The UCLA football team might be 0-5, but their aplomb performance against Washington showed progress. Here are the five biggest takeaways from that game.
Well, it looks like we have a team after all, folks! Things looked dire after the UCLA football team’s humdrum performance against Colorado, which led to many expecting a blow out at the hands of #10 Washington. That did not happen. In fact, this was almost an upset.
Despite UCLA’s inability to get the win, the Bruins put forth a profound effort on both sides of the ball. There are still a few things UCLA has to work on, but for the most part, they did not play like one of the worst teams in college football.
Here are 5 things we learned after the 31-24 loss to the Huskies.
1. UCLA Has Found Their Premier Running Back
UCLA no longer appears to have a running game decided by the committee as Chip Kelly seems to have settled on junior walk-on transfer Joshua Kelley as his premier back. Though many fans would like to see seniors Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi get more reps, and there are those who are patiently waiting for freshman speedsters Kazmeir Allen and Martel Irby to emerge onto the scene, for now, it seems the best bet is Joshua Kelley.
Kelley has been named a starter in each of the Bruins’ five games, though questions surfaced about his playing time after he was a no-show in the Fresno State game. Since then he has not only taken the majority of snaps among all the RBs, but in these last two games, he topped 100-yards, a feat that has not been accomplished since 2015.
Though Kelly still seems to be experimenting with his running game and the balance with the passing game (UCLA passed the ball 17 times and ran it 8 times in the first half against Washington), he has found a back that can consistently get yards in chunks. Against Washington, Kelley averaged 6.3 yards on 20 carries. The back with the next highest amount of carries was Allen who had three for a total of 4 rushing yards.
But that was not all, with Dorian Thompson-Robinson leading the offense to 272 passing yards against the Huskies, Kelley contributed 39 receiving yards of his own, averaging 13.0 yards per catch.
We should see a mixture of the five other backs in different packages, but the majority of snaps from here on out will be in the hands of Kelley.