UCLA is on the verge of defeat
Michael Warren II scored on his third one-yard run of the game for Cincinnati, increasing the Bearcats’ lead over UCLA to 26-17 with 1:44 left.
Cincinnati took over the ball on UCLA’s 36 after the Bruins had a fourth-and-goal situation and failed.
UCLA’s defense appeared to make Cincinnati settle for a short field-goal attempt. But a penalty for illegal substitution moved the ball one yard to the one, causing the Bearcats to change their mind and bring the offense back onto the field.
UCLA falls to Cincinnati in Chip Kelly’s debut
There was no Chip Kelly magic in his debut as football coach at UCLA. Despite being a two-touchdown favorite, the Bruins were beaten by Cincinnati 26-17 on Saturday before 54,116 at the Rose Bowl.
Michael Warren II rushed for 141 yards in 35 carries and scored three touchdowns on one-yard runs for the Bearcats.
UCLA came back from a 17-10 halftime deficit, tying the game in the third quarter on a 74-yard touchdown run by freshman Kazmeir Allen.
But the Bruins’ offense was stuck in bad field position for much of the second half, putting pressure on true freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who was forced into action after a second-quarter injury to starting quarterback Wilton Speight.
Thompson-Robinson completed 15 of 25 passes for 117 yards. He fumbled in the fourth quarter, leading to a Cincinnati safety when tight end Caleb Wilson fell on the ball in the end zone, breaking the 17-17 tie.
Allen rushed for 103 yards.
Kelly, coaching in his first collegiate game since he was with Oregon in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, will need some quick fixes because the Bruins will be playing at Oklahoma next week.
UCLA fails on fourth down in 19-17 game
UCLA coach Chip Kelly sure doesn’t like to punt. Facing a fourth-and-one situation on its own 36 with 5:46 left and down by two points to Cincinnati, Kelly told his team to go for it.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s pass fell incomplete. UCLA fans started to leave the Rose Bowl with the Bearcats ahead 19-17.
UCLA’s defense is trying to give the offense one final chance.
Fumble results in safety for Cincinnati and a 19-17 lead
Freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was stripped of the ball at the five and tight end Caleb Wilson fell on the ball in the end zone, resulting in a safety for Cincinnati and a 19-17 lead over UCLA with 9:45 left.
Cincinnati was forced to punt on five of its first six possessions of the second half. The Bearcats drove to the UCLA 32 early in the fourth quarter but a pass incompletion on fourth down ended the drive.
Michael Warren II, who rushed for 128 yards in 27 carries, had to briefly leave the game with 10:58 left with an injury.
UCLA’s offense had trouble moving the ball and was continually stuck deep in its own territory by inheriting poor field position.
UCLA defense playing better in 17-17 tie
UCLA’s defense forced four consecutive Cincinnati punts to start the third quarter. The Bruins have been putting more pressure on quarterback Desmond Ridder.
The game remains tied at 17-17 after three quarters.
True freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been playing quarterback for UCLA. He is seven of 12 passing for 54 yards. A couple of dropped passes prevented the Bruins from potential long gains in the third quarter.
They announced the attendance for the game is 54,116.
UCLA’s Kazmeir Allen races 74 yards for touchdown
There’s a reason freshman Kazmeir Allen of UCLA won the 100 meters at the state track and field championships last year at Tulare High. He’s got blazing speed.
And everyone at the Rose Bowl on Saturday got to see how fast Allen is. He took a handoff from Dorian Thompson-Robinson with 12:49 left in the third quarter and took off, racing 74 yards around the right end for a touchdown that tied the game against Cincinnati at 17-17.
UCLA coach Chip Kelly said at halftime he needed to get the ball to his playmakers to create openings on the outside, and that’s exactly what Allen did.
He has been compared to former Oregon standout De’Anthony Thomas, who Kelly turned into a star.
