UCLA Bruins Hit Hawai'i with a 44-10 Tsunami
Chip Kelly has finally picked up his first non-conference win since arriving in Westwood.
UCLA took advantage of a series of Hawai’i miscues early in the first quarter as the Bruins jumped out to a 17-0 lead before the Rainbow Warriors could muster any points. It just got worse from there for Hawai’i as the Bruins rolled to a 44-10 win to open the 2021 season this afternoon.
UCLA finally looked like the team everyone was expecting when Chip Kelly was hired in 2017.
The Bruin defense looked outstanding. They put Hawai’i quarterback Chevan Cordeiro under constant pressure all game long and sacked him twice. The pressure was good enough that UCLA had two quarterback hurries and it was constant enough that the Bruins were able to turn the ball over twice.
Zach Charbonnet had one heck of a UCLA arrival party. He scored UCLA’s first touchdown of the game with a 21-yard scamper midway through the first quarter, and he followed that up with a 47-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter. Overall, on the day, Charbonnet led the Bruins with 106 of UCLA’s 254 yards rushing. He also added a third touchdown in the second quarter which also went for 21 yards.
If there was one area where the Bruins struggled, it was in the passing game. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a hard time hitting his receivers. He started the game 0-for-4 and finished completing just 50% of his passes, going 10-for-20 overall for 130 yards on the day. His longest of the day was a 44-yarder to Kazmeir Allen which accounted for DTR’s only touchdown pass of the game.
Ethan Garbers took over in the third quarter for Thompson-Robinson, but the game was already easily in hand by that point. As a result, Garber only threw two passes total. He did complete both of them for 18 yards total.
The Bruins managed to control the ball well in the game. There were no fumbles and neither quarterback threw a pick. So, at first glance, it looks like the team is making fewer mistakes in general, but I’ll defer to Dimitri’s Eye Test for a deeper analysis of today’s mistakes. There were still some aggressive penalties which gave Hawai’i first down yardage which UCLA will need to clean up, but, overall, they didn’t seem to shoot themselves in the foot, as Kelly’s UCLA teams have been known to do. While the Bruins were flagged a total of seven times for 80 yards, they didn’t seem to be penalties which hurt them that much.
Overall, it’s a good start for Kelly’s team as the Bruins have finally won a non-conference game under his leadership. More importantly, it’s a win that the Bruins can build on. If they can keep building on each game, this season has the promise of becoming something special, but it’s too soon to know for sure.