Dorian Thompson-Robinson let his play talk in Washington win: Don't disrespect UCLA
UCLA’s quarterback made Washington defenders look silly on several occasions. He made the kind of plays that show up in end-of-the-season recap videos on ESPN. He was on a different level in UCLA’s 40-32 win over No. 15 Washington, but the play that’ll almost assuredly lead film review for the Bruins — the play that perfectly showcased how much Dorian Thompson-Robinson wanted it — is one that you may have missed if you went to bed early Friday night.
A pass was batted at the line of scrimmage. It fell into the arms of a Washington defensive lineman. Thompson-Robinson was simply not about to allow a turnover. Not from him. So the Bruins’ most important piece of a now-5-0 team threw his body like a ragdoll at the UW defender in the hopes it would jar the ball loose.
I’m not exaggerating when I say this is the kind of play I will literally never forget.
Only shows up as an incomplete pass for Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the box score and play-by-play, but it was one of the most badass PBUs I’ve ever seen.pic.twitter.com/HIUROdP3Hw
— Sam Connon (@SamConnon) October 1, 2022
No business decisions made there. No half-measures. No “live to fight another down” thinking. That’s a guy giving his everything.
“He just put his helmet right in that dude’s stomach,” said wideout Jake Bobo after the game. “I think that tells you all you need to know about this dude. We feed off of him. We go as far as he goes and I’ve learned that (he’s) one tough dude. We’re going to keep following his ass.”
Thompson-Robinson is a fifth-year senior starter. Those who have watched him from the beginning have seen a wide range of quarterback play. Friday night, they saw DTR at his absolute best. UCLA was up 33-10 on the hottest team in the Pac-12, which leads you to think after the game that now that title should belong to the Bruins.
“I’m reading through the articles throughout the whole week, people are saying we’re the worst 4-0 team out there, they’re writing us off, so I think my boys came in here with a chip on their shoulder,” Thompson-Robinson said. “I think I told ya’ll on Monday, see if Washington can run with us, not the other way around.”
And Washington couldn’t.
Not even close.
“We have total confidence in everything that Dorian does,” said coach Chip Kelly. “I think he has a great grasp on what we’re trying to do. You look at the last play, it’s third-and-6 and we call a passing play, he put the ball exactly where it needed to be and converted the first down. That’s the confidence we have in him as a quarterback.
“He has played in a lot of really big football games for us. I go back to his freshman year. His first start was at Oklahoma playing in front of 93,000. The one thing about him is he doesn’t get fazed, doesn’t get rattled. He’s as tough as they come, he takes hits, and he gets up and he continues to play. He is a competitor, so it was really cool to see the game end the way it ended. He had three options on the play, went to one right away and ripped it on time. It was really a microcosm of how we feel about him, and we’re going to put the ball in his hands with the game on the line.”
Thompson-Robinson heard everyone saying the Bruins weren’t what their record indicated. He saw the disrespect. He heard the barbs. And he took it out on Washington. After the game, Thompson-Robinson tweeted a screenshot from a USA TODAY piece asking if there was “a less impressive 4-0 team” in the country.
“I do read it,” he said. “I get notifications just like everybody else does. And if you think words don’t hurt, they do. They do and I always remember. Even if I don’t say nothing. We have a lot of things ahead of us. Right now, we’re focused on Utah.”