Thompson-Robinson’s 4 TDs lead No. 10 UCLA past ASU 50-36
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson hurdled a defender on a 33-yard touchdown run, one of his two rushing scores, and also passed for two TDs as No. 10 UCLA held off Arizona State 50-36 on Saturday night.
Thompson-Robinson threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage, and the Sun Devils turned it into a field goal. But then he led drives of 75, 77, 91 and 90 yards to give UCLA (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) a 28-10 halftime lead that grew to 35-10 on his 4-yard run in the third quarter.
Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns, and the Sun Devils (3-6, 2-4) scored 18 straight points to close to 42-36 on Xazavian Valladay’s 1-yard TD run and Bourguet’s 2-point conversion pass with 6:24 left.
UCLA put it away on its next possession on Colson Yankoff’s 1-yard touchdown run with 2:30 remaining.
“I didn’t personally have any doubt,” Thompson-Robinson said. “For me, it was really easy. I just had to put and read my keys. We knew what we were going to get, and we got what we expected.”
The Bruins, one of three teams with one Pac-12 loss perched behind first-place Oregon, had 402 yards rushing. Thompson-Robinson finished with 169 yards passing and 120 yards on the ground.
UCLA played without Pac-12 leading rusher Zach Charbonnet, who was in uniform and active on the sideline but wore bandages on his left triceps and left calf.
Wide receiver-turned-running back Kazmeir Allen had 137 yards rushing, including a touchdown, and 63 more receiving for UCLA.
“I’m just a ballplayer,” said Allen, saying he spent one day at practice last week at running back. “I barely knew Zach was unavailable until the beginning of the game.”
Keegan Jones added 98 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns while stepping in for Charbonnet, who was third in Division I with 137.7 yards rushing per game.
“The one good thing you have with all these offensive weapons on our team, you can put them in different spots and they made it happen,” Thompson-Robinson said.
Thompson-Robinson showed his athleticism early. He hurdled Arizona State defensive back Jordan Clark at the 3-yard line on his 33-yard score on UCLA’s second series, and his 3-yard scoring pass to Jones gave the Bruins a 14-10 lead they never relinquished.
Jones scored on a 10-yard run on the next drive and Thompson-Robinson threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Michael Ezeike for a 28-10 lead with 33 seconds left in the first half.
UCLA rolled up 333 of its 571 total yards before halftime.
“They controlled the line of scrimmage and they ran the football at will,” Arizona State interim coach Shaun Aguano said. “We’re trying to play catch-up the whole time. We need to make sure that we fix that. We can’t let a team run for 400 yards on us and expect to win.”
NO ZACH ATTACK
Charbonnet engaged with teammates on the sideline and even joined the offensive unit in a group huddle on the field during a third-quarter drive. He also was held out of a 45-7 victory over Alabama State in Week 2 for undisclosed reasons.
The Bruins should move up in the AP Top 25 after losses by No. 1 Tennessee, No. 5 Clemson and No. 6 Alabama. While Tennessee likely will remain in the top six, Alabama and especially Clemson could take a hard fall. The Pac-12 could have three teams in the top eight, with No. 8 Oregon and No. 9 USC also poised to gain ground.
Bruins coach Chip Kelly has the UCLA offense purring. Even without Charbonnet, the Bruins had 571 yards of total offense with a multi-pronged attack reminiscent of his plug-and-play days at Oregon, when the Ducks were perennial national title contenders. The Bruins are averaging 40.8 points and have scored at least 30 in every game. But the defense gave up 45 points in a loss at Oregon two weeks ago, exacerbating season-long questions that were not answered with Arizona State’s 300-yard second half.
UCLA visits Arizona on Saturday.
Arizona State visits Washington State on Saturday.
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