Garbers Sparks Second Half Rally

By Paul Bartelt

IPA Sports Editor

Inglewood, Ca.     After trailing 16 to 7 at halftime, UCLA quarterback Collin Schlee was injuerd  Saturday evening and his replacement, Ethan Garbers, stepped in to lead the Bruins to four consecutive touchdown drives and a 35-22 victory over Boise State in the Starco Brands LA Bowl. Before 32,780 in attendance, this was the Bruins first Bowl victory for Coach Chip Kelly in his six-year tenure at UCLA..

UCLA Quarterback Ethan Garbers

On college bowl seasons opening day, Garbers came off the bench after injuring his arm in the Bruins final Pac 12 game against Cal. Starting quarterback Schlee was helped off the field after suffering a concussion, right after he carried the ball on a 44-yard run to the Boise State nine-yard line at the 11:26 mark of the third quarter. Three plays later, Garbers five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kyle Ford made the score 16-14. UCLA took the lead after Garbers connected with wide receiver Michale J. Sturdivant for 39 yards setting up running back T.J. Harden’s one-yard touchdown run. 

On the Bruins next possession, Garbers led UCLA down the field with Harden this time scoring on a 14-yard run giving the Bruins a 28-16 lead after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, Garbers again connected with Sturdivant, this time on a 40-yard scoring pass. Boise State’s only score in the second half came with 5:08 remaining in the game when running back George Holani scampered 66 yards for a touchdown. Boise State could not score on the two point conversion and UCLA ran out the clock holding on to the victory. Harden finished the game with 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Garbers completed 9-12 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

Playing less than half the game, Garbers was named the LA Bowl offensive MVP on the field stage after the game. UCLA racked up 510 total yards of offense averaging eight yards per play while finishing the season with an 8-5 record. The Bruins top-rated defense in the Pac-12 Conference allowed Boise State only 130 total yards in the second half. UCLA is moving to the Big Ten Conference next season. Bruins defensive end Laiatu Latu, the Conferences Defensive Player of the Year, did not dress for the game. He is expected to be a top 10 pick in next April’s NFL Draft.

Boise State finished the season with an 8-6 record after now being bowl eligable for 26 consecutive years. Boise State Head Coach Spencer Danielson , who took over late in the season, compiled a 3-1 record in the Universities final four games.

UCLA Coach Chip Kelly

This is the third year SoFi Stadium has hosted the LA Bowl. The game was broadcast live nationally on ABC Television.