2019 UCLA Bruins College Football Preview

by Jul 10, 2019NCAA Football

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UCLA Bruins
Rose Bowl Stadium
106,869 Seat Stadium
Natural Grass
Pasadena, California

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UCLA Bruins fans were extremely optimistic about the 2019 season with the hiring of former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly was supposed to bring in a new offense that would get the Bruins back on the map, but that didn’t exactly work out in 2018. UCLA lost their first five games of the season, but there was some signs of growth near the end of the season.

UCLA was once considered a college football powerhouse, but the last decade or so has been rough in Los Angeles. The Bruins did manage to knock off rival USC in 2018, and that has some fans thinking big in 2019. There is no doubt UCLA has the necessary resources to get back in contention in the Pac-12, but it’s going to take some time.

UCLA Offense

Chip Kelly is known to be an offensive genius, but his first season at UCLA was anything but a masterpiece. The Bruins managed just 24.6 points and 393 yards a season ago. Dorian Thompson-Robinson will be back as the starting quarterback, but he will have some competition under center.

Running back Joshua Kelly ran for over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago, and will need to have another big season for the Bruins. The offensive line was a big problem in 2018, and it will be a big question mark again this season.

All five starters are set to return, but look for some new players to challenge for a position. 

UCLA Defense

The UCLA defense was the second-worst unit in the Pac-12 a season ago, but there is reason for optimism heading into 2019. Most of the top defensive players return, and an improved offensive attack could give the defense a break.

UCLA gave up more than 34 points per game a season ago, while yielding more than 445 yards per contest.

Senior Keisean Lucier-South had 46 tackles and four sacks a season ago, and was once a top recruit for UCLA. The Bruins averaged just over 1 sack per game a season ago, and the defensive line is going to have to get more pressure this season. 

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UCLA Special Teams

Wade Lees is a graduate transfer from the University of Maryland and he will likely be the new punter for the Bruins. UCLA is set at the kicker position with JJ Molson, but Chip Kelly doesn’t use the kicker much. The Bruins were horrible on kick coverage a season ago, and it cost the special teams coach his job. 

2019 UCLA Bruins Outlook

The Bruins have a tough non-conference schedule with a monster game against Oklahoma in the mix. UCLA will avoid playing Oregon and Washington this season, which could spare them a few losses. The Bruins will have a chance to get off to a strong start. 

UCLA is fortunate to be a member of the Pac-12 South, and that division appears to be pretty wide open. Oddsmakers have set the over/under at 5.5 wins for the 2019 UCLA Bruins football team. Based on the information above and the favorable schedule, the Bruins should be able to scratch out at least six wins this season. 

Don’t forget to check out our NCAA College Football Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings in College Football throughout the 2019 Season.

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