Pasadena, Calif. —Arizona played sixty-minutes of hard nose football and upset ninth-ranked UCLA(8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) 34-28 Saturday night, snapping an eight-game road losing streak against ranked teams.
Jayden De Laura completed 22 of 28 for 315 yards and two TDs and had his fifth 300-yard passing game of the season. De Laura was throwing dimes all over the field.
The sophomore is averaging 340.1 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and a 64.7% completion rate in his last seven games.
He also ran in from 3-yards out during the second quarter to give the Wildcats (4-6, 2-5) a 21-14 halftime advantage.
“That was a big win for the program. It meant a lot,” coach Jedd Fisch said after Arizona’s first road win over a Top 10 team since it defeated No. 2 Oregon in 2014. “That was a fun game. It was pretty good to hold that team to 28 points. That is one of the top five offenses in college football.”
Zach Charbonnet rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns for UCLA, whose chances of making the Pac-12 Championship game took a nose dive.
“We ran into a good quarterback. He extended plays like no one we played this year and even since we’ve been here (in 2018). The plays he made running around were the difference in the game,” said UCLA coach Chip Kelly of de Laura’s play.
The Wildcats took a 14-0 lead with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter on a pair of Bryan Wiley touchdowns.
The junior running back had a 10-yard run up the middle to open the scoring and then caught a 22-yard pass from De Laura to extend the Arizona lead to two scores.
The Wildcats were in the lead most of the night but fell behind 28-24 with 10:22 remaining in the fourth quarter when Charbonnet had a 5-yard TD.
Michael Wiley ran for 97 yards and scored two touchdowns while Jacob Cowing caught nine passes for 118 yards.
Arizona responded with an 8-play, 82-yard drive, capped by De Laura’s 17-yard pass to Tetairoa McMillan on fourth-and-4 to take back the lead 31-28.
After the Bruins turned the ball over on downs, Tyler Loop extended the lead by six points with a 23-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining left in the game.
“We’ve had close games throughout the year but we didn’t finish them. Knowing we were able to close this out is important for the last two games,” de Laura said.
The Bruins drove down to the Arizona 29 yard line, but Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw three straight incomplete passes. He had Jake Bobo wide open in the end zone on the final play of the game, but Bobo was unable to come up with it after diving for the ball.
Thompson-Robinson was 26 of 40 for 245 yards and a touchdown.
“We got a shot at the end, we were probably a step away from making a play,” Kelly said. “We were kind of a step away on a few things tonight. Against a good quarterback you can’t do that. That’s the end verdict and how we lost.”
Arizona: It was a great win for coach Jedd Fisch, who was the Bruins’ OC in 2017 and interim coach for the final two games after Jim Mora Jr. was fired. After two wins last season, the Wildcats could get bowl eligible with wins in their final two games.
UCLA: Besides a key loss to their conference title hopes, the Bruins had an eight-game home winning streak snapped and will fall out of the Top 10.
Arizona: Hosts Washington State next Saturday.
UCLA: Hosts USC next Saturday in the Crosstown Showdown.