UCLA football picks up first road victory of 2020 season against Arizona State
Demetric Felton had his fewest touches of any game in 2020, but the redshirt senior running back came up big for UCLA football scoring a game-winning touchdown with just over one minute left to play. (Tanmay Shankar/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Jack Perez
Dec. 5, 2020 11:41 p.m.
This post was last updated Dec. 6 at 11:25 p.m.
TEMPE—Even in a game he didn’t start, Demetric Felton delivered a win for the Bruins.
UCLA football (3-2) defeated Arizona State (0-2) 25-18 on Saturday in Tempe. The redshirt senior running back scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:09 left, and UCLA’s defense came up with a pass breakup on a late Hail Mary to seal the first road win of the year for the Bruins.
Felton was a surprise nonstarter, but he finished the game with 41 yards on 10 carries, far away from his career-high of 206 rushing yards against Arizona the game before. In the end, he punched in the touchdown.
Junior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson finished the game with 192 passing yards and 49 rushing yards to complement his two total touchdowns. This was his first game since missing the previous two because of COVID-19 contact tracing protocols.
He talked about his feelings over the past two weeks in isolation.
“Obviously, it’s frustrating,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I can’t be out there with my team. I love those guys. I love the game. It was obviously frustrating being able to see them on TV and not being able to be there and contribute.”
However, Thompson-Robinson committed an intentional grounding penalty in his own end zone, resulting in a safety that brought the Sun Devils within five midway through the third quarter.
Arizona State hit a field goal to end the first half and scored the first 15 points of the second half to turn a 17-0 deficit into an 18-17 lead.
The Bruin defense was able to force two turnovers while the offense coughed up none. Both stops came in the red zone – one a fumble on the 1-yard line, the other an interception in the end zone.
Redshirt junior linebacker Caleb Johnson recovered the fumble and added 10 total tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. He said he followed his first instinct as soon as the handoff was botched.
“I just (saw Arizona State quarterback) Jayden Daniels drop it, and I just had to dive for it real quick,” Johnson said. “We had just talked about how we need to get turnovers and jump whenever we see a fumble.”
Daniels threw his first interception of the season but also threw for 225 yards and a touchdown to almost lead his team back to a victory,
The first half was almost all UCLA. The Bruins scored 17 points and held Daniels to one rushing yard. However, in a game of two halves, the second one decided the final result, and UCLA came out the victors.
UCLA is now over .500 for the first time in coach Chip Kelly’s tenure in Westwood. Kelly said returning players and good luck have kept the Bruins mostly healthy and with two straight wins heading into the regular-season finale.
“We feel very fortunate to get the guys back because they’ve worked so hard and they deserve it,” Kelly said. “But to get (junior wide receiver) Delon (Hurt) back, to get (redshirt junior defensive back Quentin) Lake back, to get (Thompson-Robinson) back was huge for our football team, and we needed all three of those guys to help us win today.”