Everything Chip Kelly said after UCLA opened Pac-12 play with a 45-17 win over Colorado
The Bruins are off to a 4-0 start. The latest win came Saturday in Boulder at Folsom Field against a re-energized Colorado team starting youth all over the field. On a weekend where upsets are happening all over the country, it might have been easy to overlook the hapless Buffaloes, but UCLA took care of business and cruised to a 45-17 win.
After the game, coach Chip Kelly met with reporters to break things down.
Here’s everything he said.
“Anytime you get a conference win on the road… I thought our offense did a really nice job executing. Defensively, I thought we played well. We have to clean up the penalty situation that extended drives a few times and I think some of their success was really our guys making mistakes. So, we’ll clean that up. I thought they (the defense) responded well losing Murph early (to a targeting call). It’s a hard penalty. I thought we did a really nice job just from what you can see from the sideline.
“Offensively I think we didn’t punt in the first half, we missed a short fourth down that we went for, but I thought they were clicking. I thought Dorian (Thompson-Robinson) got the ball to a lot of different receivers today. Now having Zach (Charbonnet) back, obviously was a big impact for us. And Dorian with his legs. I think we kind of got the ball distributed to the perimeter, and then you have a quarterback who can run and there’s kind of the difference.”
On second-half adjustments
“I think Billy (McGovern) and those guys did a really good job making a few adjustments, from a scheme standpoint, and then our conditioning I think is sharp in all four games that we played. It was a hot game today. I think we wore them down a little bit. I think that’s a factor in general, how are players trained during the week. So, we always seem to be going 4-for-4 in those opportunities. We’ve been the freshest team in the second half.”
On the importance of conditioning
“It’s everything. There’s a mindset that we talked about all the time how we fuel, how we train, how we recover. We’re pretty dialed in from that aspect in terms of how we do it, and I think it’s paid off. You look at the Bowling Green game, and they had 10 or 11 guys go down with cramps, we didn’t have anybody. Look at our conditioning, and I think it’s shown up in four games. I think it’s part of what our DNA is right now in terms of how we train and what we do and it benefits you on game days.”
On playing at altitude
“Yeah, well football is an anaerobic sport. So, I think the altitude thing goes out. We’re not running cross country. Some people try to make a big deal out of that, but when you look at the physiological part of it, there isn’t really much effect from an altitude standpoint. I think people in Colorado want you to believe that and think about it. There’s a big sign of what the elevation is. We don’t notice it because we cover it up. So, our players have no idea if we played at altitude or below sea level today, we don’t even talk about it.
On if winning in Boulder for the first time since 2014 makes it a little more special
“I think every win is really important. Anytime you can beat a quality opponent on the road in the league is huge. And if you want to be competitive in the league, you have to win road games. That’s really what the most important thing is for us. But, you know, everybody in that locker room wasn’t there in 2014 and someone’s kids were in elementary school. So, you know those things don’t really mean anything. They’re facts, but they don’t really pertain to this group this team this year. “
On the run game
“I think it’s a combination of our quarterback is a threat every time he hands the ball off, so I think people have to play him. In terms of being able to run, I think Tim Drevno has our offensive line doing a really good job creating some things. I think our ability to throw off our run game, we had some big chunk plays in play-action pass. So really put some of the linebackers in dual conflict they’re run-stoppers, but they got to play pass and kind of make them a little bit indecisive. So, I think the mix-up, play action pass quarterback run and running back run, I think is what helped us today.”
On the offensive tempo
“It’s important every day, you want to dictate and play football downhill, not uphill. I think our guys understand that. That’s just another tool in our toolbox. It’s not something that we do all the time, but it’s also something that we can use if we if we feel like it’s necessary and can give us some looks. I think it’s a credit to our guys that they can handle it, with the volume of offense that we have the ability to run a lot of tempo things I think was really beneficial to us.”
On the efficiency of the offense
“I think it’s really the execution part of it. The second drive we have a seven-play drive. It only took a minute and we scored. We’re just trying to score and that’s what we’re trying to do every single time. We probably leaned a little bit more on a template today. But I felt like that was something that we needed to do. It just depends on which week and how the game unfolds. But it was I think the efficiency of the offense was really huge in terms of our execution.”
On preparing for three different Colorado quarterbacks to potentially play
“We prepared for all three because all three had played. Owen (McCown), he kind of played at the end of the Minnesota game so you kind of saw what he was going to do. You knew they like to run a little bit of boot to the left where he could roll to his arm side because he’s different than in both Shroud and Lewis because those they’re both right-handed. So, I try to give them a little bit more roll left. We were kind of conscious of that and the boot game and you know move from around in the pocket a little bit and we were kind of prepared for that. Then once they announced, our coaches work their game plan off of that.”
On the importance of the win
“Everything’s important. I think once you can get your first league win, that’s obviously important. There’s no North-South anymore, it’s just it’s one division. So, every victory that you get is an opportunity to put on the right side of the ledger is huge. So that’s a big deal for us. It’s not whether we’re heading into the conference play every game we have from round one as a conference game and we know we all played our out-of-conference schedules and now we get into league play. So anytime you can get a win in this league because everybody’s playing each other so you know six teams are going to have six teams are going to be 1-0 when all the teams are going to be 0-1. It’s always good when it comes down to it. When you get a chance to play in the championship game. You can look back at a win like this could be the difference in playing in that game.
On Laiatu Latu
“A gutty performance by him. Just watched how hard he’s worked from a rehab standpoint. It’s awesome to see, he’s got such a work ethic. He’s starting to get a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more confident playing with a little bit more poise. It’s something that we thought when we brought him here that he could do and now that we’re starting to see him, you can see him get better and better each week and that’s the cool part of it.”