A hush had fallen over the Rose Bowl within the ultimate minute, the boos that serenaded UCLA avid gamers operating into the locker room at halftime changed by way of indifference a few of the few ultimate lovers.
Right down to fourth-string quarterback Chase Griffin on account of accidents, the Bruins have been pressured to run one remaining meaningless play towards Arizona State. When Griffin’s cross fell incomplete, a teammate at the sideline threw up his fingers in disgust and became to go away the sector.
As chants of “A-S-U!” crammed one nook of the stadium close to the tip of the Bruins’ 17-7 loss, a UCLA fan at the back of the crew’s bench rendered a distinct verdict.
“Determine it out, Chip!” he yelled.
The phrases begged two questions: How for much longer will Chip Kelly be given? And is he the trainer the Bruins actually wish to deliver with them to the Large Ten?
What simply certified as essentially the most crushing lack of Kelly’s six seasons given the opponent and its personal important problems left UCLA (6-4 total, 3-4 Percent-12) with a 2d consecutive defeat. It additionally renewed issues about Kelly’s skill to win within the Large Ten if his crew can’t beat a Percent-12 foe that used to be so shorthanded it used a operating again and transformed tight finish at quarterback.
Even Kelly’s recognition as an offensive guru persisted to take a vital hit. Going with Collin Schlee because the beginning quarterback for the primary time this season as a result of recovering opposite numbers Dante Moore and Ethan Garbers have been to be had most effective on an emergency foundation, the Bruins relied closely on their run recreation.
They rolled up 183 yards at the floor however went 0 for 4 on fourth-down conversion makes an attempt, operating up the center at the first 3. Two of the fourth-down screw ups got here within the purple zone. Used to be Kelly’s play calling in the ones eventualities getting a bit of predictable?
“Yeah,” Kelly said, “however there’s additionally the college of idea that we gotta be capable of achieve one backyard if we will be able to achieve one backyard. However we’ll return, clearly it didn’t paintings, so like I stated that’s on us.”
The record of embarrassments additionally incorporated UCLA failing to attain after having a first-and-goal on the Arizona State five-yard line and a primary down on the Solar Devils’ 18. The Bruins failed to turn a lot creativeness in getting close out within the first part and matching their season low for issues.
“We advised them it used to be on us as coaches,” Kelly stated of the message to his avid gamers later on. “We didn’t do a excellent sufficient activity to arrange the ones guys to play this soccer recreation.”
In the meantime, Arizona State (3-7, 2-5) successfully offset the absence of 2 quarterbacks and 7 offensive lineman with creativity. Time and again the use of the swinging gate play that bunched maximum in their offensive lineman on one facet of the sector, the Solar Devils produced 250 yards of offense one week after managing simply 83 yards all the way through a 55-3 loss to Utah.
Working again Cam Skattebo fired a 25-yard landing cross to Elijhah Badger to offer Arizona State a 10-0 lead overdue within the 3rd quarter.
UCLA seemed at risk of being close out after its subsequent pressure ended with operating again Carson Steele getting one backyard on fourth-and-two, resulting in a turnover on downs. However the Bruins were given the ball again after the Solar Devils couldn’t get a primary down and deliberately took consequences on 4 consecutive performs to burn day without work the clock.
Backing up on goal backfired when UCLA parlayed excellent box place after the punt into fast issues. Schlee in the end threw a 16-yard landing cross to Logan Loya, and there used to be unexpectedly some existence a few of the crowd of 56,436.
It temporarily were given sucked out of the stadium after the Bruins two times sustained Arizona State’s subsequent pressure with consequences on 3rd down. Edge rusher Grayson Murphy gave the Solar Devils one first down with an unsportsmanlike habits penalty after the play and cornerback Devin Kirkwood proficient them some other with cross interference.
“That hurts,” Kelly stated. “That is on us and you’ll’t do this, particularly in a good soccer recreation like that.”
After later changing a fourth-and-four, the Solar Devils caught a fork within the Bruins at the subsequent play. Momentarily operating right into a wall of defenders, Skattebo reduce outdoor for a 17-yard landing that gave Arizona State a 17-7 lead with 3:07 left.
Schlee left with an unspecified harm two performs later, completing an evening through which he ran for 51 yards and finished 11 of 18 passes for 117 yards and one landing.
Barring a victory over USC subsequent weekend on the Coliseum as a part of a late-season surge that still comes to triumphs over California and a bowl opponent, Kelly may just face an unwelcome reckoning within the coming weeks, if now not days.
His supporters can now not level to a persisted upward trajectory, the Bruins now not able to best remaining season’s 9-4 document. His total document at UCLA is now 33-33, which might be under .500 if you are taking away two victories over Soccer Championship Subdivision groups.
There’s additionally issues about Kelly’s loss of ambassadorship of this system additional decimating an already lackluster appearing within the title, symbol and likeness area, hurting now not most effective the Bruins’ recruiting efforts but additionally their skill to retain their very own avid gamers going into 2024.
What does Kelly see as the trail ahead amid a dramatic downturn?
“It’s us towards the crew, our rival, you already know, subsequent Saturday, and that’s what we discuss,” Kelly stated, regarding the sport towards USC. “It’s all the time one recreation at a time.”
This is, assuming he will get there.
This tale at the start seemed in Los Angeles Occasions.