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UCLA dominates University of Hawaii football team at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                UCLA Bruins running back Brittain Brown (28) runs the ball today during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Hawaii Warriors in Pasadena, Calif.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    UCLA Bruins running back Brittain Brown (28) runs the ball today during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Hawaii Warriors in Pasadena, Calif.

PASADENA, Calif. >> UCLA won the season-opening coin toss, and then dominated nearly everything else in a 44-10 rout of Hawaii at the Rose Bowl.

A crowd of 32,982 saw the Bruins established a run game early, and then found points with their passing game and specialists. They scored on a blocked punt in the third quarter.

>> RELATED: BLOG: University of Hawaii football team vs. UCLA at Rose Bowl in California

The outcome ended UCLA coach Chip Kelly’s drought against nonconference opponents. In his first three years at UCLA, Kelly’s Bruins were winless in six games against non-Pac-12 members.

The Bruins were gifted an early opportunity when the Rainbow Warriors’ first drive stalled. After Matthew Shipley launched a punt, the replay official sent a review alert. The official then confirmed that Shipley’s right knee touched the grass when he tried to handle the low long snap. UCLA was awarded possession at the UH 5. The Bruins were held to a field goal, but the tone was set.

The Bruins then unleashed a two-prong attack — a running game that produced four first-half touchdowns, and a pass rush limited the Warriors’ run-and-gun options.

The Bruins did not mask their strategy of powering against an opponent that yielded more than 200 rushing yards per game in 2020. And while the Bruins’ offense usually revolves around dual-threat quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson — “DTR” to the UCLA faithful — this time the carries went to running backs Brittain Brown and Michigan transfer Zach Charbonnet.

In the first half, Brown rushed for a touchdown and Charbonnet weaved and sprinted for three more as the Bruins raced away to a 31-3 at the intermission. In the first 30 minutes, the Bruins amassed 203 rushing yards, an average of 9.7 yards per carry. Charbonnet gained 106 yards on six carries, translating to 17.7 yards per rush. The Bruins’ ground game picked up for DTR, who struggled with his accuracy.

UH quarterback Chevan Cordeiro also struggled early, but under different circumstances. The Bruins used multiple fronts and combinations with the same intent: storm the UH backfield and harass Cordeiro. Two of Cordeiro’s first-half passes were knocked down. Another pass was intercepted by defensive lineman Datona Jackson’s right hand, setting up Brown’s 1-yard touchdown for a 17-0 lead.

Shipley’s 48-yard field goal, the longest of his two-season UH career, got the Warriors on the JumboTron scoreboard. But the Warriors missed a scoring chance late in the second quarter when Cordeiro’s third-and-goal pass was dropped and his ensuing throw was broken up.

On the first drive of the second half, the Bruins went 75 yards in five plays to widen their lead to 37-3 with 13:02 remaining in the third quarter. DTR’s 44-yard strike to Kazmeir Allen accounted for the TD.

A bright moment for UH was Cordeiro’s 1-yard scoring pass to tight end Caleb Phillips. Phillips, who transferred from Stanford in June, had not played the position since high school. He was an outside linebacker with the Cardinal.

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For more Hawaii football, visit the Warrior Beat blog.

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