Pasadena, CA – On the Sooners first drive, Jalen Hurts dropped back to pass from the Bruins 40 yard line. Suddenly, his offensive line opened the middle like Moses parted the Red Sea. Licking his chops, he runs right through the middle, untouched for every yard into the endzone.
It became just about that kind of late afternoon for Bruins football. It wasn’t until the third quarter when UCLA finally got a stop after six straight scoring drives. With the Bruins falling in a 48-14 blowout, the score is no surprise, but there were instances in which this game could have been a lot closer than the final score showed. Now sitting at 0-3, here are five key takeaways from the game that Bruins fans should certainly wonder about.
- The Bruins’ defense can only keep UCLA in games for so long
At one point the Bruins were down 20-7 after giving up already over 330 yards on both avenues of Oklahoma’s offense. They only managed in the first four drives to give up two touchdowns and two field goals, so at the very least there could be some spark. It all withered away when UCLA ends up going 3-and-out after giving up a field goal. Jalen Hurts’s deep pass to Charelston Rambo practically put the game away. The Bruins then just could not hang after that, watching their offensive and defensive line collapse throughout each play.
“We are playing inconsistent,” Bruins head coach Chip Kelly said. “There were spurts, but the big thing about the game tonight is we are playing very inconsistent. We had a good second half but we get tired. Inconsistency just cannot happen.”
- Let Dorian Thompson-Robinson run the ball more often
It is truly amazing that Kelly believes the west coast offense with Robinson in the pocket will work. Robinson is still not at all that accurate. There have been times, however, where with the line opening up, he manages to take off and at the very least set up the offense a bit more. That would develop his confidence a lot more as Pac-12 play nears. This would also mix up play calling for Kelly and keep the opposing defense on its toes.
“I am taking what the defense gives me,” Thompson-Robinson said. “Kelly does mention to take what the defense gives me. When I have the chance, I want to make the best play possible.”
- The defensive line needs to get better…
…much better. Just before the end of the first quarter the Bruins nearly allowed 200 yards on the ground. They slowed the tempo a bit, but that allowed Hurts to gun his throws all around the field. The Bruins hardly gave Hurts any kind of pressure, which then surmounted to a big lead and the game nearly unreachable.
- Extend drives on both sides of the ball
At this point, Kelly has drawn away from the no-huddle offense. It does allow for the Bruins to rest on the sidelines whether on offense or defense. In the first half, on each of the drives where the Bruins had more than six plays, the Sooners were forced to a field goal. It allowed for this game to be close. A number of three or four play drives later coming up empty handed, and it was all she wrote.
- The fans need to be involved more…
..but it is also tough when the Rose Bowl is half empty, and half of those fans in attendance were Sooners fans. It didn’t help with the weather being so hot, but the game last week against San Diego State practically gave Bruins fans a sense that it could be a long season. The Bruins are the only team under .500, let alone the only team without a win. This could bode a major problem if things aren’t fixed in a hurry. A trip to Washington State may not bode well, but things can differ if they can restructure.
“We are a young football team,” Kelly said. “No matter what we will continue to fight. Oklahoma is a very good team. Our guys fought and competed in the second half. It is something we can take when we start conference play Saturday.”