The UCLA Bruins just lost a bad one to Arizona State at home, 42-23. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers for this game.
I think a lot of us had been expecting Dulcich to play a bigger role than he had coming into this game considering what a beast he was during his breakout season last year. Against ASU, Dulcich was UCLA’s leading receiver with nine receptions for 136 yards.
DTR’s numbers were okay, and he did manage to avoid turning the football over. But still, when you don’t score a second-half point, it generally falls on the QB. There’s no doubt that Jayden Daniels was the better QB on the field last Saturday. Not to mention, DTR made a poor decision on 4th down in the red zone, choosing to keep the ball on an option instead of handing it off to Charbonnet. The play failed and DTR was stuffed in the backfield. DTR was also sacked three straight times at one point.
The Running Game
The numbers were okay, but take away a few big runs from DTR and Charbonnet and the Bruins were unable to sustain anything on the ground. This should be alarming. As I have said multiple times in the past, this team can’t win if they can’t run the ball.
The Entire Defense
UCLA generally had success this season playing an aggressive blitz-heavy defense. Well on Saturday, the Sun Devils were ready for it. What was especially alarming was how many big plays the Bruins D gave up. They gave up multiple deep TDs, a YAC TD, and a running TD. ASU was getting chunk plays again and again, and the Bruins defense just wasn’t executing.
Remember how I talked about how different these Bruins had looked so far this season? Well on Saturday we got a taste of the old Chip Kelly. Penalties, poor defense, bad tackling, inability to finish, and inconsistency from one week to the next.
The 2021 Bruins and Chip Kelly
I know it sounds crazy now, but before Saturday part of me thought this team could compete for a College Football Playoff berth. That’s certainly out the window now. But beyond that, this was quite frankly just an unacceptable division loss that not only backs up UCLA in the Pac-12 but also has us questioning whether UCLA is as good as we thought they were. Every bad loss like this makes Chip Kelly’s future in Westwood less certain. In year 4, this shouldn’t happen.
It’s no secret that UCLA has struggled with crowd attendance in the Kelly era. Last Saturday, the fans finally showed up, and this is how UCLA rewarded them. Don’t be surprised if we see more empty stadiums in the future.
UCLA is on the road the next two weeks, first at Arizona, then at Washington. It would be difficult to put into words how bad a loss to Arizona would be, but it’s certainly possible with this team. They better get things figured out quickly.