Arizona stuns No. 12 UCLA with upset

PASADENA (News4usonline) – If there is a lesson to be learned about competitive sports, it would be that there is no such thing as a gimme win, even if you’re a team that averages just over 40 points a game.

The Arizona Wildcats had only one Pac-12 Conference win this season before they played No. 12 UCLA at the Rose Bowl Stadium. 

Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) and the UCLA Bruins were toppled by the Arizona Wildcats in Pac-12 Conference action. File photo/Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

Now they have two. The Wildcats (4-6, 2-5) came out aggressive and didn’t relent until they had pulled off a 34-28 upset win against UCLA at the Rose Bowl Stadium. The loss to Arizona will sting for a while for the Bruins.

However, they have to get over that period real quick as UCLA plays No. 8 USC a week from now at the same location they were handed their second loss of the season. 

And this is why you play the game. On any given day, any team can beat another one. USC came close to falling asleep against Cal, a team that nearly toppled the Trojans the previous week. Obviously, playing Arizona could very well be considered a trap game for the Bruins because of the rivalry game coming up against the Trojans. 

The Bruins have one of the more explosive offenses in the country with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson leading the way. The only blemish that UCLA had on their record is the hiccup defeat they picked up on the road against Oregon. 

Other than that, the Bruins have been rolling with an 8-1 mark before they squared off against the Wildcats. Since that Oct. 22 loss to the Ducks, the Bruins have put up 38 and 50 points, respectively, in their last two games. After scoring 21 points in the first half, though, the Bruins’ offense got bogged down by the Arizona defense, which held the Bruins to only one score in the second half. 

Oregon losing to Washington earlier in the day only magnified Chip Kelly’s task of getting his Bruins to focus on the matter at hand and that was to walk out of the Rose Bowl Stadium with a victory. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  

With the Ducks dropping their first Pac-12 Conference football game against the Huskies, the good news for Kelly and the Bruins is that all they have to do is take out the Wildcats and prepare to face off against USC for the right to play in the conference title game. 

In other words, beating the Wildcats was the only thing standing in the way for UCLA to play for the Pac-12 Conference championship. Arizona didn’t make it easy for the Bruins in the beginning, cranking out an early 14-0 first quarter lead. Thompson-Robinson and UCLA responded from their double-digit deficit by picking up 14 straight points to tie the ballgame. 

The Wildcats didn’t blink as quarterback Jayden de Laura marched Arizona back down the field for the go-ahead score after scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run. The sophomore quarterback from Honolulu, looked almost indefensible as he ran and dashed his way around and from UCLA defenders. 

On several plays in which he appeared to be sacked or would be tackled for loss of gain, de Laura managed to wiggle his way out of harm’s way to get a positive play, either running or throwing the football. Through the first half, the Bruins had no answers for de Laura. 

The Bruins didn’t really have an answer for him in the second half as well, except for getting a huge third play stop near the goal line near the one-minute mark in the fourth quarter. But with 1:05 left on the clock and Arizona holding a 34-28 lead, it was Thompson-Robinson’s turn to end the game with a dramatic finish. 

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