UCLA will look to improve on its impressive season-opening offensive performance when the Bruins host Alabama State on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
UCLA (1-0) opened with a 45-17 win against visiting Bowling Green on Saturday, but the Bruins trailed by 10 points early in the second quarter before wearing down the Falcons in heat over 100 degrees.
The first two offensive possessions for UCLA last week ended with a blocked punt for a touchdown and an interception by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. But the fifth-year QB regrouped to pass for 298 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 87 yards and two scores.
“I can’t stop thinking about the pick,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I’m going to be super, super critical about that, making sure to clean up those mistakes, especially a lot of the stuff that happened in the first quarter.”
Alabama State (2-0) also is looking to improve over last weekend, when the Hornets squeezed out a 21-13 win against Division II opponent Miles College.
Unlike the Bruins, Alabama State played its best football in the first 15 minutes. The Hornets built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter but fell apart, committing six turnovers (five on fumbles), including three in a row to start the second half.
“We’re a long way from being a championship team, but the good thing is we got the W,” Alabama State coach Eddie Robinson Jr. said. “We’re going to learn from our mistakes.”
Alabama State should have confidence on defense. The Hornets held Miles to 225 total yards at an average of 2.9 yards per play.
UCLA had 626 total yards against Bowling Green, including 269 rushing.
In addition to Thompson-Robinson, the Bruins will look for continued production from highly regarded running back Zach Charbonnet, who rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries against Bowling Green.
–Field Level Media