UCLA rallies but loses Sun Bowl on late Pitt field goal

EL PASO, Texas — In a thrilling finish, Pitt’s Ben Sauls kicked his Sun Bowl-record fifth field goal with 4 seconds left to drive the Panthers to a 37-35 upset over No. 18 UCLA on Friday.

After a stellar first half in which the Bruins led 21-14, senior quarterback Dorian Thompson Robinson left the field in the fourth quarter with an apparent back injury after his third interception of the game.

Down 34-28 with 2:01 to play, sophomore Ethan Garbers took over and the led Bruins down the field for 70 yards in eight plays. Freshman running back TJ Harden scored on an 8-yard scamper and Nicolas Barr-Mira’s extra point gave the Bruins a 35-34 lead with 34 seconds left.

With no timeouts, Pitt quarterback Nick Patti needed just 30 seconds to drive the Panthers 46 yards and set up Sauls’ heroics.

The Bruins (9-4) committed five turnovers, including a muffed kick return. Thompson-Robinson, who at halftime was 14 of 18 for 263 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, finished 16 of 24 for 271 yards with two touchdowns and the three picks.

Harden, who played at Inglewood High, ran 11 times for 111 yards and the tying score. The Bruins were without injured starting running back Zach Charbonnet, whom UCLA coach Chip Kelly tried to play but couldn’t go.

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The Bruins led 28-14 after Jaylin Davies returned an interception 52 yards at 8:45 of the third quarter, but were outscored 23-7 the rest of the way by the Panthers (9-4).

More to come on this story.

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