1. UCLA WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN
It was a really, really young team under the new coaching staff, and it showed.
By the end of the season, seven underclassmen were starting on defense, and five were starting on O – and that doesn’t count then-freshman QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. While that was a good thing to build for the future, and it’s a positive that Chip Kelly continues to go young to find the right guys to fit his systems, it led to a whole lot of mistakes.
The Bruins committed way too many penalties, were miserable in kick and punt coverage, and rarely came up with a clutch play or drive to take over a winnable game.
This will hardly be an air-tight team, but it’ll be far sharper, and it’ll start to look and play the part after losing four games by a touchdown or less. A few more of those will go the other way, so …
Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 8
The schedule is hardly easy – especially with at Cincinnati, San Diego State, and Oklahoma in non-conference play – but the Bruins should be good enough to win at least two of those.
There’s a trip to Stanford, and dates at Washington State, Arizona, Utah and USC are all losable, but expect the Bruins to start to get the schemes together to win a few of those. Both the Stanford and Utah games come after a week off.
Oregon and Washington aren’t on the schedule, and there’s only one game outside of California after the end of September.
This is where the Chip Kelly era really starts to kick it in.