In digging themselves out of a big first-half hole, the Bruins powered themselves to a blowout win and a spot in a bowl this winter.
UCLA football (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) hosted Colorado (3-7, 2-5) on Saturday and ended up winning 44-20. Taking a look at each unit individually, here are the three student-athletes who have earned the All Bruins UCLA Football Players of the Game awards.
Offensive Player of the Week: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
If Thompson-Robinson's thumb wasn't at 100% last night, he sure hid it pretty well.
He started his day 5-for-5 before his first incompletion of the night. Thompson-Robinson's next pass was an interception, and it was a rough one – it was bold to throw over the middle to tight end Greg Dulcich, but there was a window there and he just missed it high.
Thompson-Robinson's next pass was just as frustrating, as he threw a perfect ball to receiver Kam Brown for a 41-yard touchdown, only for it to get called incomplete since Brown was flagged for illegal touching after stepping out of pounds.
From that point on, Thompson-Robinson was nearly perfect.
The senior went 13-of-19 for the rest of the game, picking up 235 yards in that span. Even though he didn't toss a touchdown pass, a 68.4% completion percentage on 12.4 yards per attempt and a 172.3 passer rating is pretty much all you can ask for.
Thompson-Robinson had a career night on the ground as well, putting up 100 yards on eight carries, excluding the one sack he took for just 1 yard. He scrambled for first downs and regularly evaded multiple pass-rushers, and his 22-yard keeper on a zone read led to an easy touchdown.
Including the touchdown that got wiped out by the illegal touching and the field goal miss in the second quarter, the Bruins had eight straight drives end in scores or scoring chances, and Thompson-Robinson led the way on all of them.
Of UCLA's 502 yards, 356 came from Thompson-Robinson.
After getting forced out of the Oregon game early, trying to practice left-handed and eventually missing the Utah game, Thompson-Robinson showed a lot of guts to take hits and play as well as he did in his return against Colorado.
Defensive Player of the Week: DB Qwuantrezz Knight
All eyes were on the offense when they put up 30 straight points to dig themselves out of an early hole, but the reason those points went unanswered is because the defense flipped a switch in the second half.
Now, a lot of that improvement has to do with Colorado's offense being ranked No. 119 in the country entering Saturday and the Buffaloes having their way with the Bruins early on. But credit where credit is due – UCLA played about as well as you can on defense in that second half, and the defensive backs were a big reason why.
Safeties Stephan Blaylock and Quentin Lake led the team in total tackles and combined for 17 on the night, helping stuff runs and blow up underneath routes. The Bruins' safety-nickelback hybrid position contributed as well, getting 10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss out of the top duo at that spot.
Striker Qwuantrezz Knight was the standout at that position, and on the defense as a whole, chipping in six tackles and 2.0 tackles for loss against the Buffaloes. Knight's first tackle for loss helped UCLA hold Colorado to a field goal late in the second quarter, and it also wound up giving the Bruins enough time to drive down the field for a field goal of their own before halftime on the next possession.
After UCLA came out and scored a touchdown to open the third quarter, Colorado was driving and made it to midfield. Instead of letting the Buffaloes answer, however, Knight chased down quarterback Brendon Lewis for an 18-yard loss, stopping the drive dead in its tracks and forcing a punt. The Bruins got the ball back and took the lead seven plays later, and they never looked back.
The plays Knight made saved points and got UCLA back in it quick, and that's not even taking into account the energy and leadership he brings on every play.
Special Teams Player of the Week: PR Kyle Philips
Philips had been a plus special teams player this season, and he even earned Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week back in late September against Stanford thanks to a 59-yard return.
Saturday marked a high-point for him on the year, though.
The game was pretty much sealed when the Bruins went up 37-20 early in the fourth quarter, but it was Philips who put a few more nails in the coffin when he took a punt 82 yards to the end zone. Philips danced around after fielding the ball off a bounce, slightly inching his way forward before bursting up the middle and beating the punter down the left sideline.
It was Philips' second career punt return touchdown, with his first coming on a 69-yarder against Washington State in 2019. This one wasn't as important as that one, since the comeback had already been completed by the time Philips found the end zone this time around, but it was a great return nonetheless.