Haener’s TD pass lifts Fresno State to UCLA’s 40-37
Pasadena, California. – Jake Hainer threw for 455 yards, including the tee to Jalen Cropper with 14 seconds remaining, and Fresno State No. 13 won UCLA 40-37 Saturday night in the Rose Bowl.
Hanner overcame a smash hit to his right hip in the fourth quarter to rally the Bulldogs. After UCLA regained the lead 54 seconds before Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 15-yard pass to Kyle Phillips, Hainer limping a six-game, 75-yard pass gave the Bulldogs (3-1) their fourth straight win over the Bruins.
Cropper had three receptions for 50 yards on the drive, including a TD. Josh Kelly also had a 26-yard catch that put the ball into UCLA 12 with 23 seconds left.
Hainer completed 38 of Fresno’s 53 passes, which finished the job against the Pac-12 after leading in the then-no. 11 Oregon in the fourth quarter two weeks ago before losing.
Cropper had 14 receivers for 141 yards, and Kelly added eight catches for 120 yards. Ronnie Rivers lunged for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Fresno State had a nine-point advantage in the fourth quarter, but the 7:27 final included four major changes.
Thompson Robinson passed for 278 yards and three touchdowns while Phillips had seven receptions for 113 yards and two TDs. Zach Charbonnet ran twice to land for the Bruins (2-1), who were first seeded four years ago.
Hainer’s 19-yard hit to Eric Brooks put Fresno State back 33-30 with 2:55 minutes remaining, but Thompson Robinson took out a nine-play, 74-yard pass, culminating in Phillips’ second TD pass.
The Bruins were able to rise again due to a pair of Bulldogs transformations. Leading 26-17, Fresno State had the ball in UCLA 9 and was looking to put the match away with 9:23 remaining when Karl Jones stripped Hainer of the ball. After it rolled 34 yards and a crazy struggle ensued, Miles Jackson reclaimed it at UCLA 43.
Three plays later, Thompson-Robinson provided a perfect pass for Phillips, who escaped covering Bralyn Lux, for a 38-yard score to bring UCLA within 26-23.
The Bulldogs didn’t have long in the ensuing possession when Kelly fumbled after completing 13 yards. Jordan Genmark recovered Heath from UCLA and returned it 20 yards to the 18 Bulldogs.
UCLA took its first lead since the first quarter when Charbonnet capped a triple drive with a TD 3 yards in the middle to put the Bruins in 30-26.
Rivers opened the scoring by 1 yard in the middle with 5:54 remaining in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead. The two-point conversion wasn’t good after Carson King’s stand-up pass was incomplete.
Rivers then broke in a pair of tackles en route to a 36-yard score over the right-side line midway through the second quarter to extend Fresno State’s lead to 20-10.
UCLA responded after Rivers first landed with a scoring drive of their own to advance 7-6. Thompson-Robinson tied up with Cam Brown on the first play of the drive to complete 38 yards to the Bulldogs 35. Four plays later, Charbonnet ran her from 6 yards out for his fifth TD of the season.
Fresno State regained the lead in the ensuing possession with 14 games that lasted over seven minutes. Cropper capped with a 1-yard drive in a jet sweep to give the Bulldogs a 13-7 advantage with 11:49 left in the first half.
Bulldog was leading 23-10 in the first half. Although UCLA got a six on Thompson-Robinson’s 39-yard pass to Brown in the opening drive in the second half.
Fresno State: The Bulldogs held the ball for 40 minutes and showed they could be a force at Mountain West.
UCLA: The Bruins had four passes from 38 yards or more, but weren’t able to stop a passing Fresno State attack.
The repercussions of the opinion poll
UCLA may still be in the polls after showing the audacity to turn back, but it was a bad week for the Pac-12.
Fresno State begins its schedule at Mountain West Friday against UNLV.
UCLA travels to Stanford on Saturday for the start of the Pac-12 game.
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