Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s Ave Maria attempt fell in need of the top zone and fell to the turf as No. 13 UCLA lost 40-37 to Fresno State on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins, who entered the rankings for the primary time since 2017 in the week, haven’t had a win as a ranked team since 2015. Thompson-Robinson was 14-of-24 passing with 278 yards and three touchdowns, including one that gave the Bruins a four-point lead with but a moment remaining, but Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener stole the show with 455 passing yards on 39-of-55 passing. He threw two touchdown passes, including one with 14 seconds left to stun the Bruins, who were riding high after a convert Louisiana State fortnight ago.
Thompson-Robinson had a team-high 67 yards on 13 carries as Fresno State’s stout rushing defense locked up running backs Brittain Brown (23 yards) and Zach Charbonnet (19 yards). Jake Haener dropped to his knees and raised both arms to the sky after throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Cropper to place Fresno State up 40-37 with 14 seconds remaining.
After an incomplete down on the first down, Haener fired completions of 10, 27, and 26 yards to quickly get the Bulldogs to the UCLA 12-yard line with 23 seconds remaining. The Washington transfer finished the drive two plays later together with his second touchdown pass of the day. With UCLA fans stunned into silence by a sublime throw from Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener, Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the Bruins on a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to re-take the lead, 37-33, with 54 seconds remaining.
Thompson-Robinson hit Kyle Philips for a 15-yard touchdown to place the Bruins up. The Bruins got critical third-down conversions from Thompson-Robinson, who scrambled on third-and-six, and Brittain Brown, who leaned forward to urge only enough on third-and-one. Just when UCLA fans were gaining steam, Jake Haener put them back in their seats.
The Fresno State quarterbacked fired a dart to Erik Brookes for a 19-yard touchdown to place the Bulldogs back ahead, 33-30, with 2:55 remaining. Haener, who has missed several open receivers tonight, threaded the pass right by the outstretched arms of Jay Shaw and kept it inside the boundary, allowing Brooks to haul it certainly the score. The Bulldogs had first-and-goal from the nine-yard line on the drive, but protected on penalties off consecutive plays, giving UCLA fans some confidence that their resurgent defense could hold the lead. The touchdown was Fresno State’s first since the 6:37 mark of the second quarter.