The UCLA Bruins will search for their first win of the season in Pullman against the Washington State Cougars on Saturday night. The Chip Kelly era at UCLA has been sputtering. Going into his second season as the head coach at UCLA, his first season back in college since coaching Oregon, Kelly has not had anything working.
UCLA want to give him time to get his own recruits in there playing, but there comes a point where he’s not going to get enough free passes. Despite having to work with what is mostly guys that he didn’t recruit, Kelly should be getting these guys up to play competitive football at least. It seems like no has been listening to his message in the locker room.
When you lose the locker room, a coach has nothing with college kids. We’ll see if things turn around for Kelly and UCLA, though. It could happen at the flick of a switch. When things were rolling for Kelly at Oregon, the Ducks were unstoppable to stop consistently. They were averaging around 50 points a game and the offense was operating at lightning speed. And Kelly didn’t need Marcus Mariota to run an efficient offense as well, he did it with a few different guys.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson was recruited by the Chip Kelly coaching staff. He signed to play at UCLA in 2018, so there are no excuses for Chip if Thompson-Robinson is a bust. Thompson-Robinson was a highly touted dual-threat quarterback out of Las Vegas in high school. He went to an offense which fits his ability, but it hasn’t translated thus far at the college level. It’s not just Thompson-Robinson, the offensive line really has to help him out.
After getting pounded by Oklahoma, 48-14, the schedule is not getting any easier for UCLA. They must go on the road now to a hostile environment in Pullman. Mike Leach’s squad can put up points in a hurry, and after dealing with Oklahoma last week, this isn’t going to be an easy trip to Washington State. Head below for our free UCLA vs. Washington State pick.
UCLA Bruins vs. Washington State Cougars NCAAF Week 4 Betting Odds:
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UCLA vs. Washington State Pick:
Washington State go into Week 4 with a perfect record of 3-0. Their biggest win came on the road last weekend against the Houston Cougars, 31-24. Luke Falk and Gardner Minshew are no longer on campus, but Leach keeps on reloading with another talented quarterback in 2019. Anthony Gordon is the next guy in line and it hasn’t taken him long to fire away with big numbers.
Gordon has been excelling in the air raid, as he’s passed for 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on an impressive 78.7% completions. Completing nearly 80% of passes is not easy to do, regardless the type of offense. Max Borgi provides a nice change of pace on the ground and he’s also a running back who can haul in passes out of the backfield.
The Cougars are 6th in the nation with 567 yards per game and 49.3 points scored per game. They haven’t had to face a top ranked defense in the first three weeks, but UCLA are not likely to provide much resistance, either. The Bruins have gotten decimated for 467 yards per game to put them in 115th in the FBS. Don’t be surprised if Gordon continues to rack up the numbers this week. It should look easy for him at home against a struggling UCLA defense.
Washington State enter Saturday night 52nd in the FBS with 346 yards allowed per game. I think they did a pretty good job against Houston last week, limiting them to 24 points in the 31-24 win. Houston is really the only offense they’ve had to play thus far, though. They’ve played Northern Colorado and New Mexico State in their other two games.
I’m not under the impression that Thompson-Robinson is going to light up Washington State and keep up with Gordon, but the total here is looking a little too low. What I could see happening is a backdoor cover on Washington State at 19. I think the oddsmakers got that spread right with a sharp line. However, 58 points with this Washington State offense is a shy too low. They could easily score over 40 points in a 45-21 or 41-24 game. Consider a selection on the OVER in the late game in the Pac 12.