Can't Wait For Saturday | UCLA sets new course on offense with veteran NFL coordinator

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Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves.


Welcome to the Big Ten, Eric Bieniemy.

According to reports, the longtime coach will be the new offensive coordinator at UCLA for first-year boss Deshaun Foster. No surprise the former NFL running back Foster turned to another ex-NFL running back to be in charge of his offense.

Picking a guy with Super Bowl rings seems like a veteran call by a rookie head coach. My early "trouble" assessment of the Bruins has been changed to "look out for them."

Though he has been mentioned many times for NFL head coach openings in the past, Bieniemy has never landed a job. Perhaps going back to school will provide the path.

Just as likely, Bieniemy will do well enough in Westwood to gain the attention of a high-profile college with an opening, There is potential for many of them after the 2024 season, in both in the Big Ten (Iowa, Minnesota) and the rest of the Power Four.

The unknown with Bieniemy is his ability as a head coach. He has never been one. The UCLA job gives him another chance to prove he can handle it.

Improving the Bruins, especially with scoring, is doable for Bieniemy right away. The team was 68th in the FBS in scoring last season. Bumping that 10 spots might be worth another win or two.

At 54, the coach is a long way from hanging up the whistle. But the sooner the better in terms of running his own shop.

Colorado's career rushing and TD leader had a pair of memorable games against Illinois as player, winning in 1989 38-7 at home and losing 23-22 in Champaign during the Buffaloes 1900 national title season.