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Oregon Defeats UCLA 34-31 in Thrilling Win at the Rose Bowl

No. 10 Oregon @ UCLA in a College Gameday battle at the Rose Bowl

On a cloudy day in Pasadena, Oregon and UCLA went at it in the biggest Pac-12 game so far this season. Oregon won the toss to begin the game and deferred to the second half, so the Bruins began the game with the ball. UCLA methodically moved the ball down the field with ease on their first possession, with a 12 play 75-yard drive ending in a touchdown run from Brittian Brown to give UCLA an early 7-0 lead.

Oregon started their first drive of the game with 23 yard and 7-yard completions to Johnny Johnson III to get into UCLA territory. A promising start, but Oregon turned it over on downs at the UCLA 34. But on the next play from scrimmage, Dorian Thompson-Robinson's pass was intercepted by DJ James, with Brandon Dorlus applying pressure. Oregon only went backward from there though, with the drive ending in a blocked punt.

That allowed UCLA’s offense to begin at Oregon's 30-yard line, and it didn't take long for UCLA to capitalize. The Bruins marched right down and scored on a Thompson-Robinson touchdown pass to Kazmeir Allen to make it 14-0 with 4:08 to go in the first quarter.

An illegal blindside block on Oregon’s Bryan Addison on a kickoff that wasn’t even returned forced the Ducks to start at their own 12-yard line. Oregon hit a huge play to Devon Williams to get them to the 7-yard line before the offense scored two plays later on a Travis Dye touchdown run.

UCLA drove down the field aided by some Oregon penalties again, but the Ducks held UCLA to a 35-yard field goal attempt, which missed wide left. Oregon held strong to keep it a 14-7 ballgame with 8:06 left in the first half.

Oregon put together another promising drive in the second quarter, with Brown spreading the ball around. Freshmen Seven McGee and Troy Franklin came up with some big plays to keep the drive alive and got Oregon into the red zone. Dye finished the drive off with a four-yard touchdown run to tie the game up at 14.

UCLA went with a two-minute drill to end the half, entering Oregon territory. Verone McKinley saved a touchdown with a pass breakup, which forced UCLA into a fourth-down situation. The Bruins converted the fourth down and had a chance to score a touchdown, but Kayvon Thibodeaux came in with a strip-sack to hold UCLA to a field goal attempt, which they drove through the uprights. UCLA  led Oregon 17-14 at halftime.


Oregon got the ball to start the second half and Brown came out throwing again with a deep pass to Mycah Pittman to get Oregon in the red zone. Brown ripped another ball to Kris Hutson to get the ball to the one-yard line and Dye did the rest to give Oregon their first lead of the game, 21-17.

Camden Lewis kicked out of bounds to give UCLA the ball at their own 35-yard line. But Oregon’s defense came up huge with a three-and-out to give the ball back to the Oregon offense. UCLA then fumbled the punt just like what happened the last time Oregon played in this stadium against Wisconsin in the 2020 Rose Bowl.

The play set up Oregon at the UCLA 22-yard line. Oregon converted a big third-and-four to Pittman and finished off the drive with a fourth touchdown from Travis Dye. Lewis missed the PAT so it was a 27-17 Oregon lead with 8:52 left in the third quarter.

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Oregon got the ball back and began to get another drive going, but Kris Hutson lost a fumble and gave the ball to UCLA in plus territory. Shortly after, Thibodeaux said enough with that and sacked Thompson-Robinson to get the Bruins out of field goal range. 

Chip Kelly went for it on fourth-and-18 and didn’t convert, giving Oregon good field position. Dye had a great run off a screen pass and then a designed QB run from Brown went for a 43-yard touchdown to give Oregon a three score lead at 34-17.

At this point, Oregon’s pass rush was getting into the backfield often and it resulted in Thompson-Robinson ending up on his back, but he still threw some strikes to move the chains. UCLA had a fourth-and-4 and converted, which led to a Thompson Robinson touchdown run to make it 34-24 Oregon with 10:35 left in the game.

Anthony Brown had his worst throw of the day, an interception that got UCLA right back into the game with the ball spotted at the Oregon 20-yard line. Oregon had the Bruins in another fourth down situation, but another defensive holding penalty against the Oregon secondary gave the Bruins another chance, and UCLA turned it into six points with a Brown touchdown to make it a three point game again.

Oregon had control of the game and had the ball, but Brown threw an interception for a touchback to give UCLA one last chance. UCLA converted multiple fourth downs to move the chains, but with the game on the line Ethan Garbers, who replaced an injured Thompson-Robinson, threw a pass that was intercepted by DJ James to seal the victory for Oregon, who improves to 6-1 on the season.

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