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UCLA football heads into 2nd half with 7-point lead over Washington Huskies

Senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has two touchdowns in the first half of UCLA football’s game against Washington – one on the ground and one in the air. The Bruins enter the halftime break up seven. (Tanmay Shankar/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Jon Christon

Oct. 16, 2021 7:28 p.m.

SEATTLE — The Bruins’ balanced attack has given them an early lead in the Evergreen State.

UCLA football (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) leads Washington (2-3, 1-1) by a score of 17-10 at the half. A week after posting a 329-82 rushing to passing yard ratio, the Bruins have gained 133 yards on the ground and 117 through the air, giving them a 102-yard advantage in the first 30 minutes of play.

Senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has already exceeded his passing performance from a week ago, throwing for more than 100 yards with 10 completions – one of which resulted in a touchdown. The signal-caller had three passing yards in the first half against Arizona on 1-of-8 throwing. 

UCLA’s rushing game has also made an appearance, with Thompson-Robinson combining with junior running back Zach Charbonnet for 105 yards and a touchdown at the break.

Both teams traded punts to open the game before the Huskies sustained a 12-play, 74-yard drive that ended with the first points of the evening, a 25-yard field goal from Washington kicker Payton Henry. 

UCLA responded with a 75-yard drive of its own the next possession, capping it off with a 19-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kam Brown to put the Bruins ahead 7-3. Thompson-Robinson found Brown to his left on a bubble screen with only four linemen up front, as junior offensive lineman Sean Rhyan lined up out wide to lead the blocking convoy ahead of Kam Brown.

Picking up its second defensive stop of the game early in the second quarter, UCLA forced Washington to punt from its own end zone. However, punter Race Porter launched a ball all the way to the UCLA 27-yard line, forcing the Bruins to start another drive in their own territory.

But that didn’t stop UCLA from tacking on more points. Charbonnet and redshirt senior running back Brittain Brown combined for 37 yards on the ensuing drive to help put the Bruins into field goal range, and redshirt sophomore kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira’s 39-yard field goal extended UCLA’s lead to seven.

After forcing a three-and-out on the Huskies’ next possession, UCLA again found itself in Washington territory. Facing a fourth-and-goal from the Husky 1-yard line, coach Chip Kelly – as he’s done multiple times already this season – chose to go for it.

Behind a push from Brittain Brown, Thompson-Robinson squeezed into the end zone on a quarterback sneak after initially getting stifled at the line, giving him his second touchdown of the first half.

Washington’s first touchdown of the night came with less than a minute left in the half, as UCLA entered the halftime locker room up seven.

The Bruins will receive the ball to begin the second half.

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Jon Christon | Sports senior staff
Christon is currently a Sports senior staff writer. He was previously the Sports editor on the men's basketball and football beats and the assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis beats. Christon was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and softball beats.
Christon is currently a Sports senior staff writer. He was previously the Sports editor on the men's basketball and football beats and the assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, softball, men's tennis and women's tennis beats. Christon was previously a contributor on the women's basketball and softball beats.
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