Los Angeles, CA – With less than two days to prepare, UCLA didn’t make it seem like it wouldn’t phase them. At the end of the day, it was a game that UCLA hadn’t had in years under Chip Kelly. Just about everything right went form them, nearly ousting them in every category, in a dominating 34-10 victory that should build confidence for the trip to Eugene.
“It all came down to experience and game film,” Bruins head coach Chip Kelly said. “Their defense was not a mystery but their offense was. What mattered was what they had done to us last year and all of their game film from the year before, and especially their bowl game, made a huge difference for us to figure them out on the defensive end. Offensively with a new coordinator, that was a challenge, but they responded very well.”
Combined the Bruins outgained the Bears in all aspects, but it was the running game that proved dominant. As a team UCLA rushed for just under 244 yards while holding Cal to just 54 yards on 28 carries. Dorian Thompson Robinson didn’t dazzle on the stat sheet, throwing for 14-for-26 and under 200 yards. His three touchdowns however all came in the first half which pushed Cal away from the game by halftime.
“I was real pleased with the run game,” Kelly said “I felt like Felton and our offensive line did everything right in the running game Everyone kept themselves honest.”
Amidst from all the uncertainty, it was all smiles in the UCLA locker room. While Kelly and the team enjoy the victory, it was another 2020 scenario where both the Bruins and Cal had to adjust with very little time to prepare.
“We really only had 43 hours,” Kelly said. “It was basically comparing from Utah to Cal and figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. We would look at plays, keep some, and throw some out. All we really had was walk through without pads and that was it. The only true advantage was travel since we didn’t have to.”
Demetric Felton rushed for another 100 yard game, finishing with 107 yards on 25 carries. Defensively the Bruins sacked Chase Garbers five times, while the Bruins offensive line protected Thompson Robinson the entire game keeping him upright.
Eugene is next on UCLA’s schedule. Kelly appreciates wins, but getting through each day clean is what the Bruins worry about the most. To UCLA, playing football is a reward where they worry more about the process than anything else.
“You can compare this to preparing between a Sunday and Thursday night football game in the NFL,” Kelly said. “But it is all about protecting everyone. It was real unfortunate what happened to Utah but we were ready to play them. For us, we are worried more about the process getting to game time safely rather than the result. Playing the game means everything when we are given the all clear.”
“I do worry about what is around us, but I know here we are taking the right precautions so that we can play. Safety means a lot to us,” Felton said.