PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, Zach Charbonnet added 117 rushing yards and a score and UCLA beat No. 16 LSU 38-26 Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
Thompson-Robinson completed 9 of 16 passes and had an interception. Tight end Greg Dulich had 117 yards receiving, including a 75-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter to tie it at 7.
It is the first time in 13 years a Pac-12 team has defeated a ranked Southeastern Conference squad. Coincidentally, UCLA was the last to do it, when it beat Tennessee in 2008. The Bruins are 2-0 for the first time since 2017 and could be ranked for the first time since 2015 when the AP Top 25 is released on Tuesday.
Charbonnet’s 12-yard run off right end with 9:49 remaining in the second quarter gave UCLA a 14-7 lead that it would not relinquish.
UCLA held LSU to 48 yards rushing and forced a key turnover in the third quarter when Caleb Johnson intercepted Max Johnson’s pass and returned it 34 yards to the LSU 17. Three plays later, Thompson-Robinson connected with Chase Cota for a 14-yard TD to extend the Bruins’ lead to 21-10.
Thompson-Robinson’s 45-yard TD toss to Kyle Phillips extended the lead to 38-20 midway through the fourth quarter.
Brittain Brown added 78 yards on 14 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Johnson was 26 of 46 for 330 with three touchdowns and an interception. Kayshon Boutte finished with nine receptions for 148 yards, including all three scores.
It is the second straight year LSU has lost its opener. The Tigers had to leave campus last weekend due to Hurricane Ida and spent most of the week practicing in Houston.
PLAY OF THE GAME
After Boutte’s 3-yard TD opened the scoring early in the second quarter, the Bruins quickly responded on the first play of the ensuing drive with Thompson-Robinson’s 75-yard connection to Dulcich.
Thompson-Robinson rolled right and found an open Dulcich, who caught the ball at the UCLA 40. The junior tight end took an angle toward the sideline, juked Tigers’ defensive back Major Burns at the LSU 37 and then eluded tackle attempts by Derek Stingley Jr. and Damone Clark near the end zone.
It is Dulcich’s third touchdown of 52 yards or more in the past nine games dating back to last season.
Boutte used an official’s position to his advantage for his second touchdown. The sophomore caught a pass over the middle, was able to elude Jay Shaw when he was incidentally blocked by the official and went 44 yards to get the Tigers within 21-17 in the third quarter.
LSU: The Tigers look as if their pass defense has still not improved. They have allowed 14 completions of 50 yards or more since the start of last season, which is the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
UCLA: The Bruins drew 68,123 to the Rose Bowl, which was more than double the 32,918 that showed up for last week’s opener against Hawaii.
LSU: Hosts McNeese next Saturday in the second meeting between the two schools.
UCLA: Is off next week before it hosts Fresno State on Sept. 18 in its final non-conference game.