Where Will The UCLA Defense Rank In 2023?

Will The UCLA defense improve under D'Anton Lynn's leadership?

Where Has The UCLA Defense Been Ranked Under Chip Kelly?

The UCLA defense has continually been an issue under Chip Kelly. In his five years in Westwood, the UCLA defense ranking has never been higher than 69th in total defense (2020), 88th in passing defense (2018), or 73rd in scoring defense (2021 and 2022). His defenses have frequently ranked outside the top 100: 2 out of 5 times for total defense, 4 out of 5 times for passing defense, and 2 out of 5 times for scoring defense.

Obviously, this is a problem. While no one is expecting UCLA to look like Georgia on defense anytime soon, they will not be able to reach their goals in terms of winning the Pac-12, winning a bowl game, or getting to 10 wins if they cannot step up and get some defensive stops when it matters.

NCAA Football: Southern California at UCLA
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Vote Below! Where Will The UCLA Defense Rank With D’Anton Lynn As DC?

That is why Chip Kelly went out of his comfort zone and made a change at defensive coordinator this year, bringing in D’Anton Lynn from the Ravens. I think it’s a much more inspiring hire than either of his previous two defensive coordinators in Westwood, but what impact will it have? Will we finally see UCLA have some balance on both sides of the ball, or is it just going to be more of the same moving forward?