Brown Jr. scores twice as California defeats UCLA 28-18
PASADENA, Calif. — Christopher Brown Jr. ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns as he led California to a 28-18 victory over UCLA on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
It is the sophomore’s second 100-yard game this season. Both of his touchdowns came in the second half as the Golden Bears completed the regular season with wins in three of their last four.
Cal (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) led 14-10 at halftime before they went up by two scores with 5:38 remaining in the third quarter on Brown’s 1-yard run up the middle. After UCLA responded with Joshua Kelley’s 1-yard TD run and Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s pass to Delon Hurt for the 2-point conversion, Brown got another huge hole and went 11 yards to give the Bears a 28-18 advantage 7 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Chase Garbers was 17 of 29 for 230 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Makai Polk had four receptions for 78 yards and a TD.
Thompson-Robinson completed 23 of 39 passes for 278 yards with a touchdown and an interception but was sacked six times. The sophomore was forced out of the game during the fourth quarter due to a nagging ankle injury.
Kelley gained 76 yards on 19 carries as he became the eighth running back in school history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
UCLA (4-8, 4-5) got on the board first when Thompson-Robinson found Jaylen Erwin for a 19-yard touchdown with 8:26 remaining in the first quarter. Cal went three-and-out on its first two drives before getting touchdowns on its next two. Polk tied it when he caught a short slant from Garbers and went 44 yards with 3:04 remaining in the first.
The Golden Bears then took a 14-7 lead with 9:56 remaining in the second quarter on Garbers’ 1-yard sneak. JJ Molson brought the Bruins within 14-10 at halftime with a 31-yard field goal on the last play of the first half.
Cal linebacker Evan Weaver had nine tackles and broke the school’s single-season record that had stood for 34 years. Weaver, a finalist for the Butkus Award, finished with 173 tackles during the regular season, surpassing Hardy Nickerson’s mark of 167 set in 1985.
Weaver leads the nation in tackles and has reached double digits in 17 of his last 18 games.
Kelley went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season by hurdling over Cal safety Jaylinn Hawkins for a 20-yard gain during the first quarter.
California: After snapping a nine-game losing streak to Stanford in The Big Game, the Bears broke a two-game losing streak to the Bruins and got their first win in the Rose Bowl since 2009.
UCLA: The Bruins appeared to be making progress with three straight wins at midseason, but they end the year with three straight losses. Chip Kelly is 7-17 in two seasons leading the program.
California: Will play in a bowl game for the third straight year.
UCLA: Opens the 2020 season against New Mexico State on Aug. 29.
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