Coming into their tilt against the UC Berkley Golden Bears at 0-5, the UCLA Bruins looked like a completely different team on both sides of the ball in their 37-7 throttling of the Golden Bears.
Offensively, the UCLA Bruins showed an efficient and balanced attack through the air, and on the ground. The Bruins tallied 207 rushing yards and 141 yards through the air. 348 yards of total offense might not jump off the screen, but 20 first downs sure does, especially against a stout UC Berkley rushing defense.
This was a huge breakout performance for Bruins RB Joshua Kelley, who carried the momentum from last weeks performance against the Washington Huskies. The starting RB finished with 30 carries (!!!) for 157 yards and three touchdowns. The 30 carries are the most by a Bruins RB since Johnathan Franklin back in 2010. Kelley averaged 5.2 yards per rush, and showed shiftiness plus elusiveness on multiple runs. What a monster.
UCLA starting QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was surgical in UCLA’s route of UC Berkley tonight. Although he only completed 13/15 passes for 141 yards and no scores, this was the first time all season Chip Kelly was willing to show off the true-freshman’s legs. DTR added 27 rushing yards on 9 carries, but he did show off his athleticism with a nice 20-yard run. More importantly, he was turnover free tonight and the offensive line did a great job giving him time to throw.
DTR showed a great rapport with UCLA TE Caleb Wilson. The true-freshman QB targeted Wilson early and often tonight. Caleb Wilson finished with 5 catches for 92 yards, and continues to show that he’s UCLA’s biggest weapon at WR/TE. Bruin fans were clamoring to get Wilson more involved, and he certainly was tonight.
Defensively, the Bruins were fantastic on the night. Even when they gave up a TD on UC Berkley’s first offensive possession of the half, they did not break. The Bruins forced 5 turnovers tonight, and made life miserable for Golden Bears QB Brandon McIlwain who finished 20/32 for 156 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs. UCLA LB Keisean Lucier-South was money tonight. Not only did he corral his first career INT, he also scooped up a fumbled and returned it for a score.
The UCLA Bruins also committed only 2 penalties tonight, which might be the biggest takeaway from tonight’s win. This was about as perfect of a performance for the Bruins, especially on the road in a PAC-12 conference game. Bring on the Arizona Wildcats.