Prior to the opening game versus Cincinnati Chip Kelly mentioned that as head coach of the UCLA Bruins he would be finding out a lot about who his team is. Kelly did, and some of the answers were hard to accept.
We also found out a bit about who Kelly is as well. He’s a risk taker on 4th down, he may have chose the wrong starting QB, he and his staff looked a bit rusty, and he has a great deal of work ahead.
As far as the team goes DTR showed promise at QB specifically his ability to avoid pressure, something Wilton will struggle with. DTR’s athleticism will be very important behind the offensive line that obviously will need some time to improve.
I would like to see DTR keep the ball more on the read option play calls, this will open up the gaps for the running backs while forcing the defense to stay home a bit longer.
Special teams were sloppy, 12 men on the field penalty aside. Our punt return team could not deter the Bearcats gunners preventing any chance at a solid return. They came free almost every punt return!
The obvious observation was our lack of solid tackling, something Kelly mentioned to the ESPN sideline reporter at half time.
Speaking of the ESPN talent covering the game; I was disappointed play after play at their lack of announcing the name of the Bruin tackler. This was ultra frustrating given the fact that there are so many new faces on the defensive side of the ball, Horrible!
The offense’s inability to sustain drives or win third downs forced the defense to be on the field far more than one would like(Time of possession 34:21 to 25:39 in favor of Cincy). The time of possession stat will normally favor the opposing team when Kelly’s offense is scoring quickly at a high rate, but that wasn’t the case yesterday!
Kaz Allen showed his electric ability but needs to touch the ball far more. Once he and DTR get more reps on the plays where he releases out of the backfield it should be very productive.
Speaking of a player who needs more touches, Caleb Wilson has to have more balls thrown to him, especially early in the game as this will settle DTR down a bit while giving the true Freshman the confidence he needs.
Dropped balls were hard to watch.
The QB pressure our defense dialed up was a nice change compared to last years approach I hope that continues.
All in all not a great coming out party for Kelly.