BERKELEY — Joshua Kelley ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns to give coach Chip Kelly his first win at UCLA, 37-7 over California on Saturday.
The Bruins (1-5, 1-2 Pac-12) entered the day one of four winless teams in the FBS as part of their worst start since 1943. But UCLA dominated the trenches against the Golden Bears (3-3, 0-3) to give Kelly his first win as a college coach since leaving Oregon for the NFL following the 2012 season.
Kelley scored on a 5-yard run to cap a 59-yard drive set up by a fumble by Patrick Laird in the first quarter. Then, after Cal finally got on the board with Laird’s 1-yard run on the opening drive of the second half, Kelley and the Bruins answered with two straight scoring drives capped by Kelley’s 1-yard runs that made it 27-7.
He has been a bright spot in a down season for UCLA, becoming the first Bruins player with three straight 100-yard games since Jordon James in 2013.
Keisean Lucier-South put the capper on the rout with a 38-yard fumble return for a score after one of Cal’s five turnovers.
The Bears dropped their third straight conference game after starting the season 3-0 and getting into the AP rankings for the first time since 2015. The offense struggled for any consistency outside of the 75-yard drive to open the third quarter. Cal was stopped twice on fourth-and-short in the second half, dooming any hopes of a comeback.
Brandon McIlwain completed 22 of 40 passes for 168 yards but was held to minus-2 yards rushing, lost two fumbles and threw two interceptions.
Bruins freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was very efficient. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 141 yards including one that deflected off receiver Michael Ezeike’s hands and right to teammate Caleb Wilson to set up Kelley’s first TD. He also did damage with his legs, including a 20-yard run that helped set up one of Kelley’s second-half scores.
The first-half woes for the Bears could be summed up on a late drive. In the closing seconds, Kanawai Noa tried to fight for extra yards instead of going out of bounds on a sideline catch. That forced Cal to spike the ball on third down at the 15. Greg Thomas came on for a 32-yard field goal and hit the upright after being iced with two timeouts, leaving Cal scoreless at the half.
Cal freshman linebacker Chris Fatilua, who suffered a serious spinal cord injury during a swimming accident in June, got a warm ovation from the crowd in his first appearance at Memorial Stadium. He was hurt just before starting his college career.
“There’s a lot of emotions that go on, just overwhelming really but just really happy to be out here and be with the guys, just really grateful,” he said.
Army 52, San Jose State 3
SANTA CLARA — Kelvin Hopkins Jr. was in no mood to talk after the best game of his career. Army’s quarterback overheated late in the afternoon and was inside the Black Knights locker room getting treatment.
It was somehow fitting on a day Hopkins when made San Jose State’s defense look ill all afternoon.
Hopkins ran for 99 yards and a season-high three touchdowns and threw for a fourth, and Army beat San Jose State 52-3 on Saturday.
“It was a warm day out there and I think everybody got a little gassed, and he did too,” Black Knights head coach Jeff Monken said. “So did I. I was looking for water in the middle of the third quarter. I stared to feel a little woozy in my knees.”
Coming off a bye week and making their first trip to the West Coast in four years, the Black Knights (4-2) trailed 3-0 early in the second quarter before Hopkins and Army’s running game got going.
Knocked out of the game briefly on the first series, Hopkins returned to engineer three long scoring drives to put Army comfortably ahead in the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Hopkins threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to running back Jordan Asberry, scored on a one-yard sneak in the second quarter, then added a dazzling 24-yard run on an option keeper.
It’s the first time an Army quarterback has scored three rushing touchdowns in one game since A.J. Schurr had four against Hawaii on Nov. 23, 2013.
Darnell Woolfolk and Cam Thomas each had a touchdown run and John Abercrombie made his first career field goal. The Black Knights outgained the Spartans on the ground 341-36.
“When you’re expected to win you need to come out and show people that you mean business,” Woolfolk said. “Take nothing away from San Jose State. They’re a really good team. (Our) guys did a really good job of mentally preparing themselves.”
Army also got a big lift from its defense, which forced three turnovers during a five-play span in the third quarter and had four overall.
Kenneth Brinson, Cameron Jones and James Nachtigal each had a strip-sack deep in Spartans territory. Nachtigal also scored on a 52-yard fumble return.
“Our mindset was just keep our foot on the gas, don’t let up and don’t give them hope,” Nachtigal said. “Those turnovers really helped solidify that.”
Bryce Crawford had a 49-yard field goal for San Jose State (0-6). The Spartans entered the day as one of four winless teams in the FBS.
“They beat us every which way possible,” San Jose State coach Brent Brennan said. “You turn the ball over four times in a game, you’re going to lose. This was a total gut-punch for our program.”
The Black Knights got their first win in California since 1979 with the same pattern they’ve had all season — a dominant running game and an opportunistic defense that converted four turnovers into 24 points.
The Spartans held their own early and led in the first quarter for the first time this season. It was all downhill after that. Coach Brent Brennan tried rotating quarterbacks in the second half but it didn’t make a difference.
San Jose State gave up 24 points in the third quarter. A week earlier the Spartans did the opposite against Colorado State when they put up 30 in the third quarter to erase a 28-0 deficit.