Throughout the course of his interview, Kelly seems...perturbed by many of the questions.
He really seemed to be bothered by what should have been a basic group of questions. He was first asked about the status of punter Stefan Flintoft for the game. After Kelly answered that he wasn’t available, the reporter, who sounds young so I’m guessing it was someone from the Daily Bruin, asks if he got hurt in practice during the week. To which Kelly, rather tersely, responds with the same answer he gave for the previous question, saying simply, “He was not available.”
I’m not sure exactly why Kelly refused to provide more detail here. It’s the final game of the season. Flintoft is a senior. So, there’s no real point in not answering the question, but Kelly sounds irritated by the question in the first place.
And, it wasn’t the only time he sounded annoyed by the questions he was being asked.
He was asked by someone else this question:
Coach, I know you said all season you don’t want to look back; you want to focus on the present. Now, that the season is over, are there any early reflections that you have after this game on how the first season at UCLA went?
Overall, it seems like a pretty fair question, given Kelly’s refusal to spend much time looking back all season. Kelly’s body language here would seem to indicate that he had no desire to be at the interview table. He went as far as to check his watch before replying, saying:
The game that just ended three minutes ago? I think I’ll take a little bit more time before I reflect on that.
It was pretty snarky.
Speaking of snarky, Kelly was also pretty snarky when asked about yesterday’s attendance. The attendance hit another new low yesterday. Only 38,391 fans showed up yesterday. That’s about 3,500 fewer than the attendance for the Friday night game against Utah.
It didn’t seem to phase Kelly.
Sure, on one hand, his primary job is to be concerned about “getting first downs and stopping people” and growing a young football team and all, but he should at least seem interested in having the kind of fan support for the team that the Bruins had last week against Southern Cal. After all, the fanbase is paying his salary. He should show at least a little gratitude to fans for that.
Later on, the same reporter that asked about Flintoft also asked Kelly about the timeout he called with 44 seconds left in the first half prior to fourth down. While Kelly didn’t seem to completely understand what was being asked in the first place, he really seemed bother by this question. Now, in Kelly’s defense, the reason for using a timeout there was pretty simple. It was fourth down and calling the timeout allowed Kelly to discuss what play would help them score a touchdown there heading into halftime. But, that’s not what Kelly said.
Instead, Kelly seemed to lecture this kid, saying:
Your point of your question is that you have it automatically in your head that we were going to score. You know, we still have to score. So, if we ran out of time and didn’t get an opportunity to score, you would be asking me why didn’t I call a timeout. Anybody can play that side of the fence. So, we’ve got to cover the kickoff better. I don’t think it had anything to do with how much time was on the clock. I don’t care if there was 14 minutes and 44 seconds to go. We’ve got to cover a kickoff better than that. I don’t care how much time is left on the clock. That has nothing to do with it. But, you’ve got to give yourself ample enough time to score. We scored. We were happy about that. But, if we didn’t score, we may have needed more plays and, to get more plays, you need more time. So, you can’t say, “Hey, we’re gonna score.” If we knew we going to score all the time, we’d manage the clock a lot differently all the time. You’re going with the assumption that the score was an automatic. The score wasn’t an automatic. So, we actually had to fight to get in there. It took us a lot of plays to get in there. So, that’s part of the whole process that goes on. We never want to try to say, “Hey, when we score, we want to have three seconds to go on the clock. So, to do this, let’s do this with the timeout situation.” We need to score. I’m not a “Hey, you scored too fast.” Your kickoff team’s got to be better. That’s obviously a depth issue for us. We’ve got to do a better job there kicking it. So, maybe that the ball’s kicked out of the end zone. We don’t get an opportunity to return it. And, we still did a good job of holding them to a field goal, but the difference in the game wasn’t a three-point game. So, I’m not a woulda-coulda-shoulda guy.
Kelly, then, stood up and ended his postgame interview.
The problem, of course, is that Kelly called the timeout after third down. If UCLA didn’t score on the next play, they would have turned the ball over on downs because fourth down was coming up.
Yes, they needed to call the timeout there to make sure they called the right play, but Kelly’s explanation makes no sense and if he had remembered that fourth down was coming up, he may have answered the question a little differently. To be sure, the reporter didn’t help the situation by not mentioning that the next play was fourth down, but there really was no reason to treat the kid like that.
As for the player interviews, there were two sessions. In the first session, Wilton Speight and Theo Howard answered questions while the second session featured Darnay Holmes and Joshua Kelley. Both sessions are combined into the one video from UCLA Athletics.