming.

The flip facet

Specified the opponent, UCLA’s protection turned in 1 of its best performances of the Chip Kelly period.

The commence experienced a acquainted sense when the Huskies drove for a touchdown on their opening travel, but the Bruins stiffened significantly even though their offense rolled off 24 consecutive details commencing midway by means of the 2nd quarter.

UCLA became the 1st group this period to sack Penix — performing so two times — and also intercepted two of his passes. A great deal of Penix’s 345 passing yardage was created in desperation mode with the Bruins comfortably ahead.

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Consider it the to start with sign that UCLA’s protection actually is new and enhanced underneath to start with-yr coordinator Invoice McGovern.

A sizzling ticket?

UCLA could no longer enjoy at the Tarp Bowl commencing upcoming weekend.

Capacity has been lowered to 53,390 at the Rose Bowl with the big blue tarps covering the tops of both of those conclude zones, but at least one particular established of tarps may come off following weekend. The Bruins will face Utah, the defending Pac-12 winner and a staff with a admirer base that likes to go away massive swaths of opposing stadiums awash in purple.

More important, the Bruins are setting up the kind of pleasure the crew hasn’t appreciated considering the fact that beating Louisiana State early past year. The crowd of 41,343 for UCLA’s recreation in opposition to Washington was a period significant and remarkable offered it was played on a Friday evening.

Assume extra enthusiasts and less tarps for the Utes.

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