The Chip Kelly regime at UCLA hasn’t really gone as planned. After a 5-7 campaign in 2018, the Bruins are off to a 0-2 start this season. Kelly and the Bruins now must face one of the most prolific offenses in the nation as they welcome Oklahoma to the Los Angeles Coliseum. It might not be exactly what Kelly needs in Week 3, but it is what bettors need.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley simply reloaded at quarterback and the results have been outstanding. Former Alabama starter Jalen Hurts has taken over and the Sooners offense hasn’t missed a beat. Oklahoma is averaging an almost unfathomable 709.5 yards and 59.5 points per game.
Can UCLA stop the Sooners?
The simple answer is no, but there is some hope. UCLA has given up a total of 47 points in their two losses. The problem for Kelly, which seems odd, is the offense. Ever since Kelly returned to the college ranks after his stint in the NFL, the UCLA offense has come nowhere near the caliber of offense that Kelly produced when he was at Oregon.
Thus far this season, the Bruins are averaging just 62 rushing yards per game. UCLA ranks 126th– out of 130 FBS teams – in rushing. That’s bad. If the Bruins cannot run the ball on Saturday night, they are in trouble. They are likely in trouble anyway as QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson completes just 52.5 percent of his passes.
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The two teams did play last year. Oklahoma won 49-21 after rolling up 791 yards of total offense. However dominant the Sooners were, they did not cover last season. Last year, the OVER hit with the Total set at 65.5. Any time Oklahoma is playing, the OVER seems like a good bet but this season the Total is set at 72.
The Bruins have some issues covering when playing at home. In their last 30 home games, they are just 11-18-1 ATS. Home-field advantage might not even feel like it on Saturday night. Last week, the Bruins had just 37,000 fans for San Diego State, a team that had never beaten UCLA.
Look for Hurts and the Sooners offense to light it up again. UCLA’s offense will struggle as it has for two weeks, and Oklahoma will cover the 22.5-point spread.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.