UCLA’s crushing loss to Arizona State once again raises questions about Chip Kelly’s future

In the final moments, the Rose Bowl was silent and booed UCLA At halftime, the players ran into the locker room, replaced by the indifference of the few remaining fans.

With quarterback Chase Griffin out due to injury, the Bruins were forced into a meaningless final play against Arizona State when Griffin’s pass fell incomplete on the sideline. One of his teammates threw up his hands in disgust and walked off the court.

As the game drew to a close, one corner of the stadium was filled with chants of “ASU!” Bruins lost 17-7A UCLA fan behind the team’s bench had a different verdict.

“Figure it out, Chip!” he shouted.

This sentence raises two questions: How long? Chip Kelly Is he the coach the Bruins really want to bring into the Big Ten?

UCLA coach Chip Kelly looks at his game card and yells from the sideline during the Bruins' loss to Arizona StateUCLA coach Chip Kelly looks at his game card and yells from the sideline during the Bruins' loss to Arizona State

UCLA coach Chip Kelly stands on the sidelines during UCLA’s 17-7 loss to Arizona State in the Rose Bowl on Saturday. (Louis Zinco/Los Angeles Times)

What could easily be considered the worst loss six seasons of kelly UCLA (6-4 overall, 3-4 Pac-12) lost for the second straight time considering its opponent and its own major issues.It also reignited concerns about Kelly’s ability to win in the Big Ten If his team can’t beat a severely shorthanded Pac-12 opponent, they’ll use running back and switch to a tight end at quarterback.

Even Kelly’s reputation as an offensive guru continues to take a major hit. Colin Schlee With Dante Moore and Ethan Garbers only able to return on an emergency basis, the Bruins have a starting quarterback for the first time this season, so they rely heavily on the running game.

They rolled up 183 yards on the ground but went 0-for-4 on fourth down conversion attempts and ran up the middle on their first three possessions. Both downs on fourth down came in the red zone. Has Kelly’s performance in these situations improved? A bit predictable?

“Yeah,” Kelly admitted, “but there’s also a school of thought that says if we can get a yard, we have to be able to get a yard. But we would go back and obviously it didn’t work, so like I said in On us.”

Embarrassing moments also included UCLA’s first-and-goal from the Arizona State five-yard line and the sun devil18. The Bruins failed to show much imagination in being shut out in the first half and tying their season low in points.

“We told them it was our responsibility as coaches,” Kelly said afterward of the message to the players, “that we didn’t do enough to prepare these guys to play in this football game.”

Meanwhile, Arizona State (3-7, 2-5) effectively made up for the absence of two quarterbacks and seven offensive linemen, with the Sun Devils repeatedly using swing-door tactics to keep most of their offensive linemen on the field. side. A week later, he had 250 yards after rushing for just 83 yards in a 55-3 loss to the Utah Jazz.

PASADENA, Calif. - The UCLA defense shut down Arizona State wide receiver Troy Omer.PASADENA, Calif. - The UCLA defense shut down Arizona State wide receiver Troy Omer.

Running back Cam Skattebo threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Elijhah Badger late in the third quarter to give ASU a 10-0 lead.

UCLA appeared to be in danger of being shut out on its next possession when running back Carson Steele gained a yard on fourth-and-2, forcing a fumble. But after the Sun Devils couldn’t score and the Bruins got the ball back on the first possession, he intentionally took penalty kicks on four straight plays to save time.

An intentional backpedal backfired when UCLA scored quickly after a punt. Schley ended up throwing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Logan Loya, and the crowd of 56,436 suddenly had some energy.

It was quickly sucked out of the stadium after the Bruins sustained ASU’s next possession with two penalties on third down. Grayson Murphy After the game, the Sun Devils were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when cornerback Devin Kirkwood again interfered with the pass, costing the Sun Devils a first down.

“It hurts,” Kelly said. “It’s our responsibility and you can’t do that, especially in a tight football game.”

UCLA defensive back Kenny Churchwell III (23) celebrates with teammates after catching a pass.UCLA defensive back Kenny Churchwell III (23) celebrates with teammates after catching a pass.

The Sun Devils then took a fork to the Bruins on the next play after converting the quarterback on fourth-and-1. After running into a wall of defenders for a split second, Scatterbo scored a 17-yard touchdown on the outside, giving Arizona State a 17-7 lead with 3:07 left.

Schley left the game with an injury two games later, but finished the night with 51 yards rushing and completed 11 of 18 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

Unless he beats USC in the Coliseum next weekend as part of a late-season rush that also includes a win over Cal and a bowl opponent, Kelly could face an unwelcome reckoning in the coming weeks or even days.

His supporters can no longer point to a continued upward trajectory, with the Bruins now unable to top last season’s 9-4 record. His overall record at UCLA is now 33-33, which would be below a .500 Championship Division team if you take away two great football games.

There are also concerns that Kelly’s lack of an ambassador for the program will further dilute the program’s already lackluster performance in terms of name, image and likeness, hurting not only the Bruins’ recruiting efforts but their prospects in 2024 The ability to retain their players.

What does Kelly see as the path forward amid a sharp economic downturn?

“This is us versus the team, our opponent, you know, next Saturday, that’s what we’re talking about,” Kelly said during the game. University of California“It’s always one game at a time.”

That is, assuming he gets there.

Get the day’s best, funniest and weirdest stories from Los Angeles sports and beyond from our newsletter, The Sports Report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Source link

Leave a Comment