UCLA Steamrolls Hawaii in Season Opener

Photo from Twitter.

By Terrance Turner

Aug. 28, 2021

College football is back.

The University of Hawaii faced off against the University of California (at Los Angeles) today at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The story of the day was Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet, whose dazzling run game helped power UCLA to record-setting heights. The UCLA Bruins rolled over the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors today, 44-10.

UCLA caught a break early when it punted. Hawaii’s returner had his knee down when he caught the punt. That caused a change in possession for UCLA. They advanced to the 10-yard line before settling for a field goal. The kick put UCLA up 3-0.

The Bruins’ defense forced Hawaii into two straight three-and-outs. But UCLA would score on each of its first five possessions. An eight-play drive culminated when running back Zach Charbonnet scored his first UCLA touchdown. His 21-yard TD gave the Bruins a 10-0 lead.

Hawaii QB Charvin Cordeiro was intercepted by the UCLA defense. That put the Bruins in position to score; they made it to 1st and goal. On 4th and goal, running back Brittain Brown scored with a 1-yard touchdown. That made it 17-3.

Hawaii would go on to kick a field goal, but UCLA scored again when Charbonnet broke loose (again) for a 47-yard TD. Breaking tackles and bursting past defenders, Charbonnet ran 47 yards on his way to the end zone. His stunning TD run put the Bruins up 24-3.

With 46 seconds left in the quarter, the Bruins had generated 24 points. That’s the most the Bruins have scored in the first quarter since 1988, according to ESPN. Hawaii needed to score to stop UCLA’s momentum, but they wouldn’t. They went for it on 4th down but were unsuccessful. UCLA took over after Hawaii turned it over on downs.

Then Charbonnet took off to the end zone yet again. This time, it was a 21-yard touchdown that padded the Bruins’ lead. Charbonnet would finish the game with 6 carries for 106 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Now down by 28, Hawaii desperately needed to convert before the end of the half. The Rainbow Warriors made it to 1st and goal. On 3rd and goal, an end-zone throw by Cordeiro was ruled incomplete. The same was true on 4th and goal. UCLA led 31-3 at halftime.

In the second half, the Bruins’ dominance continued. QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson finally threw a touchdown of his own, finding Kazmeir Allen for a TD. Minutes later, the Bruins scored off yet another turnover. A blocked punt by Hawaii was returned for a touchdown by David Priebe:

It was 44-3 when Hawaii launched its drive. With three minutes left in the third quarter, Hawaii finally scored. Chevan Cordeiro found tight end Caleb Phillips in the end zone for the touchdown. The fourth quarter was scoreless, with a slew of penalties against UCLA and no points by either team. But it didn’t matter. The Bruins’ dominant performance helped them to beat Hawaii 44-10.

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