Such a significant number of things needed to go directly for UCLA subsequent to everything turned out badly.
In the event that Stephan Blaylock didn’t tear the ball out, compelling a fumble that Elijah Gates recouped.
In the event that Chase Cota didn’t squeeze his way between two defenders for a 37-yard touchdown catch.
On the off chance that Demetric Felton didn’t stiff-arm two defenders while in transit to a 94-yard touchdown catch.
In the event that Jay Shaw didn’t constrain a fumble after Washington State’s Dezmon Patmon had broken two tackles on the play.
In the event that Dorian Thompson-Robinson didn’t splendidly offer the fake to the left side of the field, just to look on his right side and discover Devin Asiasi for a touchdown pass.
In the event that Thompson-Robinson didn’t limp his way into the end zone for a three-yard run after getting injured before in the game.
In the event that Kyle Philips didn’t break three tackles while crisscrossing the field on his way to a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown.
In the event that Krys Barnes didn’t wrap up Washington State’s Easop Winston Jr., making the ball to pop out.
In the event that Felton didn’t dash and turn his way into the end zone on a 15-yard touchdown get with 67 seconds left.
In the event that Keisean Lucier-South didn’t blindside Cougars quarterback Anthony Gordon on the next play, causing a fumble that Josh Woods recouped.
On the off chance that … well, people get thought.
Everything became all-good for UCLA on Saturday night at Martin Stadium after the Bruins fell into a 32-point hole with under seven minutes left in the second from last quarter. At a certain point, ESPN gave the nineteenth ranked Cougars a 99.9% likelihood of triumph.
“It’s crazy, huh?” said UCLA coach Chip Kelly, whose team scored 50 points in the second half, topping the 42 it had scored in its first three games combined. “I always thought we could be a good football team if we can be consistent.”
A scout from the Canadian Football League’s British Columbia Lions, detecting the pointlessness, all things considered, halfway through the second from last quarter, ascended from his seat in the press box, let out a heavy sigh and ascended the stairs toward the exit.
Hopefully, somebody halted him to watch a completion that outlined why sports are life’s incredible unscripted dramatization.
It may have gone down as UCLA’s wildest game in its 100 years of football, despite the fact that technically it qualified as just the second-biggest rebound in school history. The Bruins encouraged from 34 points down against Texas A&M in September 2017 yet had never experienced anything like this.
UCLA surrendered 63 points, 720 yards, nine touchdown passes … and won, winning in a game in which the teams consolidated for 130 points, a Pac-12 Conference record.
The Bruins (1-3 in general, 1-0 Pac-12) were unfailingly terrible before things went haywire. Their secondary got more than once burned, defenders missed a great many handles and the exceptional teams surrendered a 45-yard punt return.
It was almost all Bruins after Washington State left tackle Liam Ryan raised Gordon into the air in the festivity of his seventh touchdown pass, which gave their team a 49-17 lead. Indeed, even after the Cougars (3-1, 0-1) surrendered 29 unanswered points, triumph appeared to be assured when they separated Thompson-Robinson’s fourth-down pass with 2½ minutes left to get the show on the ball back.
In any case, Washington State couldn’t run out the clock, Barnes forcing a challenged fumble that Woods recouped for his third takeaway. UCLA’s defense constrained six turnovers, significantly increasing the two takeaways it had produced in the season’s first three games.
“Our defense, obviously, you look at the points and all the other stuff they gave up,” Kelly said after his team surrendered 720 yards, a school record in the modern era, “but they came up with turnovers and that was huge for us.”
After his team got the ball the road back for one increasingly chance at triumph, Kelly pushed the foam microphone on his headset toward his mouth to call his next play.
It took three plays for UCLA to score, Felton, getting a short third-down pass from Thompson-Robinson and weaving through defenders for the go-ahead touchdown. The typically stoic Kelly couldn’t contain his happiness, grinning and hitting hands with a couple of players.
Somehow, regardless of the conditions, these were guttiest of Bruins.
“I just kept on telling our guys just to keep fighting,” said Felton, who added a zigzagging, 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in addition to his 94-yard catch and game-winning play. “You know, if we keep fighting, keep on doing our jobs, there’s nothing that can stop us.”
There had been another adherent on the sideline, Cota uncovering afterward that graduate assistant Jerry Neuheisel had channeled his dad Rick’s steady hopefulness by constantly advising the beneficiaries they were going to drive and score.
“There was just something there,” Cota said, “and we were all excited to keep playing and we just never doubted ourselves and it was fun.”
Thompson-Robinson celebrated the game’s final score by spinning in triumph, arms raised over his head. It was the night that made a huge difference for a once-slumping sophomore who threw for a career-high 507 yards and five touchdowns while running for two additional touchdowns in spite of getting waylaid prior in the game.
“I was probably the happiest man in the world for my boys,” said Thompson-Robinson, whose 564 total yards of offense was a school record, breaking the 515 yards that Cade McNown produced against Miami in 1998.
Thompson-Robinson said he cried a short time later, understanding the importance existing apart from everything else given how hard the Bruins had functioned with no substantial result before Saturday.
“We put in so much time and effort into this,” Thompson-Robinson said, “and to see it all pay off finally is definitely special.”
Washington State coach Mike Leach had seemed to troll Thompson-Robinson and Kelly on Twitter prior in the week, posting a GIF of Henry Winkler from the film “The Waterboy.” Winkler depicted a coach who had lost his way, and Leach apparently seized on this in the midst of Kelly’s battles with an ambivalent offense that scored only 14 points in every one of its first three games. The caption on the tweet read “Dorian fakes to the left. No … He fakes to the right … He doesn’t fake … He pretends to fake.”
Thompson-Robinson appreciated the last laugh, retweeting Leach’s picture with a GIF of someone laughing uncontrollably and slapping his knee in pleasure. Perhaps someone ought to have revealed to Leach that Winkler is a major UCLA fan, routinely showing up at Bruins’ games inside Pauley Pavilion.
“HA!” Thompson-Robinson’s caption read. “GOT HEEM!”
Without a doubt, he did, in most sudden fashion.
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