Go Joe Bruin commences with the early 2019 previews as we look at UCLA football’s first game of the season against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
I’ll just say it, the first season of the Chip Kelly era did not impress but hope shined through towards the end of 2019. The UCLA football team would be in what the casual observer might perceive as a “free fall,” but in reality, the Bruins were just getting their wings.
RELATED: UCLA Football Projected Depth Chart
The Bruins are ready to break out, I can feel it, but they are a year behind a team that already has things figured out. Though the first game of the season seems like it will be a difficult one for the Bruins, it will start to tell us where the team is going.
Head Coach: Luke Fickell | 2nd Year, 15-10 at Cincinnati
2018 Record: 11-2, 6-2 AAC
2018-19 Bowl Game: Defeated Virginia Tech, 35-31 in the Military Bowl
Game Day Info
Location: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Kickoff: Thursday, August 29, 4 p.m. PT
I am not going to lie to you, I want to find faults in the Cincinnati Bearcats, but it is tough. I am not saying they are the second coming of Alabama, but this is a team that is young and continues to rise.
It’s quite the feat head coach Luke Fickell has done in his first two years at the Bearcat helm, and it looks to be getting even better.
Now here is the thing, if you have followed me on Go Joe Bruin, you know that I have been raving about the improvements with the Bruins heading into the second year of Chip Kelly’s tenure. I genuinely believe they have a legitimate shot at beating the Bearcats, but the more I read up or watch video of Cincinnati, the more I can see that they are a team on the move and have a lot of confidence.
Cincinnati’s Five-Year Win Trend
- 2017 – ★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆ 11-2
- 2016 – ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 4-8
- 2015 – ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 4-8
- 2014 – ★★★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 7-6
- 2013 – ★★★★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 9-4
Last year, the Bruins stumbled out of the gate in the very first game of Chip Kelly’s return to college football. It was painful. You could see that the Bruins had the talent to compete, it just wasn’t coming together.
Cincinnati went on to win that game, 26-17, which would contribute their 11 total wins of the season. That loss gave UCLA one of their nine total. Hopefully, that changes this season.