In a conference matchup against the Utah Utes last weekend, UCLA’s offensive woes proved to be their undoing. Chip Kelly’s coaching decisions are at the forefront of the shortcomings that led to a disappointing Week 4 loss.
It appeared that Chip Kelly might have been reminiscing about his Oregon days when Marcus Mariota commanded his offense. However, the reality on the field was quite different. While UCLA’s defense managed to limit the Utes to just one touchdown, the Bruins’ offense suffered from dropped passes, a lack of effective blocking, and overall poor execution. These issues ultimately dashed their hopes of maintaining an undefeated record through September.
With a bye week before their next game in October, the Bruins have the opportunity for a mental reset. Quarterback Dante Moore, who had his worst performance of the year during the Utah game, will undoubtedly use this break to recompose himself.
At the end of the third quarter, UCLA had a chance to score. But a poor play call on the coaching side resulted in the third rushing play in a row, an option on which Moore kept the ball that would prove to be his team’s demise. Within just 10 yards of the goal line, the wrong play separated UCLA from chopping the lead from 14 to seven and gave the ball back to Utah. The defense came to the Bruins’ rescue just moments later, not allowing the Utes to get down the field, but it didn’t matter. The third quarter was already over and UCLA’s comeback chances were significantly decreased. In order for UCLA’s offense to score consistently, it must put itself in positions to succeed, and repeatedly running similar unsuccessful plays will not accomplish that goal. Placing the ball in the hands of a pocket-passing quarterback to run into the end zone against a strongly run defense like Utah was a recipe for disaster.
The big question now is whether Chip Kelly will also make adjustments. Many are beginning to question his leadership during this transitional season at the university, and the Week 4 loss has only amplified those doubts. The Bruins will be looking to bounce back, and all eyes will be on Kelly’s coaching decisions as they prepare for their upcoming challenges.
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