The tempo seems to be everything with those evaluating Chip Kelly. And why not? That is what he was known for back at Oregon. It is what made his blur offense so special, but it was not just about going fast. It was about making the right reads and executing to be able to go fast. That did not exactly manifest itself in the first few games.
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In calculating the tempo for each game, I noticed that the Bruins were better at running tempo in some games over others. And even in those games, it varied throughout, which is why it doesn’t explain if tempo has worked or not, thusly, the pace was not exactly due to playing faster. Let’s take the Fresno State game into account. UCLA averaged 21.9 seconds per play in that game, which is reasonably fast, but if you remember, Fresno State had the ball a lot longer than UCLA. Additionally, the Bruins ran the fewest plays in a game this season against the Bulldogs. You can’t play tempo if you don’t get the chances to.
Oppositely, in the Oklahoma game, UCLA had the ball longer than the Sooners and was able to run more plays, but their seconds per play was the highest of the five games played. There was not a lot of tempo. That changed last weekend.
There was a difference between the Oklahoma and Fresno State games compared to the Washington game. UCLA had the fastest tempo of the season (20.2 sec/play). Against the Huskies, the Bruins substituted less, they were able to sustain drives and they limited turnovers. That allowed UCLA to play consistently and with limited distractions.
The result: the most points this season (24), the most total yards (422), the most passing yards (272) and the most yards per rush attempt (5.6).
If the Bruins continue to play with that amount of production than they can beat a lot more teams than initially projected. UCLA played a tough Washington team, so imagine what they can do against Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, and USC. Heck, if they play with this type of success, they can be competitive against Oregon and Stanford. But that is yet to be seen. This team still has a lot of growing up to do and after their performance against UW, it seems like they are on the right track.