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UCLA football maintains 1-point lead over Arizona at halftime

Redshirt senior running back Brittain Brown leads UCLA football with 81 rushing yards at the half of its matchup against Arizona. Brown has only seven of the Bruins’ 21 carries, giving him an 11.6 yard per carry average as his team leads the Wildcats by one at the break. (David Rimer/Assistant Photo editor)

By Francis Moon

Oct. 9, 2021 9:26 p.m.

TUCSON — Despite having more incompletions than passing yards, the Bruins are heading into halftime with the lead.

UCLA football (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) leads Arizona (0-4, 0-1) by a score of 14-13 at the break in Tucson, led by 81 rushing yards on seven carries from redshirt senior Brittain Brown. Senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson recorded three passing yards in the entire half while misfiring on seven of his eight throws – including an interception to end the half – but was able to find the end zone twice.

Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud led his team with 147 yards on 16-of-23 passing. Despite the difference in passing yardage between the teams, the Bruins produced 165 yards on the ground compared to 62 from the home team.

After winning the opening coin toss and electing to receive the ball, the Wildcats marched down to the Bruins’ 9-yard line on their first drive of the game before being forced to settle for a 28-yard field goal – the first of kicker Tyler Loop’s career – following a third-down stop. 

With the field goal, Arizona put itself on the board first for just the second time in five games this season, with the other such instance coming against Northern Arizona. The Wildcats are currently losers of sixteen straight games dating back to October 2019 and would be the sole holders of the longest active streak in the NCAA with a defeat tonight.

Thomspon-Robinson responded on the following series, finding redshirt junior tight end Greg Dulcich in the end zone with a 3-yard pass on fourth-and-goal to put his team up 7-3. UCLA would hold the lead for the remainder of the first quarter, though Arizona opened the second period with a 46-yard field goal, this time from kicker Lucas Havrisik.

After securing a stop on fourth-and-one on UCLA’s third possession of the game, Thompson-Robinson punched in a two-yard touchdown run to finish off a nine-play, 72-yard drive for his second score of the night. Brown and junior running back Zach Charbonnet combined to rush for 46 yards on the drive on six attempts.

With three minutes remaining in the half, the Bruins allowed the Wildcats to bring the ball to UCLA’s 10-yard line. On first down, Arizona ran a trick play for wide receiver Jamarye Joiner, who threw the pass to the right to running back Michael Wiley for its first touchdown of the game.

The Bruins received the ball with 30 seconds left and one last chance to score in the half but Thompson-Robinson threw his first interception of the game on a pass down the middle on the first play of the drive.

UCLA will receive the ball to start the second half.

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Francis Moon | Assistant Sports editor
Moon is currently an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, men's soccer, track and field and cross country beats. He was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and women's tennis beats.
Moon is currently an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, men's soccer, track and field and cross country beats. He was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and women's tennis beats.
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