In addition to sharing his main takeaways from Saturday’s win over Stanford, Kelly also talked about the meaning of rankings and exposure.
UCLA football coach Chip Kelly spoke with the media ahead of Monday morning’s practice session at Wasserman Football Center. Kelly talked about the status of defensive coordinator Bill McGovern, his takeaways from watching the film of the Bruins’ win over Stanford on Saturday, whether he will keep an eye on the College Football Playoff rankings coming out Tuesday night, Zach Charbonnet’s physical running style and the drawbacks of kicking off games at 7:30 p.m.
Is Bill McGovern back today?
Yeah, Bill was back. Bill was back yes, He won’t be on the field today. He was back yesterday and gameplanned with our defense and same thing today, but he’s not gonna be on the field today, so hopefully we’ll get him back on the field this week.
So when you say back, you mean in meetings?
In the office, in meetings.
Dorian come out of the game alright?
Yeah, he’s fine.
I thought our defense did a really good job of running to the football, tackling in space. I thought they created a lot of pressure on their quarterback. We knew how good Tanner McKee was coming into the game and obviously those receivers, Tremayne and Humphreys and those guys, we’ve played against those guys, a lot of those guys for a long time and know them really well. But I thought the pass rush we generated created pressure on the quarterback. And then the offensive side of the ball, I thought we ran the ball well. When you can run for over 300 yards in a conference game, that’s a big deal. So we were able to get out to a lead, and I think our defense – especially in the first half – did a really, really nice job of containing their passing game, which can be explosive. So I’m impressed with how our kids on defense really, most importantly, ran to the ball and the effort that they played with.
There’s always corrections, a ton of corrections. That’s every day, that’s every week, no one plays a perfect game. There’s always a million different things we gotta work on and that’s what the game of football’s all about. The game of football’s not a game of perfect, the game of football’s a game of resilience, so. But I love our guys’ mindset, I love their effort, that was a big thing coming out of that game.
Guy hit Loya right as he caught the punt return?
That was a legal play. He didn’t control the football, that was legal.
Status on JonJon Vaughns?
Status on TJ Harden?
Not sure what TJ will do today, so.
Marrazzo wearing 88?
He’s a hybrid tight end-offensive lineman.
Remain that way for the rest of the season?
Yep. So he’s on our field goal/extra point team, so he has to be an 88 to play on the field goal/extra point team. It’s a jersey switch and instead of changing him back and forth, if he were back in at center, we would switch him back to 64, but there’s some things we can do with him at tight end. He’s done a nice job there, so he’s played 10 or so snaps in the last couple of games as a tight end, so.
Colson best suited for certain situations as a running back?
For all. I mean, you’ve seen him in the Colorado game score two touchdowns for us as a receiver coming out of the backfield. He’s been an impact player for us on special teams. Just starting to get back up to full speed coming off of the foot, but I think as he continues to get better and grasp the position, I think there’s a lot of different things you can do with Colson. He’s a tremendous athlete, can run, can jump, is a big kid – he’s all of 6-4, he’s 230 pounds. We’re always trying to, each week, what more can we do with him? And I think you’re starting to see that and that’s what – as you get into here, the push of November – I think to continue to develop more depth there is a really critical thing for us.
Smart guys on defense sharing their input?
All of them – Darius, Blaylock, Mo, Latu, Gary Smith, Sykesy, Martin Andrus when he was in earlier. Jay Toia’s a really, really, really instinctual football player, he’s got a great understanding of schemes. There’s a lot of players on the defensive side of the ball that really give us some great feedback when we’re having those sessions on the sidelines in between series
How much did you rely on them with McGovern out?
We relied the same in a normal game, that’s just kinda how our process is. So we don’t rely on them – we didn’t rely on them more, we didn’t rely on them less. There’s just a process of how we – what we do on the sidelines, it’s very orderly. Each position group meets with their position coach, all of their position coaches are on the field, that’s why our coordinator’s in the box. Then we relay the information and discuss it on the defensive side of the ball and can implement anything we need to do from that standpoint.
CFP rankings coming out tomorrow – going to keep an eye on that?
Did not know that they – didn’t rankings come out yesterday?
They come out tomorrow
I was told we were 10.
That’s the AP poll, CFP is tomorrow
Oh. Yeah. We just gotta keep winning, I know that. That’s the key.
Do you monitor those late in the season?
No, I mean, it doesn’t – same thing we talked about. It’s nice that we’re recognized as the 10th-ranked team in the country, but you gotta keep winning cause if you lose next week – I know this, from a ranking standpoint. If you lose next week, you’re not 10 anymore. So the only way you can continue to move up is if you continue to win. So I think our guys really have a good understanding of that aspect of it. It is – and rightly so, cause the regular season in college football means everything – you gotta win each week. So, you know, if you wanna continue to move up in those rankings, you gotta win. And if you don’t win, you can’t complain about the rankings, so.
How would you characterize the way Charbonnet is able to absorb contact?
I think he’s got great balance. And I think that’s the one thing, a lot of people can get hit and they go down or they get knocked off their feet and they can’t stay in stride. You know, the one thing with him is, because of his strength and his pillar strength, I think he can run. And he’s not really taking contact, I think he’s initiating contact, and that’s what makes him special. I think all the great running backs we talk about from an evaluation standpoint, they have great contact balance, and I think he’s got great contact balance. You look at the 4th-and-1 where he score the touchdown, he shook the free safety, took a hit from the right from the linebacker then took a hit from the left from the safety and stayed on his feet and ended up for a 23-yard touchdown. So it’s part of one of his strengths, and I think he really plays to that.
Charbonnet’s style remind you of anyone in the NFL?
I haven’t watched the NFL in a while, just cause we’re working on Sundays. And I see highlights, so.
Traditionally, over the years, anyone you’ve seen?
I haven’t thought of that. Not that I – I mean, he is an NFL back, but I haven’t thought of anybody that he – I never thought of that question. So maybe I can dwell on that a little bit.
7:30 late kickoff in the desert, make things more difficult?
Where you play doesn’t matter. The only thing that’s sad about starting at 7:30 at night is we have a running back that’s No. 2 in the country in all-purpose yards and three quarters of the country don’t get a chance to see him play. How many people on the East Coast saw that run that we just talked about for Zach? So part of being able to play earlier in the day is those highlights are shown throughout the day. I could tell you the highlights of all the games that occurred at noon cause we were in our hotel room, we were here and you could watch all of them. So part of the one thing that’s sad about playing those night games is the exposure that our student-athletes don’t get that other student-athletes get. And I think we’ve got some great players here, there are some great stories, whether it’s Latu or Dorian or Zach or whomever it is, Bobo, there’s a bunch of really, really good football players here and at all the schools on the West Coast. And that’s one of the reasons why we’re excited about going to the Big Ten is that there’s better exposure for you by going to the Big Ten. And I think that’s one thing that – I don’t know what the monetary figure on that exposure is, but I think it’s a big deal. You want to have the country see them. I think Jake Haener is an unbelievable football player and he had an unbelievable comeback late this week. He had an unbelievable comeback and played one of the best games I ever saw in my life against us last year, but no one gets to see Jake Haener play cause he plays so late on the West Coast. So that’s one of the issues that you do have with the West Coast and that’s why I’ll commend our administration about that move to the Big Ten. There’s a huge monetary gain going to the Big Ten, but I think the exposure that our student-athletes get – and that’s what our goal is all the time, the main thing has to be about our student-athletes – and the more exposure we can get our student-athletes by moving to that league is a really cool deal.