Zach Charbonnet ran for 106 yards and three touchdowns in his debut for UCLA and the Bruins defeat Hawai’i 44-10 in a 2021 college football season opener for both teams on Saturday.
Charbonnet, a junior running back from Camarillo, Calif., ran six times with the ball on the day for an average of 17.7 yards per carry, with his long rush being a 47-yard scoring run late in the first quarter. He also had a pair of 21-yard runs for touchdowns for UCLA, which scored on each of its first five possessions, including three on short fields, thanks to a few Hawai’i miscues.
Meanwhile, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson went 10 of 20 completed passes for 130 yards with one touchdown, for the Bruins, while Brittain Brown ran for 78 yards and a score as UCLA dominated the opening minutes of the game by scoring an impressive 24 points in the first quarter.
The Bruins, who led 31-3 at halftime, also scored 13 points in the third quarter to help set up the victory for Chip Kelly, who was secure his first nonconference victory.
“I thought that our entire team played with really good energy today, but our defense really set the tone nicely,” said Kelly. “We deferred and kicked off and for them to do what they did, where the punter ends up with the ball down on the 10, a lot of really good things happened and I think that we’ve got some kids in one-on-one matchups, Bo Calvert at outside linebacker and made some plays and Mitchell Agude was flying around in there.
“We had a decent rotation. It was obviously a really hot day so we had to play a lot of guys, but for the first one out of the gates, there is a lot to teach and a lot of good things that we can show them off the film.”
Matthew Shipley kicked a 48-yard field goal to put up the first points for Hawai’i in the first quarter, while Caleb Phillips collected a one-yard pass from Chevan Cordeiro in the fourth quarter to help scored the Rainbow Warriors’ other seven points in the contest.
Chevan Cordeiro finished 25 of 47 on completed passes for 220 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
The UCLA Bruins will return to action next Saturday at the Rose Bowl against No. 16 ranked LSU, with kick-off time set for 8:30 p.m. ET. The game will air on FOX and AM 1150 Radio.