As anticipated, the Bruins got here away with a win this weekend, however how they acquired it might not have been as predictable.
UCLA soccer (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) beat Arizona (0-5, 0-2) 34-16 at Arizona Stadium on Saturday. As shut because it appeared like it could be for the primary half and alter, the Bruins pulled away late because of some huge performs and the protection lastly getting dwelling with some regularity.
These are 4 of the largest takeaways, narratives and questions to return out of Saturday’s recreation.
Arizona is not really that dangerous
The primary half being as shut because it was principally needed to do with the Bruins lacking alternatives and simply not taking part in that nicely to begin off.
However nonetheless, the Wildcats appeared fairly good.
UCLA had a really comparable outing in opposition to Arizona to the one Oregon put collectively just a few weeks in the past. The Geese led the Wildcats 24-19 heading into the fourth quarter, whereas the Bruins have been up 24-18 at that time within the recreation.
Each UCLA and Oregon turned on the fuel within the fourth quarter to safe a snug win. Even after the Geese misplaced to Stanford and dropped out of the top-four, it is nonetheless a serious praise for the Bruins to be in comparison with a top-10 staff that is favored to win the convention.
Wouldn’t it have been extra comforting for UCLA to go forward early and never break a sweat? In fact.
However quarterback Jordan McCloud appeared actually good and defensive coordinator Don Brown actually appeared to get in quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s head. Once more, a part of that has to do with the Bruins’ protection being poor as soon as once more and Thompson-Robinson clearly being off, however credit score the Wildcats for taking part in a very stable three quarters earlier than McCloud went out and working again Brittain Brown took over.
The 2-headed monster is again
Zach Charbonnet burst onto the scene in his first-ever recreation with UCLA, and he instantly acquired extra hype and a spotlight that Brown.
That is with Brown nonetheless being listed because the starter this complete time, plus the truth that he rushed for over 200 yards in opposition to Stanford final 12 months. Because the incumbent although, Brown as previous information, and folks have been all aboard the Charbonnet bandwagon when he rushed for over 100 yards in opposition to each Hawaii and LSU.
Saturday in opposition to Arizona, Brown made certain folks weren’t forgetting he was nonetheless round.
Brown rushed for 146 yards on simply 12 carries, channelling the wild effectivity and big-play potential that Charbonnet dropped at the desk earlier within the 12 months. Charbonnet did his half as nicely, dashing for 117 yards of his personal.
It was the primary time UCLA had a number of 100-yard rushers in the identical recreation in practically a decade, and not is Charbonnet the one man opposing groups have to organize for.
As comparable as their play types and physique varieties are, the pair of runners convey their very own particular person contributions on a game-to-game foundation. Brown, regardless of his stature, virtually served as a change of tempo man Saturday.
No matter who’s in what function, Charbonnet and Brown are going to be harmful shifting ahead.
Thompson-Robinson shouldn’t be himself
For no matter motive, Thompson-Robinson simply didn’t have it Saturday night time.
Good for him and the teaching workers for realizing that and dialing up a brand new recreation plan at halftime, as a result of he got here out and went 7-of-11 on over 11 yards per completion within the second half. He additionally had two good keepers that went for touchdowns, one on a pitch possibility he tucked and ran and one other on a bootleg designed move play.
With that being stated, the one motive the Bruins needed to modify within the first place is as a result of Thompson-Robinson was simply dreadful to begin this recreation.
On the primary drive alone, Thompson-Robinson had 4 incompletions earlier than lastly hitting tight finish Greg Dulcich in the long run zone for six. That 3-yard play to cap off a run-heavy drive with a pleasant bail-out name was the one manufacturing he would get in your complete first half.
Thompson-Robinson was 1-of-8 within the first half, and he completed it off with an absolute duck over the center with 30 seconds left. Not solely did he drive it into double protection, however he additionally underthrew the ball by a stable 10 yards.
He was getting rushed all night time, having to throw it away greater than he had all 12 months, and there was as soon as once more one other dangerous snap by heart Duke Clemens that he needed to clear up and chuck away. Thompson-Robinson stated after the sport that the struggles had nothing to do with the damage he sustained in opposition to Stanford just a few weeks in the past, though he stated final Monday that he wasn’t again to 100%.
It wasn’t like he was visibly in ache Saturday, and his mechanics appeared regular for him.
Thompson-Robinson simply completely had the yips, apparently, and the Bruins will not be capable to rush for 300 yards each time that occurs.
Simply staying afloat
A win is a win, and on paper, there is not an excessive amount of extra you may ask for as a coach or a fan.
However having to play as messily because the Bruins did to beat a winless convention bottom-feeder cannot imply nice issues for the upcoming gauntlet. Arizona, as said above, is way from the worst staff within the FBS and will in all probability have a win or two to its title already primarily based on how nicely they’ve performed.
UCLA is attempting to win the Pac-12 although, so even when Arizona is deemed mediocre, the Bruins ought to be beating them much more simply in the event that they wish to actually contend for a convention title.
Washington is not nice both, however they’re in all probability higher than Arizona. Utah and Oregon are arising too. Saturday’s efficiency, whereas not as dangerous as some made it out to be in actual time, doesn’t encourage a variety of confidence heading into these key video games later this month.
UCLA may very simply come out subsequent week and show it belongs and make an actual assertion in Seattle. However nice groups do not play all the way down to mediocre competitors, which implies the Bruins is perhaps simply that – mediocre.