May 23, 2024

For three years now, Ethan Garbers has spent most of his time on the sideline waiting for his moment.

Beginning his UCLA career as the backup to a veteran, he played only in blowouts or as an injury replacement for two seasons. Just when it looked as if his patience might finally be rewarded, Garbers anointed the starter going into this season, he was overtaken by a true freshman after a shaky showing in the opener.

Back into the shadows he went. More waiting. More doubts about whether any of this would lead to anything worthwhile.

“There were a lot of times where I just kind of wanted to … kind of quit a little bit,” Garbers acknowledged, “But hey, I got to keep my head straight, I got to keep moving ‘cause you never know what could happen.”

What happened Saturday night made the redshirt junior break out in a wide smile and unleash a swinging fist pump.

He got the start against Stanford. He starred. He just might have won the job back.

Rewarding his coach’s faith with the kind of steady and efficient quarterback play that UCLA had been missing in recent weeks, Garbers thrived in his midseason do-over.

Showing an ability to make plays in a variety of ways, Garbers led the No. 25 Bruins to a 42-7 romp over the Cardinal at Stanford Stadium that also featured more sturdy defense from a unit that is making a case to be one of the best in school history.

UCLA (5-2 overall, 2-2 Pac-12) forced two turnovers and limited Stanford (2-5, 1-4) to 24 yards rushing as part of a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. The Bruins are holding opponents to 14.9 points per game, their best showing through seven games since allowing an average of 14.1 points to that stage of the 1988 season.

UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers throws the ball against Stanford

UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) led the Bruins to a win at Stanford Saturday.

(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

Garbers completed his first eight passes while showing poise in the pocket as well as the ability to elude pressure, extending drives with several long scrambles. He finished the night completing 20 of 28 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 51 yards in eight carries.

“Oh, man, it felt great,” said Garbers, who eventually gave way to Dante Moore, Chase Griffin and Justyn Martin in the fourth quarter with his team comfortably ahead.

UCLA coach Chip Kelly said Garbers supplanted Moore as the starter after the latter quarterback was “banged up” early in the week, allowing Garbers to get most of the practice snaps and earn the start “from a practice standpoint in terms of where we are.”

As if taking his cue from Garbers, Moore looked practically unstoppable on his only drive, completing four of five passes for 26 yards and breaking off an 11-yard run.

It’s no secret that Moore had struggled during a three-game stretch in which he compiled twice as many interceptions (six) as touchdown passes (three), including a pick-six in each game. His issues included an inability to escape pressure behind a spotty offensive line and a tendency to stare down receivers, allowing defenders to get a jump on his passes.

Asked how much Moore’s struggles contributed to the quarterback switch, Kelly said they “didn’t.”

UCLA defensive lineman Gabriel Murphy sacks Stanford quarterback Ashton Daniels

UCLA defensive lineman Gabriel Murphy sacks Stanford quarterback Ashton Daniels Saturday in Palo Alto.

(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

Moore’s supporters might point out that his coach did little to help him with his play calling, particularly with a Utah game plan devoid of rollouts, and that the quarterback faced what might have been the three toughest defenses on UCLA’s schedule.

Stanford’s defense has proven to be one of the worst in college football and again looked overmatched Saturday. Garbers capitalized with a first half full of highlights, including an 18-yard scramble that was his team’s longest rushing play of the half. Garbers’ 57 rushing yards by halftime, in seven carries, trailed only running back Carson Steele’s 70.

Garbers found J.Michael Sturdivant cutting across the field for an eight-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter and unleashed his fist pump after scrambling to find Moliki Matavao on a 20-yard touchdown less than two minutes later.

“Really pleased with Ethan today,” Kelly said, “but I don’t think anything that Ethan did surprised any of us on our staff or any of our players because we see that on a daily basis from Ethan.”

UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) runs during an NCAA college football game.

UCLA quarterback Ethan Garbers (4) carries the ball against Stanford Saturday in Palo Alto.

(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

On the day he turned 21, Steele accounted for UCLA’s 21-0 halftime lead with touchdown runs of two, eight and three yards.

“It’s awesome how little things like that kind of work,” said Steele, who finished with 76 yards rushing in 20 carries as part of a running game that rolled up 221 yards.

Garbers said he briefly spoke with Moore about the quarterback switch and received only positive vibes.

UCLA running back Carson Steele (33) bursts through the defense to score a touchdown

UCLA running back Carson Steele (33) bursts through the defense to score a touchdown at Stanford Saturday.

(Scot Tucker / Associated Press)

“We support each other in anything we do — I look for his success, he looks for mine,” Garbers said. “Honestly, it’s just a good relationship that we have. It’s nice to just bounce some ideas or thoughts that you have off of a guy who’s in pretty much the same position you are. He’s been great, he’s a great kid and he’s a great ballplayer.”

So where does this leave the Bruins’ quarterback situation going forward?

“We’ll see who’s healthy and available at the end of every week,” Kelly said, “like we do every week.”

If Saturday was any indication, there could be more moments to come for Garbers.

Bingo Blitz Credits Farming Strategies: Success Tips
Coin Master Spins Farming Strategies: Insights from Pros
genshin impact redeem codes january 2023 mobile matters
Get Free Zems on ZEPETO: Tips and Tricks
match masters arena 7 funny game like paper clash royale what
TikTok Coin Generator Safety Tips
Unlimited Gems in Brawl Stars: Myth or Reality?
new cheats dragon city free gems mod generator freemind
free family island hack cheats unlimited rubies and energy
how to get diamonds in hay day tips tricks youtube
tutorial how i get unlimited diamonds in litmatch app youtube
myths of moonrise codes september 2022 g7r
Boost Your TikTok Influence with Free Coins
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
Comment obtenir légalement et rapidement des pièces gratuites sur TikTok
Maximiza tus Ganancias de Monedas TikTok con Estos Consejos
Coin Master Free Spin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Insights from Pros: Coin Master Free Spins Farming Strategies
Avakin Life Avacoins Farming Demystified

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *