Bowling Green football game-by-game predictions for 2022
WATCH: Chip Kelly Talks Starting Game Prep, UCLA’s Pass Rush
The Bruins brought in a lot of help up front via the transfer portal, with the Murphy twins, Laiatu Latu, Jacob Sykes and Gary Smith III all arriving this offseason.
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UCLA football coach Chip Kelly spoke to reporters ahead of Friday morning’s practice session. Kelly talked about his first impressions of Bowling Green, the improved pass rush via the transfer portal, Garrett DiGiorgio’s performance in fall camp and how the defense may have improved as a whole.
Yankoff cross-training with running backs?
He’s cross-training, a real versatile kid, obviously coming off a foot injury, was a great special teams player for us during the COVID season, had played receiver, has the ability to do some things coming out of the backfield. We’re using him in a couple of different spots, but he’s still coming off the foot so he’s not 100% in terms of everything in practice, so it’s just segment parts for him, so we’ll see what that leads to.
Possible he could get carries?
Yeah, we don’t have game plan things like that, but he can play running back, he can play receiver, he can play tight end. The more versatile you are when you’re not a starter, the better off you are.
Uh, we’re playing Bowling Green in a week. We start next Saturday, Sept. 3. We’re going to play a football game. It’s supposed to be at the Rose Bowl, from what I understand. It’s supposed to be 11:15, so. It’s introduction to the Bowling Green game plan, so today and tomorrow and then Sunday’s an off day for those guys and then we’ll really start our game week, but because of camp you really have two extra days to [inaudible], we’ll still do some ones versus ones work today, but we’ll spend at least one period just introducing Bowling Green’s offense and defense to our respective and the same thing with special teams.
Lowdown on Bowling Green?
Interesting team. They beat Minnesota early in the year last year and Minnesota, I think, was a nine-win team that won their bowl game, so played really, really well against them. Were up and down in the MAC during the season, finished off with a big win over Ohio, but they seem like they’re a pass-first offense, their quarterback is a really good, he can do some things and he can create and make plays on the run, they’ve got a bunch of tight ends, they’re going to be multi in formations. Defensively, they’re a 3-4 team that was really, really good—I think they led the conference in rush defense last year, they return nine starters on the defensive side of the ball, so a good, really well-coached team, I’ve known Scott for a while and I think he does a really good job with those guys. They play hard when you watch them on tape, so we’re very aware—especially when you watch what they did to Minnesota at Minnesota last year. They were really physical in that football game, so it’s a good football team.
Minnesota upset get your guys’ attention?
I think so. When you look at what Minnesota’s done and what P.J.’s done there, I think Minnesota was a nine-win team last year and won a bowl game, so I think that in its own right will tell you that every week you have to be prepared for whoever you’re playing, so I think that will catch your attention, so that’s one of the games we’ve used in our breakdowns on both sides of the ball.
Getting pressure from four-man rushes essential, get that our of the transfer portal?
Yeah, I think there are some impact kids that we hope with the Murphs and Latu kind of on the edges and then Jacob Sykes inside that’s really added another dimension for us also, so it’s critical. You just can’t be in zero coverage to create pressure on the quarterback. The coaching adage is, when you’re in zero coverage the band plays—is it our band or their band? So if they do a good job of picking up that pressure then the quarterback has got to decipher one-on-one coverage, so we feel like we’ve got to generate a pass rush with our front and be able to play coverage [?] behind us and so far what we’ve gotten out of those guys, I’ve been really, really impressed with them, so they’re excited to get an opportunity to go play somebody else and we’ll get a chance to see what they really look like next Saturday.