UCLA football: Five burning questions for the 2021 season

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UCLA kicks disconnected its 2021 shot play against Hawai’i astatine 12:30 p.m. Saturday astatine the Rose Bowl, seeking its archetypal nonconference triumph successful the 4th play of the Chip Kelly era. Here are immoderate of the apical questions facing the Bruins:

Is Chip Kelly connected the blistery seat?

The presumption of Kelly’s occupation ever seems to popular up and this twelvemonth is nary different. The spot surely isn’t acold and helium hasn’t produced a winning record, going conscionable 10-21 successful his archetypal 3 seasons. The spot tin drawback occurrence arsenic aboriginal arsenic Week 4, if the Bruins are getting acceptable to commencement league play with a grounds of 0-3 oregon 1-2.

UCLA hosts Hawaii, LSU and Fresno State to commencement the season. The Bruins are 0-6 successful nonconference games nether Kelly, granted they didn’t play a nonconference docket successful 2020.

Just remember, it was erstwhile diversion manager Dan Guerrero, not existent diversion manager Martin Jarmond, who hired Kelly. Jarmond spoke highly of Kelly during an interrogation with the Southern California News Group, but that doesn’t needfully mean Kelly’s occupation is safe.

There are 2 years, including this one, near connected Kelly’s contract. If a determination is made, it could travel aft the play oregon astatine the extremity of those 2 years. If things get truly desperate, we whitethorn spot idiosyncratic similar adjunct caput manager Brian Norwood instrumentality implicit midseason.

Is determination immoderate denotation Chip Kelly tin crook this squad around?

UCLA cleared a large hurdle past play by getting the programme implicit .500 concisely for the archetypal clip since Oct. 21, 2017.

The Bruins person a pugnacious roadworthy up with six opponents ranked successful the AP Top 25 preseason poll, including USC, Oregon and LSU.

Expectations are precocious this season, with an discourtesy that tin enactment up immoderate points and a defence that could instrumentality different affirmative measurement forward. Settling for thing beneath .500 would beryllium unacceptable.

Can the discourtesy replicate its mean of 35 points per crippled past season?

The discourtesy should beryllium capable to repetition this level of production. Despite the nonaccomplishment of versatile Demetric Felton, who decided to participate the NFL draft, the Bruins are acceptable with different stacked backfield that features Brittain Brown and Zach Charbonnet.

QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson indispensable stay steadfast and assistance get the passing crippled going. His apical 2 targets, receiver Kyle Philips and choky extremity Greg Dulcich, return. Thompson-Robinson said helium wants to get the shot to arsenic galore radical arsenic imaginable this season.

Can the defence amended aft giving up 35 points oregon much 4 times past season?

The Bruins instrumentality each but 1 starter connected defense, including a seasoned secondary.

Norwood, who is besides the antiaircraft backs coach, joined the unit successful 2020 and helped alteration the antiaircraft strategy that returning players and incoming transfers were asked to larn during a shortened season.

Norwood believes the secondary indispensable cleanable up immoderate mistakes that whitethorn person resulted from constricted signifier opportunities and travel backmost stronger. The secondary allowed 274 passing yards per game.

What interaction tin coaching unit hires/changes person connected the program?

The Bruins made cardinal additions to the unit this offseason. Kelly promoted Jerry Neuheisel to wide receivers manager successful January. Neuheisel is simply a existent Bruin, a erstwhile backmost successful the programme and the lad of erstwhile UCLA caput manager Rick Neuheisel. Several receivers admit Jerry’s attraction to item with way moving and however helium uses his acquisition arsenic a backmost to explicate things from a antithetic constituent of presumption connected the field.

Ryan Gunderson joined UCLA successful February arsenic the quarterbacks coach, pursuing Dana Bible’s retirement. Thompson-Robinson has spoken highly of Gunderson and said helium adds a antithetic position than what the backmost country has been utilized to the past mates of years. Gunderson has plentifulness of young endowment helium tin mentor and make going forward.

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