The Bull on College Pigskin: UCLA Opens Shortened 2020 Season in the ‘Mile High City’csudhbulletin November 7, 2020 0 COMMENTS
Dorian-Thompson Robinson and Head Coach Chip Kelly look to build off progress as they embark on the new season. Photo by Kevin Sullivan, OCNG
By Daniel Tom, Staff Reporter
UCLA @ Colorado
Year 3 of the ‘Chip Kelly experiment’ begins on Saturday afternoon in Boulder, CO when the Bruins take on the Colorado Buffaloes in their 2020 season opener.
A look at the Bruins:
UCLA finished the 2019 campaign 4-8, missing out on a bowl game for the second straight season. There were spurts of progress in November, but it was too little too late. UCLA hopes to continue to build on progress and perform in what should be a defining season in the Chip Kelly era.
UCLA returns 12 starters from last year’s squad including two-year starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson who threw for 2,889 yards, 21 touchdowns, & seven interceptions last season. Additionally, with a veteran receiving corps in Kyle Phillips & Jalen Erwin back for another season, Robinson has options to dish the ball to. With the loss of running back Joshua Kelly to the NFL, redshirt senior Demetric Felton looks to fill the void and get his reps where he started two games and ran for 379 yards.
Defensively, UCLA’s secondary is strong with two experienced safeties in Stephen Blaylock who led the team in tackles with 86 last season & Quentin Lake back to lead the way. At the linebacker spot, Osa Odighizuwa is back again. He led the Bruins with 10 tackles for loss in 2019, with a career-high nine tackles against San Diego State last season. Overall, the defense looks to improve as it ranked 113th out of 129 in total defense last year and while giving up over 300 yards a game last season.
A look at the opponent:
For Colorado this season, it’s back to the drawing board and establishing a new foundation for the program. The team finished 5-7 and won only three conference games under first year head coach Mel Tucker, who left for Michigan State in February. The Buffs need to replace their starting quarterback, it’s top playmaker, and best offensive lineman. All of this happens as the team gets a new head coach in Karl Dorrell (a name familiar to Bruin fans) and a global pandemic that shut down spring practice before it could begin.
Looking at it’s roster, the team will be reeling on all fronts. Colorado is replacing a three year starting quarterback with a converted safety and a backup quarterback who has five career pass attempts. On the bright side, the defense has two high-level players returning but has holes everywhere else that need to be filled.
UCLA is a touchdown favorite in this game. However, with the experience on all facets and a team that is rebuilding, look for the offense to have a field day with Colorado’s defense. The Buffs will look to score some points to make the game look respectable, but the Bruins will just be too much for Colorado to handle.