Many UCLA fans believed that the Bruins’ would lose this game and Chip Kelly would be relieved of his duties as the head coach, but that was not the case at all.
The demise of Kelly as the head coach of UCLA was greatly exaggerated as he led UCLA to not only a victory but a very convincing win over the Bruins’ main rival the USC Trojans. Not many predicted a UCLA win except for one particular site that predicted a UCLA victory.
Let’s begin to look at the three takeaways from the road victory over USC.
Ethan Garbers and TJ Harden played very well and were the main reasons why UCLA’s offense played so well.
The beginning of the season focused on Dante Moore at quarterback and Carson Steele at running back but this game belonged to the outstanding play of Garbers and Harden.
Harden started the scoring for UCLA with a one-yard touchdown run to put the Bruins up 7-0. Then Garbers threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to give UCLA a 14-0 lead. Then in the third quarter with UCLA up by only four points, he threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Harden to give UCLA a 21-10 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Garbers threw another touchdown pass for 15 yards to give the Bruins a 38-13 commanding lead.
Garbers didn’t throw and or run for a ton of yards but he threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions which was a big reason why UCLA won this game. Harden on 22 carries ran for an impressive 142 yards. He had a touchdown run and a touchdown catch as well in the game. They are today’s unsung heroes.
The UCLA defense really stepped up and created turnovers to put the Bruins’ offense in position to score.
The Bruin defense created three turnovers and for the most part, kept the former Heisman Trophy winner in check for most of the game. The UCLA defense stopped USC on their opening offensive drive by stopping the Trojans on 4th and 1 on their 49-yard line.
Then after forcing USC to punt on their second offensive possession, UCLA recovered a fumble on the Trojans 19 yard line. Then the Bruins’s secondary came up big when Devin Kirkwood intercepted Caleb Williams’s pass at the USC 45-yard line.
In the third quarter, UCLA’s Alex Johnson returned a fumble 20 yards for a UCLA touchdown. Lastly, later in the game, the UCLA defense stopped USC on 4th and 2 on their 37-yard line.
The most impressive defensive stat of the game for UCLA was that they limited USC to only three rushing yards for the entire game. The Bruins’ defense was a very integral part of their victory today over rival USC.
Chip Kelly and the coaching staff seem unfazed and very focused on the game plan that helped UCLA defeat USC.
Some reports made it seem that Kelly was going to coach his last game for the Bruins against USC. Social media and fans alike were convinced that Kelly after an embarrassing home loss to Arizona State would be relieved of his coaching duties for the Bruins. However, he and his coaching staff were laser-focused and put forth an excellent game plan for their game against USC.
The Trojans at times seemed surprised at how much energy and determination the Bruin players displayed throughout the game. After two straight losses, the UCLA players could have packed it in but they were ready and prepared for this game and credit must be given to the UCLA coaching staff, especially Kelly.