UCLA vs. Coastal Carolina: Location, time, prediction, and more

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers quarterback Grayson McCallMandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers quarterback Grayson McCallMandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

UCLA hosts Coastal Carolina in the season opener with the expectation of winning and going 1-0 to start the season.

The Bruins want to repeat what they did last season by starting the season 6-0 and UCLA needs to defeat Coastal Carolina in order to accomplish that task.

UCLA is led by head coach Chip Kelly, who was hired in 2018. Kelly is a former NFL head coach who has also had success at the college level, winning three Pac-12 championships at Oregon. Kelly in recent seasons has done an admirable job leading the Bruins as they went 9-4 in 2022 and 8-4 in 2021. UCLA is improving as season by the win totals the last two seasons.

The Bruins are looking to go to the Pac-12 championship game in 2023 as they have not won a conference championship since 1998. Let’s now take a look at the game between the Bruins and Chanticleers in week one play.

First meeting: This is the first time that UCLA has played Coast Carolina in football.

Last season for both schools: Coastal Carolina began last season 6-0 and played in the Sun Belt conference championship game but fell to Troy in a high-scoring game. The Chanticleers ended the season playing in the Birmingham Bowl but lost to East Carolina to conclude the season with an impressive 9-4 record.

UCLA’s offense began last year playing well, especially on offense scoring 40 or more points in five out of their first six game. In one game during that time period of games, the offense did not score 40 or more points, but the Bruins offense was still able to produce 32 points. UCLA was undefeated in non-conference play defeating Bowling Green as well as South Alabama and Alabama State. After their first six games going 6-0 and earning a No. 9 national ranking, the Bruins lost to top 10-ranked Oregon on the road in a high-scoring game.

UCLA ended their season winning three games and losing three games to finish the year with a solid 9-4 record as did Chanticleers. Like the Coastal Carolina, UCLA was defeated in their bowl game but the Bruins were very competitive against Pitt in the Sun Bowl and lost in a very close game by a final score of 37-35.

Game preview: UCLA is favored to win this game according to ESPN Analytics by 85.8% in this game. The Bruins have a more experienced team and a better defense. However, Coastal Carolina has a high-powered offense led by quarterback Grayson McCall.

McCall is a dual-threat quarterback who can beat teams with his arm or his legs. He threw for 2,700 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, and he also rushed for three touchdowns and only threw two interceptions in 2022.

The Bruins will need to get pressure on McCall and force him to make mistakes which will be a challenging task as he does not make mistakes often during games. They will also need to stop the Chanticleers’ running game, which is led by CJ Beasley.

UCLA has some new faces on both sides of the ball but they do have talent and should be more balanced this season as their offense may just need some time to gel in this game but will do enough to help the Bruins succeed in this game.

Prediction: UCLA 42 Coastal Carolina 31

Next. A look at UCLA's 2024 recruiting class. dark