Freshman QB Desmond Ridder helps Cincinnati take 17-10 halftime lead over UCLA
When redshirt freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder came off the bench in the first quarter for Cincinnati at the Rose Bowl, the Bearcats’ offense took off.
He has led Cincinnati to a 17-10 halftime lead over UCLA in the coaching debut of Chip Kelly for the Bruins.
Ridder, who came to Cincinnati from Louisville, Ky., rallied the Bearcats from a 10-0 deficit. His agility and ability to run and pass made him look far more like a Chip Kelly quarterback from his Oregon days than the two quarterbacks playing for the Bruins in the first half.
UCLA’s defense was able to halt the Bearcats at the six-yard line near the end of the half, forcing Cincinnati to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Cole Smith.
Ridder has completed nine of 11 passes for 73 yards. He also has rushed for 57 yards in nine carries. Michael Warren II has rushed for 60 yards and scored two touchdowns.
UCLA started the game with Michigan transfer Wilton Speight at quarterback. He was knocked out of the game with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. Freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson took over. They have combined for 68 yards passing.
Freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson takes over at QB for UCLA
Quarterback Wilton Speight was shaken up on a scramble with 5:16 left in the second quarter, and freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson received an ovation coming onto the field from UCLA fans at the Rose Bowl.
A year ago, on Sept. 1, he was playing football for Las Vegas Bishop Gorman making his first varsity start at quarterback against Santa Ana Mater Dei and quarterback J.T. Daniels.
Thompson-Robinson completed a 16-yard pass to Theo Howard on his second play from scrimmage but the drive stalled. UCLA is down 14-10 with 2:19 left before halftime.
Cincinnati gets its offense going to cut deficit to 10-7
Redshirt freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati found a way to open up the offense with his play-making skills to start the second quarter against UCLA.
Using the option play and some timely passes, the Bearcats put together a 75-yard, 14-play drive to cut their deficit to 10-7 at the Rose Bowl. Michael Warren scored on a one-yard run with 10:02 left in the quarter.
The Bearcats ran seven minutes off the clock on the drive. Ridder is six for six passing for 53 yards.
Interception helps Cincinnati take 14-10 lead
UCLA’s good start against Cincinnati has been reversed, with the Bearcats taking a 14-10 lead after Michael Warren II scored his second one-yard touchdown run with 6:57 left in the second quarter.
James Wiggins picked off a Wilton Speight pass at the UCLA 27. Speight was trying to connect on a short out pattern and Wiggins made the interception diving to the ground.
Freshman Desmond Ridder has given the Bearcats’ offense a boost with his running and passing, wiping out a 10-0 deficit.
J.J. Molson kicks 47-yard field goal for UCLA
UCLA has opened a 10-0 lead over Cincinnati at the Rose Bowl after a 47-yard field goal by J.J. Molson with 2:02 left in the first quarter.
The Bruins drove to the Bearcats’ 26 on the strength of an eight-yard run by Joshua Kelley and a nine-yard Kelley reception.
The Bruins’ offense started to pick up some momentum until a sack and illegal procedure penalty put a stop to the drive.
The UCLA defense continues to impress. Jaelan Phillips, playing his new outside linebacker position, came up with a sack, joining the other outside linebacker, Keisean Lucier-South, who also had a sack.
The first quarter ended with UCLA holding a 10-0 lead. Quarterback Wilton Speight was seven of 10 passing for 41 yards.
UCLA forces fumble and takes 7-0 lead
UCLA turned to its defense to create a scoring opportunity against Cincinnati in the first quarter.
Rick Wade forced a fumble and Keisean Lucier-South recovered on the Bearcats’ 13-yard line.
That set up a one-yard touchdown run by Bolu Olorunfunmi for a 7-0 lead with 7:38 left in the first quarter.
UCLA fans also got their first glimpse at a quick Chip Kelly offense. After moving the ball to the one on a run, UCLA immediately lined up to hike the ball, forcing the Bearcats to call a timeout.
