UCLA fans had been wondering all week if junior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and several others would return from COVID-19 protocols after missing the previous two games after two players tested positive for the coronavirus and contact tracking resulted in others a Pac-12 mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Felton, who had thrown for 499 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the season, did indeed return and lead the Bruins to a 17-3 halftime score, including a TD pass of nine meters. to Delon Hurt, and a touchdown run of 11 yards with 30 seconds to go in half.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Chase Griffin had started the previous two games in Thompson-Robinson’s absence and did fine, but the Bruins clearly wanted their experienced signal caller back, completing 11 of 15 passes for 128 yards and also rushing for 45 yards in the opening 30 minutes.
The other surprise was that junior running back Demetric Felton, who finished eighth nationally in rushing yards per game (134.2) during Saturday’s game, did not start the Bruins’ first run.
Felton appeared to be injuring himself late in the fourth quarter of last week’s win against Arizona, but when Bruins coach Chip Kelly was asked about Felton’s injury status on Monday, he said the Bruins’ back was okay and was practicing, but it was. no word before kickoff why he didn’t start. Felton only had four carries for 12 yards in the first half.
.UCLA, USC NEXT SATURDAY?
The rivalry between USC and UCLA is scheduled for Saturday at the Rose Bowl, but the time has not yet been determined.
Los Angeles County stay-at-home orders have so far not affected practices or games for USC or UCLA, and USC will play at the Coliseum in Washington State on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
The USC and Washington State were originally scheduled to play Friday night, but USC had canceled its game against Colorado a week earlier due to COVID-19 positive tests within the USC program that left the Trojans lacking enough offensive lineman to play Colorado due to contact to take with tracing.
As a result, the USC-Washington State game was moved to Sunday to give the Trojans the necessary time for players to bounce back from coronavirus protocols.
With USC playing on Sunday, UCLA coach Chip Kelly was asked this week if the annual rivalry game could possibly be moved from Saturday to Sunday or even a few days back so that the Trojans have more time to prepare.
Kelly noted that UCLA had moved its game against Cal to Sunday earlier in the season and played Oregon the following Saturday.
“I have not had a discussion,” Kelly said of the possibility. “I know we played a short week before the Cal game, but I haven’t argued with anyone about that. What I’ve learned at COVID is that we’re usually the last to know. They just tell us what to do.
“I don’t think anyone is asking us what we should or shouldn’t do, and I’m fine with that.”
PLAYERS MUST NOT DRESS RED SHIRTS
When a reporter reminded Kelly that Saturday’s game against ASU was the Bruins’ fifth game and players who play a fifth game are usually not eligible to use the season as a redshirt to qualify for an extra year Kelly rejected it, noting that every player in college football will essentially have a “red-shirt” year because of the coronavirus.
“That red shirt will go on file this year,” Kelly said. “This year doesn’t count for anyone. Everyone, whatever their status now, will have their status when we go back to fall, as we understand it. So there is no conversation about four games, five games. The rule of four games does not exist. ”