How is UCLA football’s pace through the first five games? We look at how the Bruins are using their offense and time on the field (as well as their tempo) to look for signs of progress.
The UCLA football team is 0-5 to start the Chip Kelly era, so are you one of those Bruins fans that look at the record and regret the hiring of the new coach or are you one of those that dig deeper to look for change?
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With five games already in the books, we have seen enough to examine what Bruins are doing with Kelly’s system. Though many did not expect UCLA to win a title in the coach’s first season, many expected something more than we have seen.
Here we will look at the time of possession, the balance of run/pass plays and the tempo to see if the Bruins are trending a certain way. Many expected a fast-paced offense, which has not been the case early in the season, but is there another approach Kelly is taking?
UCLA Football – Time of Possession, Offensive Balance, and Tempo
|Pass/Run – Total Plays
|37/33 – 68
|26/50 – 76
|24/31 – 55
|35/28 – 63
|38/27 – 65
|160/167 – 327
|32/33.4 – 65.4
Time of Possession
Time of possession is crucial for teams that want to take control of the game, though it has not exactly worked in UCLA’s favor this season, we ask “does it really need to?” If the goal is to play uptempo (is that the goal of Kelly’s second stint in college football?), time of possession might not be a big deal.
In all honesty, if Kelly wants to get the ball downfield in a hurry and put up points, then T.O.P. is not a huge concern. The only reason it matters is that it causes the defense to be on the field a lot longer, which could drain them of energy by game’s end and if UCLA is in a battle late in the game, that would not be ideal.
If the Bruins are ahead by several touchdowns, then it doesn’t matter as much as they could send in reserves to finish the game.
Still, for the sake of controlling the clock, UCLA has not done a great job possessing the rock. Only once have the Bruins held the ball longer than their opponent and that was against Oklahoma who was so far ahead of UCLA in the second half that it really did not matter if the Sooners had control of the ball or not.
The interesting thing is that during their best offensive effort against Washington, UCLA only had the ball for 21:51, the second lowest T.O.P. of the season. Why is it interesting? Because the tempo against the Huskies was the fastest it has been all season as UCLA averaged 20.2 seconds in between each play (I will get deeper into this in a bit).
If the result of playing uptempo is having the ball less than their opponents, then UCLA should have no worries, but worries abound as UCLA is 0-5. Part of that is because the offense has not been able to play consistently for an entire game. That changed last week against Washington.