PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw three touchdown passes, Zach Charbonnet rushed for 106 yards and another score, and UCLA wrapped up its first eight-win regular season since 2015 with a 42-14 victory over California on Saturday night.
Kyle Philips caught two touchdown passes, Greg Dulcich caught another and Kazmeir Allen rushed for a score in the home finale for the Bruins (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12), who finished with 32 unanswered points to complete their first unbeaten November since 1998.
With its fourth win in five meetings between the Pac-12’s two California public schools, UCLA also wrapped up a share of second place in the Pac-12 South for the first time since 2014.
Chase Garbers and Christopher Brooks rushed for touchdowns for the Golden Bears (4-7, 3-5), who have seven losses for the fifth time in the mostly dismal decade since Cal fired Jeff Tedford, the winningest coach in school history.
After racking up 636 yards last week in their Big Game blowout of Stanford, the Bears managed just 14 net yards on their first four drives of the second half while UCLA pulled away.
Thompson-Robinson rushed for 102 yards and passed for 164 in another impressive all-around game after he led a 62-33 thrashing of rival Southern California in the annual crosstown showdown. Charbonnet also came through with his seventh 100-yard game of the season, gashing the Pac-12’s top rushing defense.
UCLA led 10-0 early in the second quarter on Philips’ 4-yard TD catch, but Brooks and Garbers sandwiched their touchdowns around a fumbled kickoff return by Allen, the breakout star of the Bruins’ win at USC.
The Bruins went up 24-14 on Dulcich’s 29-yard TD catch shortly after halftime. UCLA could have extended the lead moments later, but a sprinting Allen allowed an exceptional long pass from Thompson-Robinson to go straight through his hands on an egregious drop.
Thompson-Robinson shook it off and led an 80-yard drive moments later capped by Charbonnet’s 1-yard TD run. The quarterback then hit Philips for another score with 8:53 to play.
California: With one game left, the Bears are stuck in mediocrity for another season under fifth-year head coach Justin Wilcox, who must be frustrated by the COVID-19 obstacles put in his program’s way in Berkeley during an otherwise solid second half of the season. His future is uncertain given his 25-28 record, and with Washington — where he was the defensive coordinator from 2012-13 — needing a new head coach.
UCLA: The Bruins completed their first winning season under fourth-year coach Chip Kelly with another solid victory, although they haven’t yet won over their fans and alumni. Just 36,156 turned out on a chilly night in Arroyo Seco, capping a season of low attendance at the Rose Bowl. That’s largely because of the disappointment of Kelly’s previous three losing seasons, but the well-paid coach finally could be turning the tide.
California: Southern California visits Strawberry Canyon for the schools’ regular season finale on Saturday night in a game postponed from mid-November.
UCLA: Its first bowl game since 2017, most likely the Sun Bowl or Las Vegas Bowl.
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