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UCLA Football: Dorian Thompson-Robinson is Here to Stay

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Although the Bruins have gotten off to an 0-2 start in 2018, true freshman QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson has provided glimpses of what’s to come.

UCLA v Oklahoma Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Although the UCLA Bruins got romped by the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, one thing was evidently clear, true freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is the real deal.

After a forgettable debut against the Cincinnati Bearcats, Thompson-Robinson bounced back nicely in a hostile environment against the then-No. 6 team in the country. He didn’t shy away from the challenge, as he threw for 254 yards and one score while completing 16 of 26 passes. Oklahoma’s defense is no joke. So, for a true freshman QB making his first ever start, putting up those numbers is very impressive.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson was under pressure all afternoon due to a very poor performance from UCLA’s offensive line. More impressively, though, was his ability to protect the football, even though he was sacked 6 times in the game. When he was rushed to throw the football, he still converted a decent amount of impressive strikes.

A 65-yard catch-and-run to Caleb Wilson was a fantastic read by Thompson-Robinson, he found his tight end in the soft part of the defense after using his eyes to bait Oklahoma’s defenders. His most impressive strike was an absolute dime to WR Theo Howard for 45 yards, just short of a touchdown. His cannon was on full display there and he placed the football where only the wide receiver could snag it.

After not being on the same page with his receivers last weekend against the Bearcats, Thompson-Robinson flipped the script very nicely. He made a lot of nice reads and made sure the wide outs went through their progression before passing the football.

Personnel-wise, the offense seems to “move” better when Dorian Thompson-Robinson has either Kazmeir Allen or Joshua Kelly lined up as running back. Whenever Bolu Olorunfunmi is lined up at RB, it’s a clear giveaway that the Bruins will most likely run the football. We saw it time and time again last week. Whenever Olorunfunmi was in the game, Oklahoma would stack the box or dial up a blitz. It’s clearly an iffy fit.