UCLA football quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and safety Quentin Lake talked to reporters following the Bruins’ 42-14 win over Cal at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, reflecting on what could have been their final home game in blue and gold and how they ran away with the victory in the second half.
Sustaining being locked in on both sides since Colorado halftime?
Dorian Thompson-Robinson: I think just that, focus. When you're playing each play as its own individual play, not trying to focus on the end result, which is obviously scoring or getting a three-and-out, but when you focus on each individual play and you can consistently be locked in on each individual play, I think that helps out a lot.
Quentin Lake: Yeah, and on the defensive side, we just had a lot of momentum in the month of November. Had a big shutout second half against Colorado, came out, had multiple turnovers and successful drives against USC, and then tonight held Cal, who 600 total points of offense last year – last week against Stanford. So we just got the ball rolling and, like Dorian said, just locking in on every play, running to the ball, all the fundamentals. I think when you lock in on the fundamentals on the defensive side, you just do your job, you'll have shutout games or low-scoring games. So happy for the guys, proud of the guys, let's keep this ball rolling.
Thinking maybe this is your last game in the Rose Bowl? How did you treat tonight?
DTR: Yeah, exactly, who knows. I have to go back and talk to my family, obviously coach Kelly and coach Gundy and then gonna have some words with people that I look up to and we get advice from, and then make my decision from there. But right now, I'm just happy we got this moment and I'm gonna go live it up tonight with my teammates.
QL: Yeah, who knows, can't speak on it. Just obviously, gotta relish in the win, that's the biggest thing. Focus on the next game, but those are decisions that are gonna be made a little bit later. Um yeah, who knows.
Hoping for Vegas bowl?
DTR: Most definitely. I’m speaking it into existence. I can’t wait to go home.
Most memorable UCLA moment?
DTR: I think for me, just the overall process, took a lot of lumps, this team took a lot of lumps, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Just the moments of adversity I got with my teammates, and all that bringing us together, finally paid off. We’re at an eight-win season and keeping it rolling. The overall process, we have to go through those adverse times and those rough patches, for sure.
QL: I think everybody bought in – that was the biggest thing to me. We were down in the dumps the first two years. Honestly, it was tough because you want to win, you want to be successful. When things aren’t going your way, you might lose hope, lose a little bit of faith, but we bought into the program, bought into what Coach Kelly had for us. Had a little bit more experience through the years and you see what happens when you got guys that bought in and the guys that really invest the time to coach and staff and organization. For me, if we’re talking about one game I would say LSU. That was just the highlight – one of the highlights of the season.
QL: We were in cover two. End of the game, knew that they wanted to drive down the field. Receiver had a little stim inside and I read him, read the quarterback good, broken on the ball, picked it off, should’ve taken it back. But it doesn’t always happen like that. Two for two in the last two games I’m excited about that. But look, I’m looking hopefully going three-for-three in this bowl game. But just gotta keep working. Keep locking in every week, have a good week with practice and hopefully looking for that third one.
Thoughts on Lake?
DTR: He’s grown so much. He was here a year before me so a little older, but I’d like to say I’m a little bit more wiser. But nah, Q’s a great teammate. Definitely a brother of mine, a close friend. Has really grown a lot just in how he handles his teammates off the field. Great guy on the field obviously, he’s a field general. Just to really see him mature and grow as a teammate off the field has been fun to watch
Dorian to Greg moment:
DTR: Greg’s awesome. He’s my roommate. I’ve said time and time again, we have a great relationship. We see the field the same and he knows how to get open and he knows how to get in space and use that space well. Definitely a blessing to have him as well as KP and Cota and rest of those guys. I think just overall it’s a blessing to have him as a tight end
What bowl game do you want?
QL: I want the Vegas Bowl, that would be fun.