historic nemesis dooms UCLA in astounding solar Bowl loss to Pittsburgh - la times

EL PASO, Texas — 

For a couple of forlorn minutes, it regarded the last picture of Dorian Thompson-Robinson in a UCLA uniform can be him walking slowly off the field and right into a tunnel, his left arm draped around the shoulder of a trainer.

The injured quarterback become granted a reprieve Friday afternoon when his team picked up a fourth-down stop and drove essentially the length of the container for the go-forward aspects towards Pittsburgh in the solar Bowl. Thompson-Robinson again to the box, slapping fingers with jubilant teammates while a wide smile cut up his face, the Bruins curiously on a way to an epic comeback victory with simply 34 seconds left.

within the end, there turned into handiest a dazed expression as Thompson-Robinson made an extra dejected stroll again towards the tunnel, his face shooting the essence of what had simply transpired during No. 18 UCLA's crushing 37-35 loss.

"complicated finish," Bruins teach Chip Kelly spoke of in whatever thing of an irony.

UCLA gave the impression of it might face up to the lack of its quarterback to an obvious decrease-returned injury, the effect transferring during the remaining minutes adore it turned into being whipped around via the gusty winds that overtook the stadium.

subsequently, it became an ancient nemesis that doomed the Bruins on a day they gave up 20 unanswered facets.

Their defense.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Bub Means (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against UCLA.

Pittsburgh vast receiver Bub potential (15) celebrates after scoring a landing towards UCLA.

(Andres Leighton / linked Press)

speeding simplest three defenders on Pittsburgh's final offensive collection, which the Panthers all started at their personal 25-yard line with 34 seconds left and no timeouts, the Bruins couldn't keep away from the Panthers from directly getting into container-intention latitude.

"That become what the plan was," Kelly pointed out, "however absolutely we didn't come out on the right aspect of that."

Nick Patti, Pittsburgh's backup quarterback, found holes even with the entire extra protective backs shedding into coverage with the hope of preserving the Bruins' 35-34 lead. He achieved one flow for 18 yards. a different for 17 yards. finally, now not seeing anything else to his liking, he tucked the ball in his arm and took off running, gaining 11 more yards to the UCLA 29 with 10 seconds left.

Onto the container ran kicker Ben Sauls, who had made all 4 of his old box goals. He brought a fifth on the forty seven-yarder with four seconds left, sprinting in social gathering towards the a ways conclusion zone as his teammates poured into the box.

Pittsburgh's Ben Sauls kicks a 47-yard field goal to lift the Panthers to victory over UCLA in the Sun Bowl.

Pittsburgh's Ben Sauls kicks a forty seven-yard container intention to raise the Panthers to victory over UCLA within the sun Bowl.

(Andres Leighton / associated Press)

UCLA backup quarterback Ethan Garbers' closing desperation circulate changed into intercepted, sending the Bruins (9-4) to their third loss in 4 video games as part of an incredible downer of a finish to the season. a number of Pittsburgh avid gamers waved goodbye to their UCLA counterparts who lingered on the container in greatly surprised silence.

The Bruins started the online game devoid of star operating returned Zach Charbonnet, whose absence in part offset the s lew of roster holes Pittsburgh (9-four) become forced to plug with its properly quarterback and operating returned out, amongst others. Kelly mentioned Charbonnet warmed up but "wasn't a hundred%," leading the team to hang him out as a precaution.

for three quarters, it gave the impression of a joyous sendoff for Thompson-Robinson. He talked smack after an 11-yard touchdown pass to Logan Loya, earning an unsportsmanlike behavior penalty, and made plane wings with his arms whereas operating downfield to celebrate a 49-yard completion to Titus Mokiao-Atimalala.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scrambles against Pittsburgh in the first half.

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scrambles towards Pittsburgh in the first half.

(Sam Wasson / Getty images)

in the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Bruins held a 28-21 lead and Thompson-Robinson essential handiest 14 passing yards to eclipse Cade McNown's college checklist of 10,708 yards. however Thompson-Robinson did not see Pittsburgh linebacker Bangally Kamara, who stepped in front of a pass to notch the Panthers' third interception. the primary had long past off Loya's palms and the 2d off tight end Michael Ezeike's chest at excessive pace.

"I consider the wideout instruct will say we've obtained to catch it, the qua rterback educate will say we've bought to place it in different places," Kelly stated. "That's football — now and again the ball bounces humorous approaches and also you've received to make changes."

Thompson-Robinson not ever back, cameras later displaying him crying on the sideline. A manager held up a towel to provide him privacy on a day the Bruins didn't carry their damage tent. He comprehensive his last online game having achieved 16 of 24 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns alongside the three interceptions and one dashing touchdown.

"That's my boy," Bruins defend Jon Gaines II observed, "so it sucked to look him go down."

UCLA wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala heads to end zone for a touchdown.

UCLA vast receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala heads to conclusion zone for a touchdown as Pittsburgh shielding again Erick Hallett grabs his shirt right through the primary half.

(Andres Leighton / associated Press)

The momentum squarely on its facet, Pittsburgh tied the ranking on Rodney Hammond Jr.'s seven-yard landing run with 12:44 left. The Panthers brought two field goals to take a 34-28 lead with four:24 closing.

It looked the Bruins have been headed for defeat when Kamara hurried Garbers into a fourth-down incompletion, the Panthers taking over at the UCLA 37 with best 2:21 left.

but the Panthers couldn't decide upon up a primary down and the Bruins gave themselves an additional probability thanks to having preserved all three timeouts.

taking up at its personal 30-yard line with 2:01 to go, UCLA scored in only eight performs. Garbers accomplished two of three passes, together with a 14-yarder to Jake Bobo, and freshman T.J. Harden cut backyard for an eight-yard touchdown run that gave the Bruins a 35-34 advantage with 34 seconds left.

On the UCLA sideline, a wild social gathering erupted, avid gamers gleefully flitting about and flapping towels.

"We felt like when we scored there with under a minute left," Kelly spoke of, "confidently we did enough."


Pittsburgh wide receiver Jake McConnachie celebrates after the Panthers' win.

Pittsburgh extensive receiver Jake McConnachie celebrates after the Panthers' win.

(Andres Leighton / associated Press)

shielding coordinator invoice McGovern's return from fitness issues that had forced him to pass over the outdated five video games become bittersweet, the Bruins unabl e to get the cease they mandatory.

there were no silver linings for Thompson-Robinson, a Heisman Trophy contender earlier than his team's late-season slide charge him the ending he desired.

"You consider for him," Kelly mentioned. "He's just such a warrior, and if he couldn't go, then you definitely know he gave everything. He's simply executed that for 5 years right here."

His faculty profession comprehensive, no extra reprieves to return, there became handiest a different solitary walk to make.

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