We take a look inside the trenches to look at the performance of the offensive line of UCLA that was crucial to getting the first win of the Chip Kelly era.
UCLA fans thought it was going to be a great season for them and start on fire as Kelly did at Oregon, and clearly, it’s not the case. Coming into the game the UCLA offense was ranked 126th in points per game (18.4), 101st in passing yards (194 yards), 101st in rushing yards (138). They were a seven-point underdog in this game.
The run game was on point as the Bruins led by running back Joshua Kelley, who had a great game against Washington last week, gave that same energy on the ground against the Cal Bears, going for 30 rushes for 157 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 5.2 yards a carry.
Also, Dorian Thompson-Robinson had the best game of his young college career going for 13-of-15 with 141 yards. These amazing individual performances wouldn’t have happened without the work and cohesiveness of the offensive line.
The Bruins offensive line was able to handle the heavy load with 55 running plays to only 15 pass attempts in the entire game. The offense had zero turnovers and was able to gash The Bears with over 200 yards on the ground along with 20 first downs. They were able to handle a Cal defense who shows different blitzes, stunts, and fronts.
Center Boss Tagaloa was a quarterback on the offensive line checking out of things as Thompson-Robinson was. Upfront as a whole they played solid, true freshman Chris Murray right guard and left guard Michael Alves was able to show their aggressive style of play. They were able to win one on one matchups and move their feet to the second level off of combo blocks. Tackles Jake Burton and Andre James were able to make key blocks when they were in a goal-line stand.
All day they were able to run through the tackles and it was really nothing The Bears defense could do about it. Through the five-game losing streak, they were trying to mimic everything like Oregon with the read options, jet sweeps and with the throwing the deep ball but that’s not their identity. They found their identity against Cal by playing efficient football by running between the tackles, controlling the clock and playing physical.