STANFORD – Though the Bruins haven’t always been able to link up through the air, their ground game has put them up by two scores through the first half.
In its first road game of the season, No. 24 UCLA football (2-1) leads Stanford (2-1) 21-7 at halftime. Senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has thrown nine completions for 116 yards, but on the ground, the Bruins have 114 rushing yards and all three of their touchdowns – two of which came from Thompson-Robinson.
With 23 seconds left in the second quarter, UCLA’s signal-caller scored his second touchdown of the half on a read-option, pushing the Bruin lead back to 14.
Junior running back Zach Charbonnet accounted for the other UCLA score with 15 seconds left in the first quarter, capping off the Bruins’ longest drive of the day so far – 18 plays for 88 yards down the field.
UCLA’s offense has largely operated through Charbonnet, as the Michigan transfer has racked up 17 carries through the first half, good for 84 rushing yards. Charbonnet has added 57 yards receiving, while redshirt junior wide receiver Kyle Philips leads the Bruins’ receivers with two receptions for 28 yards.
Stanford won the coin toss to begin the game, electing to start with the ball. However, the Cardinal didn’t convert a first down until 8:36 to go in the second quarter. On that drive, Stanford also crossed midfield for the first time, and a 19-yard completion to the Cardinal’s Brycen Tremayne put the home team within seven.
Through the first half, Stanford has managed 126 yards on offense.
With 1:22 to go in the half, Thompson-Robinson completed four passes in a row to Charbonnet to bring UCLA on the doorstep of Stanford’s end zone. After a completion to redshirt junior Greg Dulcich brought the Bruins to the Stanford two-yard-line, Thompson-Robinson capped off the drive with his second score.
After a missed field goal off the upright could have cut Stanford’s deficit down by 11 points, UCLA will receive the second-half kickoff.