This one was an absolute thriller! We’re still shaking over here.
This is what we all live for!
But, unfortunately, only one fan base could go home happy, and that happened to be the Bruins after one of the best Pac-12 regular season games in recent memory.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the Bruins outlasted Utah and Zack Moss, 34-28, in overtime, grabbing a much-needed victory to stay in the race towards the Pac-12.
UCLA started the game off on a tear, jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead on the back of two Joshua Kelley runs, one of 65 yards and another of just two. Kelley couldn’t be contained for much of the game, but the same could be said for his counterpart, Utah RB Zack Moss.
Moss cut into the 14-0 deficit just before the end of the first quarter, cutting it to 14-7 and the Utes would score once more to tie it up at the half on a Cole Fotheringham one-yard run.
The second half is where it got even more interesting.
On the very first play of the third quarter, Utah QB Tyler Huntley was sacked awkwardly and left the game. Jason Shelley was forced into action, and into action he went. However, he was extremely shaky to start the third quarter and the Utah offense was held scoreless for most the second half.
On the other side of the ball, Kelley once again ran in a score, from eight yards out, as the defenses traded blows to close out the frame. With the ball, and the lead in the fourth quarter, up 21-14, UCLA’s offense began what would be a time-consuming drive, for all intents and purposes, that would have won the game.
Had it not been for some unforeseen magic later in the quarter UCLA’s 10-play drive that ate up 6:44 off the clock, the Bruins would have won it outright in regulation. But, the Utes had other plans in sight of their second victory of the season.
After an ill-timed fumble on a QB-C exchange gave the Utes the ball back and Leki Fotu scooped it up and rumbled for 35 yards to put Utah within scoring range with just over two minutes remaining.
Shelley put forth one of the best drives of the season for Utah, completing passes at will and driving the Utes into scoring range before hitting Moss on a 12-yard touchdown pass as time expired in regulation, 21-21 we headed into overtime.
Overtime was just as exciting as Thompson-Robinson opened the first stanza with an eight-yard touchdown run on the third play and Shelley hit Britain Covey for a nine-yard touchdown to knot it back up heading into the second overtime.
The UCLA defense buckled down in the second overtime, and after forcing a third and long from the 30, Darnay Holmes skied for a jump ball in the end zone to come away with the interception, thwarting any chance of points for Utah.
After a quick 10-yard run by Kelley, he then took a swing pass out of the backfield 15 yards for the game-winning score as the home crowd erupted and stormed the field like the old days.
Kelley finished the game with four total touchdowns and for the second week in a row, it looks like one of our players of the week will hail from the Thursday night action.
UCLA improves to 3-1 on the season and grabs their first conference win while Utah falls to 1-4, and 0-2 in Pac-12 play.
DTR: 10-28, 139 yards, 1 TD
Huntley: 6-10, 60 yards, 0 TD
Shelley: 12-29, 129 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Moss: 27 carries, 162 yards, 1 TD
Kelley: 29 carries, 144 yards, 3 TD
Theo Howard: 5 receptions, 89 yards, 46 YAC
Covey: 5 receptions, 50 yards, 1 TD, 20 YAC
Francis Bernard, Utah: 9 total tackles, 6 solo, 3 TFL, 1 sack
Krys Barnes, UCLA: 10 total tackles, 9 solo, 4 TFL, 1 sack
Reminder, this is a fictional take on our recreation of the 2019 NCAA football season using last year’s updated rosters and playing the games in NCAA Football 14 on a Playstation3. For more information, check out our intro story.