Saturday, December 4, 2021

Chip Kelly fails to get the attention of UCLA

A number of events were organized to bring rare national billing into the big game at the late October college football tournament in Los Angeles. UCLA had to win two straight away games against bad teams to maintain a decent record. Oregon had to avoid an unsuccessful performance at home against California. The rest of the players on the country’s schedule had to completely abandon the top 25 matches for one week, clearing their way.

So we were on Saturday when the king of ESPN brought the Bruins Ducks to the attention of the nation as if it were a midseason title fight. Whether viewers like it or not, this is what they got – College GameDay in Westwood and Team A announcers Kirk Herbstrate and Chris Fowler on a teleconference in Pasadena. Throughout the day, and in the midst of a frantic fourth quarter of Saturday, UCLA did what we do well in this city — it put on a great show.

In the morning, the students came to GameDay, but what college student doesn’t like free stuff and TV appearances? Later, at the Rose Bowl, Chip Kelly Bruins paired the two thrilling rides 14-0, but the problem was that those splashes were squeezed around his former Oregon team, which beat UCLA a heck of 34-3.

This humiliating stretch of time, highlighted by countless UCLA mistakes he himself made, made some Bruins fans head out early in the fourth quarter before UCLA artists, led by fearless quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, returned to stage a potential game. -winning drive.

The Bruins ultimately lost 34-31 when backup defender Ethan Garbers intercepted a pass that captured the abrupt end that confirmed ESPN’s decision to visit the West Coast.

Yes, it was a great show, but let’s not get carried away with the applause. LA college football fans deserve a creature with fire, and the UCLA Foundation in Kelly’s fourth year remained too imperfect to contain the Oregon squad begging to be put in her place.

Instead, Oregon-based coach Mario Cristobal could leave Southern California as a winner again, planting the Duck flag further in the region, where he tore the Kyvon superstar Thibodeau away from USC and UCLA. His roster is filled with Southland players who shouldn’t be playing college football in Eugene, but this will continue as long as the Trojans and Bruins obey his will.

Saturday did it two years in a row, with the University of California at Los Angeles keeping Oregon in sight and letting it slide. The ducks embarrassed USC in 2019 and 2020 at the Colosseum, results that were a major reason why USC Athletic Director Mike Bon had no choice but to walk away from Clay Helton.

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Cristobal was greatly helped by Nike founder and Oregon graduate Phil Knight who wrote the checks, but he deserves credit for building resilience in the Ducks, which has grown into successive Pac-12 championships and a claimed victory over Ohio in Columbus in September. eleven.

Thanks to their last survival, Oregon are still struggling for a spot in the college football playoffs, but Saturday has shown once again that the Ducks are not an irresistible force under Cristobal – at least not yet.

The Bruins quickly pounced on them and took the lead 14: 0, but then mistakes began. Offside penalties negated two interceptions that could have kept UCLA on the offensive. The false start put the Bruins in chains on several key drives.

“You have to cleanse them, these are self-inflicted wounds,” Kelly said. “We’ll make corrections when we get back to these guys on Monday.”

Twice this year I have been caught offside when judging the Bruins. After their convincing victory over Louisiana, I found myself using the words UCLA and playoffs together. After they recovered from their defeat in Arizona and won two wins, I picked them to beat Oregon, assuming the Bruins were ready to take advantage of the Duck’s vulnerability.

As an avid student football columnist in Los Angeles right now, it’s hard not to get nervous at any sign of excitement. For too long, competence and cohesion have defined our rivals from different cities. Can you believe it? Both USC and UCLA have lost their last three home games.

USC is going to hire employees who will at least give rise to new hope for the Trojans. Only UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond knows what he needs to see from the Bruins to the end of the road to bring Kelly back to fifth year. If they lose next week in Utah, will 8-4 or 7-5 be enough with a USC win and a cup invite?

Once he heard of GameDay approaching, Jarmond spent a week pleading with the UCLA community to take care, or at least do the same. On Saturday, he needed Kelly’s help to take it one step further – a step towards relevance not only nationally, but most importantly among his own fans.

That did not happen. And so Jarmond may have to resort to outright begging to get fans to take seats in UCLA’s last two home games.

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