Haener’s TD pass lifts Fresno State to 40-37 disruptions over UCLA

PASADENA, California (AP) -Jake Haener threw in 455 yards, including the starting shot for Jalen Cropper with 14…

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -Jake Haener threw in 455 yards, including the starting shot for Jalen Cropper with 14 seconds left, and Fresno State disrupted No. 13 UCLA 40-37 Saturday night in the Rose Bowl.

Haener overcame a crushing hit to his right hip in the fourth quarter to gather the Bulldogs. After UCLA regained the lead with 54 seconds left on Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 15-yard pass to Kyle Phillips, a lame Haener instructed a six-play, 75-yard run that gave the Bulldogs (3-1) their fourth straight win over Bruins.

Cropper had three receptions in 50 yards on the drive, including TD. Josh Kelly also had a 26-yard catch that put the ball on UCLA 12 with 23 seconds left.

Haener completed 38 of 53 passes to Fresno State, which completed the job toward a Pac-12 program after leading the then No. 11 Oregon in the fourth quarter two weeks ago before losing.

Cropper had 14 receptions for 141 yards and Kelly added eight catches to 120 yards. Ronnie Rivers rushed 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Fresno State had a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the final 7:27 included four lead changes.

Thompson-Robinson passed 278 yards and three touchdowns, while Phillips had seven receptions for 113 yards and two TDs. Zach Charbonnet ran for two touchdowns for the Bruins (2-1), which was ranked for the first time in four years.

Haener’s 19-yard strike to Erik Brooks put Fresno State back 33-30 with 2:55 left, but Thompson-Robinson instructed a nine-play, 74-yard drive that culminated in his second TD pass of the night to Phillips.

The Bruins were able to gather back due to a few Bulldogs turnover. Fresno State led 26-17, had the ball at UCLA 9 and sought to put the match away with 9:23 left when Carl Jones deprived Haener of the ball. After rolling 34 yards and a mad fight ensued, Myles Jackson restored it at UCLA 43.

Three games later, Thompson-Robinson delivered a perfect pass to Phillips, who avoided Bralyn Lux’s coverage, for a 38-yard score to bring UCLA within 26-23.

The Bulldogs would not have it long on the subsequent possession as Kelly fumbled for a 13-yard finish. UCLA’s Jordan Genmark Heath recovered and returned the 20 yards to the Bulldogs 18.

UCLA took its first lead since the first quarter when Charbonnet restricted a three-play drive with a 3-yard TD in the middle to bring the Bruins to 30-26.

Rivers opened the scoring with a 1-yard run up the middle with 5:54 left in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead. The 2-point conversion was not good after holder Carson King’s pass was incomplete.

Rivers then broke a couple of tackles en route to a 36-yard score on the right sideline midway through the second quarter to extend Fresno State’s lead to 20-10.

UCLA responded after Rivers’ first touchdown with its own scoring drive to take a 7-6 lead. Thompson-Robinson joined Kam Brown on the first game of the drive for 38-yard completion for the Bulldogs 35. Four games later, Charbonnet ran it in from 6 yards out for his fifth TD of the season.

Fresno State regained the lead on the subsequent possession with a 14-game drive that lasted just over seven minutes. Cropper limited the drive with a 1-yard run on a jet-sweep to give the Bulldogs a 13-7 advantage with 11:49 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs had a 23-10 lead at the break. However, UCLA came within six on Thompson-Robinson’s 39-yard pass to Brown on the opening run of the second half.


Fresno State: The Bulldogs held the ball for 40 minutes, showing that it could be a force in Mountain West.

UCLA: The Bruins had four passes on 38 yards or more yards, but it was unable to stop Fresno State’s passing attack.


UCLA may remain in the polls after showing resistance to regroup, but it was a bad week for the Pac-12.


Fresno State begins its Mountain West plan on Friday against UNLV.

UCLA travels to Stanford on Saturday to begin Pac-12 games.


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