Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA to 38-27 win over No. 16 LSU

Sep 4, 2021, 11:00 AM | Updated: Sep 5, 2021, 12:02 am

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson and UCLA picked up their third win over a ranked opponent during the Chip Kelly era Saturday night. This 38-27 victory over No. 16 LSU in a nationally-televised prime-time game will have more resonance nationally.

“It’s really just been a long time coming for this team. It’s kind of emotional,” linebacker Bo Calvert said. “There’s been some tough times and to just push through that, I’m really proud of our guys.”

The Bruins were 10-21 in Kelly’s first three seasons, but have won their first two games to start a season for the first time since 2017.

Thompson-Robinson led the way. After struggling in last week’s opener against Hawaii, the junior bounced back by completing 9 of 16 passes for 260 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The Bruins’ running backs averaged 7.3 yards per carry as junior Zach Charbonnet had his second straight 100-yard game with 117 yards on 11 carries and a TD. Brittain Brown added 78 yards on 14 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown.

“If we are running the ball well, we’ll stick with what’s right. But I think that if you look at the play-action passes today, those were huge for us,” Kelly said. “I’m happy with the way Dorian played. I think that he’s going to get better each week, and that is a positive for us.”

One of those play-action passes led to big TD early in the second quarter as Thompson-Robinson connected with Dulcich for a 75-yard score to tie it at 7.

“In big games, big players step up. Even though I didn’t have many opportunities, we had to maximize those that we got,” Thompson-Robinson said.

Charbonnet’s 12-yard run off right end with 9:49 remaining in the second quarter gave UCLA a 14-7 lead that it would not relinquish.

UCLA held LSU to 48 yards rushing and forced a key turnover in the third quarter when Caleb Johnson intercepted Max Johnson’s pass and returned it 34 yards to the LSU 17. Three plays later, Thompson-Robinson connected with Chase Cota for a 14-yard TD to extend the Bruins’ lead to 21-10.

Thompson-Robinson’s 45-yard TD toss to Kyle Phillips extended the lead to 38-20 midway through the fourth quarter.

Johnson was 26 of 46 for 330 with three touchdowns and an interception. Kayshon Boutte finished with nine receptions for 148 yards, including all three scores.

“I think it’s both. UCLA did a good job of just playing the run and being in the right spots, but we got to get it corrected as an offense, and that will be done,” Johnson said.

It is the second straight year LSU has lost its opener. The Tigers had to leave campus last weekend due to Hurricane Ida and spent most of the week practicing in Houston before arriving in Los Angeles on Thursday.

“I felt good about this football team going in. But you look and we had like 50 yards rushing and they had 200-something yards rushing,” coach Ed Orgeron said. “They were all over the quarterback. And they made some big plays and we gave up big plays on defense again, so those are things that are reoccurring. We got to get them fixed.”


It is the first time in 13 years a Pac-12 team has defeated a ranked Southeastern Conference squad. Coincidentally, UCLA was the last to do it, when it beat Tennessee in 2008. The Bruins could be ranked for the first time since Sept. 10, 2017, when the AP Top 25 is released on Tuesday.

“You don’t have to write down a ranking for these guys. They know they played really well tonight,” Kelly said. “It’s good to talk about for other people but not us.”


After Boutte’s 3-yard TD opened the scoring early in the second quarter, the Bruins quickly responded on the first play of the ensuing drive with Thompson-Robinson’s 75-yard connection to Dulcich.

Thompson-Robinson rolled right and found an open Dulcich, who caught the ball at the UCLA 40. The junior tight end took an angle toward the sideline, juked Tigers’ defensive back Major Burns at the LSU 37 and then eluded tackle attempts by Derek Stingley Jr. and Damone Clark near the end zone.

It is Dulcich’s third touchdown of 52 yards or more in the past nine games dating back to last season.


Boutte used an official’s position to his advantage for his second touchdown. The sophomore caught a pass over the middle, was able to elude Jay Shaw when he was incidentally blocked by the official and went 44 yards to get the Tigers within 21-17 in the third quarter.


LSU: The Tigers look as if their pass defense has still not improved. They have allowed 14 completions of 50 yards or more since the start of last season, which is the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

UCLA: The Bruins drew 68,123 to the Rose Bowl, which was more than double the 32,918 that showed up for last week’s opener against Hawaii.


LSU: Hosts McNeese next Saturday in the second meeting between the two schools.

UCLA: Is off next week before it hosts Fresno State on Sept. 18 in its final non-conference game.


More AP college football: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
25 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
25 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
25 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
25 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
25 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
25 days ago
Thompson-Robinson leads UCLA to 38-27 win over No. 16 LSU