Chip Kelly's UCLA tenure begins with a loss to Cincinnati

Yahoo Sports
Chip Kelly’s first UCLA game didn’t go well. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Chip Kelly’s first UCLA game didn’t go well. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

It’s going to take some time for Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins to be successful.

UCLA lost 26-17 to Cincinnati on Saturday night in Kelly’s first game with the Bruins. It looked like UCLA would have a chance with less than two minutes left as Cincinnati elected to kick a field goal from the 2. The kick would have given the Bearcats a 22-17 lead and meant UCLA could win with a TD.

Alas, UCLA committed a penalty. The Bruins were called for an illegal sub. The penalty was half the distance to the goal and Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell decided to go for it. Good call. Michael Warren III scored a touchdown for a two-possession lead. The game was over after that.

Bruin offense sputters

If you were expecting Kelly to replicate his Oregon days in his first college game since leaving the Ducks, you were sorely disappointed. UCLA had less than 300 yards of total offense. Quarterbacks Wilton Speight — who left the game with an injury — and Dorian Thompson-Robinson combined for 155 yards passing. The run game added 144 yards on 31 carries, though Kazmeir Allen had 74 of those yards on one scamper. Take that away and you’ve got a 30-carry, 70-yard performance. Ugh.

Things may not get much better next week. UCLA travels to Oklahoma in Week 2.

Michael Warren scores three times

Cincinnati’s offensive stats were just as unimpressive as UCLA’s. But Warren had three touchdowns and ran for 141 yards on 30 carries. It’s the first win over a Power Five team for the Bearcats since a Week 2 win over Purdue in 2016.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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