UCLA moved up to 2-0 on the season after comfortably defeating the San Diego State Aztecs 35-10 on the road. Here’s what we learned from the win.
Dante Moore Looks Like The Guy
Chip Kelly is still playing coy about naming his starting quarterback, claiming he’s going to continue using a three-quarterback approach. But it’s hard to see that going on for too much longer. Dante Moore had another productive and efficient day, going 17-27 for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns. More importantly, though, he absolutely looks the part. He stands tall and fearless in the pocket against pressure, he makes the right decisions, and he’s accurate with a rocket arm.
It can be a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to whether or not high school quarterbacks transitioning to the college level live up to their recruiting rankings. But with Dante Moore, one of three quarterbacks in his class with a perfect rating, the hype appears to be real. It’s only a matter of time before Chip Kelly makes clear what everyone else can see and names Dante Moore the starter.
The Defense Was Dominant
Another much talked about story for the Bruins as this season gets going is whether or not we’ll finally see a good defense to go along with Chip Kelly’s high-flying offense. And while I’m going to reserve judgment fully until we get into the in-conference matchups, I can tell you that D’Anton Lynn’s unit was really impressive in this game.
Against a solid San Diego State team, it just looked like these guys were playing at a different speed. They absolutely were swarming to the ball. They completely shut down the Aztec’s run game with absolutely dominant penetration of the San Diego State offensive line. They regularly met Aztecs in the backfield, and when they weren’t in the backfield, they were rallying to the football in space. It was a really impressive performance that bodes well for this Bruins team as they look forward to the Pac-12.
Explosive Plays Were The Name Of The Game
It’s all about big plays for these Bruins. Whether it’s taking wide-open seam passes to the house on quick play action or backs exploding through the line and into open field, the Bruins continued to show off their explosiveness as an offense in both the passing and the running game. It seems like regardless of the personnel, Chip Kelly’s system is able to create chunk plays that lead to scores. Again, whether this keeps up against the tougher opponents is yet to be seen, but it sure looks good when it’s working.
UCLA Avoids The Trap Game
With all the personnel changes, it would have been easy for the Bruins to let one slide early in the season against either Coastal Carolina or San Diego State, two solid opponents when it comes to non-conference scheduling. But so far the Bruins did what they don’t always do, and that is take care of business. With a tune-up against FCS NC Central next week, UCLA looks to be in good shape heading into their big Week 4 showdown against Utah.