Coach Chip Kelly and the UCLA shot squad volition look to wide a fewer important hurdles with a location triumph implicit Hawai’i connected Saturday.
It would beryllium the Bruins’ archetypal season-opening triumph since 2017 and the archetypal nonconference triumph for the programme during successful the 4th play of Kelly’s tenure.
UCLA diversion manager Martin Jarmond has expressed the importance of the location opener and what it could mean for the instrumentality basal and surrounding community.
“We’re going to beryllium liable for bringing backmost sports successful a mode to truthful galore radical and we person to punctual them what’s large astir this,” Jarmond said.
A palmy Saturday would springiness UCLA immoderate momentum going into their marquee matchup against LSU, who won the nationalist title successful 2019, connected Sept. 4 astatine the Rose Bowl.
Hawai’i has mislaid its past 8 games against Pac-12 teams connected the road.
When UCLA has the ball
Kelly has made it wide to backmost Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the discourtesy passim the week astir the assertive mindset of the Hawai’i defence coached by Todd Graham.
The discourtesy indispensable instrumentality attraction of the shot aft giving up 12 of its 13 full turnovers successful its 4 losses past season, which resulted successful bully tract presumption and 71 points scored by opponents.
Running backs Brittain Brown and Zach Charbonnet volition tally the shot for the Bruins this season. The duo could beryllium successful for a large debut against a Hawaii tally defence that past play allowed an mean of 211 yards per game, ranking 105th successful the nation.
The Rainbow Warriors instrumentality 10 starters connected defense, including linebacker Darius Muasau, who ranked apical 5 successful the federation successful solo tackles and full tackles per crippled successful 2020. Muasau’s 104 tackles, during the shortened season, made him conscionable 1 of 2 Hawaii players successful the past 9 seasons to grounds implicit 100 tackles.
When Hawai’i has the ball
The Rainbow Warriors instrumentality apical playmakers connected offense, including sophomore backmost Chevan Gordeiro and violative limb Calvin Turner Jr.
Gordeiro has displayed his quality arsenic a dual-threat endowment and volition support the Bruins defence honorable Saturday. Gordeiro led Hawai’i successful passing (2,083 yards and 14 touchdowns) and rushing (483 yards and 7 touchdowns) successful 2020.
Graham has said the biggest betterment the squad has made is offensively and with their quality to score. Expect Gordeiro to instrumentality immoderate passing opportunities downfield to Turner and receiver Jared Smart arsenic they look to situation the Bruins’ secondary.
Graham has called Turner 1 of the astir dynamic players he’s coached implicit the past 30 years due to the fact that of his quality to play aggregate positions. Turner had Hawaii’s 4 longest plays from scrimmage past season, including 3 catches of 70 oregon much yards.
UCLA’s defence allowed 274 passing yards successful 2020 and ranked 114th nationally, which was inactive a flimsy betterment from the 2019 play utilizing a antithetic antiaircraft scheme.
Defensive backmost Stephan Blaylock returns arsenic the Bruins’ second-leading tackler with 42 tackles. Linebacker Caleb Johnson besides returns aft signaling team-highs successful tackles (44) and sacks (5.5).
Hawai’i astatine UCLA
When: 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Rose Bowl
TV/Radio: ESPN/AM 570