Lucier-South has been big early on for UCLA. He also has a sack.
Kazmeir Allen shows off 100-meter speed for UCLA
Freshman Kazmeir Allen gave UCLA fans a hint at why he won the state 100-meter championship in track and field last spring for Tulare Union High.
On his first collegiate carry, he went left and turned on the speed for a 23-yard gain against Cincinnati.
He’s supposed to be Chip Kelly’s version of former Oregon star De’Anthony Thomas, and for one play, he sure looked like he has game-changing speed.
UCLA has had two offensive possessions working out of a no-huddle, shotgun offense but hasn’t put together a solid drive in a 0-0 game.
Cincinnati lost Michael Pitts to an ejection after he was called for targeting when he hit quarterback Wilton Speight.
UCLA doesn’t move much on first offensive possession
UCLA fans didn’t have to wait long to find out about the new Chip Kelly offense. The Bruins won the coin toss and elected to receive. Michigan transfer Wilton Speight took his first snap from true freshman center Chris Murray, who played on last year’s 15-0 Mater Dei team with quarterback J.T. Daniels of USC.
The Bruins didn’t move much, starting on their own 22 and getting to the 26 before having to punt after three plays. Speight completed a seven-yard pass to Caleb Wilson for his first completion as a Bruin.
Keisean Lucier-South, expected to make an impact at defensive end, recorded a sack on the Bearcats’ first possession.
Will UCLA look like Oregon Ducks or Philadelphia Eagles?
The Chip Kelly Era is about to begin, and UCLA fans can’t wait to see whether the Bruins’ offense will resemble the Oregon Ducks or the Philadelphia Eagles, two of Kelly’s previous coaching destinations.
The expectation against Cincinnati at the Rose Bowl is for a no-huddle attack with quick play calls. It’s been a well-kept secret because of closed practices. There’s also questions how Kelly will use UCLA’s many tight ends, led by Caleb Wilson, who returns from injury.
Another mystery is how many of UCLA’s true freshmen will make their debuts. Because of a new NCAA rule that allows anyone to play in the first four games, then redshirt, it makes sense to give young players an immediate shot.
Among the freshmen who could make an appearance are receivers Kyle Phillips and Chase Cota, running back Kazmeir Allen, defensive back Stephan Blaylock, offensive lineman Chris Murray and defensive linemen Tyler Manoa and Otito Ogonnia. Allen, the state 100-meter track champion, could be UCLA’s version of former Oregon star De’Anthony Thomas.
Kelly teams had seven losses in four seasons at Oregon, but two came in season openers.
Kickoff is 4:05 p.m.
UCLA fans and rest of football world ready for a first real glimpse of Chip Kelly’s Bruins
The lobby of UCLA’s Wasserman Football Center this week revealed a blend of old and new, past and present.
Along a bank of windows sat a passel of Pac-10 Conference championship trophies, none more recent than 1998. Plastered on a nearby wall were pictures of legends from what felt like a long-lost era. They included Gary Beban, the school’s only Heisman Trophy winner, more than a half-century ago, and pre-civil rights movement racial pioneers Jackie Robinson, Woody Strode and Kenny Washington.
Overlooking it all above a receptionist’s desk was a massive video board flashing a series of images. Along with the day’s schedule featuring time allotted for eating, training and recovery were inspirational sayings and words such as kaizen, the Japanese art of making continuous improvement through small, ongoing changes.
UCLA’s season-opening opponent is just as much of a mystery as the Bruins
The team intends to play faster, winning at warp speed after consecutive losing seasons.
The quarterback situation is muddled, a more experienced candidate trying to hold off a freshman upstart for the starting job.
The expectations remain low, the media predicting a fourth-place finish in the division.
UCLA-Cincinnati: A look at how the teams match up
UCLA (0-0) vs. Cincinnati (0-0)
Saturday, 4 p.m., Rose Bowl. TV: ESPN. Radio: 570, 97.3.