Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and his son Cole were in El Paso on Friday to watch UCLA fall 37-35 in heartbreaking fashion to Pitt in the 2022 Sun Bowl.
Roberts played baseball at UCLA from 1991–1994, was a team captain his final year with the team and a two-time All-Pac 10 selection. Last year Roberts expressed his support for the Bruins men’s basketball team reaching the Final Four, and Dodger Stadium put up graphics on video boards as a show of solidarity.
Roberts took in the action from a sideline at the Sun Bowl as the Bruins and Panthers played a seesaw affair.
Pitt took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter but Dorian Thompson-Robinson helped UCLA go up quickly after. However, his three interceptions allowed the Panthers to remain close throughout most of the afternoon.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is at the Sun Bowl today cheering for UCLA. pic.twitter.com/Oi8fI78VGK
— Colin Deaver (@ColinDeaverTV) December 30, 2022
UCLA’s defense appeared to turn the tide when an interception put them 28-14 with under nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. However, Pitt responded with 20 unanswered points to take a lead in the fourth quarter.
Despite Thompson-Robinson being removed due to injury, the Bruins mounted a late drive with Ethan Garbers connecting on multiple passes en route to a touchdown that put them up 35-34 with just 34 seconds remaining.
The Panthers didn’t have any timeouts remaining but Nick Patti helped lead them into field goal range for Ben Sauls to deliver a game-winning kick. Sauls finished 5-for-5 on field goal attempts, with a long of 49 yards.
Dave Roberts surprised by UCLA leaving to Big Ten
UCLA and USC sent shockwaves throughout the sport in July with the announcement they would leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten conference as vested members in 2024.
Although several sports are being impacted, the focus has gone to implications with the college football perspective. The decision essentially boiled down to UCLA and USC being in position to receive a significant increase in revenue as Big Ten members.
The sudden news didn’t set well with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and the decision also came as a surprise to Roberts.
“I was taken aback,” Roberts earlier this year. “I got good ties over there. I’m sure they’ve got their reasons, so I’m going to be political.
“But I’m pretty surprised by that. I love the Pac-12. So I don’t know how it’s going to work logistically, but I guess the people in the trenches have a better idea. But yeah, I was taken aback.”
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