UCLA Bruins 2023 College Football Preview
July 14, 2023
Record – 9-4
ATS – 6-7
The FIGHTING CHIP KELLYS were one of the most exciting teams in the nation and came very close to making the PAC-12 title game. They started 6-0 (!) whilst posting back-to-back wins over Washington and Utah. They subsequently fell to Oregon on the road but the real killer was the home loss to Arizona. They dropped a heartbreaker to Pitt in the Sun Bowl (L 37-35) and finished the season at 9-4. That marked the first nine-win season of the Chip Kelly regime.
UCLA Bruins 2023 Outlook
The Bruins moved the ball like a TREMENDOUS MACHINE behind ALL-MEGALOCKS TEAM QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and finished last season ranked #1 in the PAC-12 in rushing offense and #3 in scoring offense (39.2 PPG). This year’s starting QB will be either last season’s backup Ethan Garbers or highly-touted freshman Dante Moore who looked really good in the spring. Losing #1 RB Zach Charbonnet is a killer (1,359, 14 TD, 7.0) as he could run over you or run past you. The good news is that they poached one of the most underrated RBs in the country from Ball St in Carson Steele (1,556, 14 TD; 29 receptions LY) and TJ Harden is a fine backup (7.4). UCLA will be without their top-two WRs from LY but they picked up some good pieces thru the transfer portal including former Cal wideout J. Michael Sturdivant who led the Golden Bears in receptions in 2022. The Bruins lost a pair of offensive line starters to the NFL but they’ll be able to cobble together a decent group from last season’s returnees and portal additions. This offense will be potent but DTR was a special player with a lot of experience, so it’s hard to imagine the Bruins picking up where they left off last year without a few hiccups.
The defense wasn’t a complete disaster LY (#6 PAC-12 total defense, #7 scoring defense) but there were several occasions where they just couldn’t get a stop to save their lives (USC, Pitt, Oregon, etc.). Nine starters are back on this side of the football including #1 tackler LB Darius Muasau, elite pass rushing DE Laiatu Latu (10.5 sacks, 9 QBH LY), and DE Grayson Murphy (5 sacks, 9 TFL). The secondary has more experience this season but we’ll have to see how that translates into production this year. They’ll certainly be able to PENETRATE and that gives this defense a legit shot to improve in 2023.
The Bruins will rely on FCS transfers to take over the PK and punting duties and that’s always a bit risky. They’ll definitely miss the explosive Kazmeir Allen on KR as he often gave the team great starting field position.
Overall – They’ll have to STRAP IT ON early given that they travel to San Diego St and Utah (!) in the first month of the season. It’s definitely a yuuuge bonus to miss Oregon AND Washington in PAC-12 action.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Arizona St (Nov 11)
This looks like a suboptimal spot to lay a lot of points with the home team as they’ve got the rivalry game with USC up next. We’ll also note that if the season hasn’t been going well to this point, it gives us another reason to avoid the home favorite.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 14
Over 8.5 -130
Under 8.5 +110
The first half of the season is difficult and there are a lot of new faces at key offensive positions. We’d be more comfortable playing ‘over’ a flat ‘8’ but don’t see any out there as we approach press time. With the number sitting at ‘8.5’, we’ve got slight preference to the ‘under’.
HC Chip Kelly is just 6-12 ATS as home chalk (33%) but a very respectable 10-7 (59%) in the role of road underdog, and 24-19 (56%) in PAC-12 play.
Some folks refer to UCLA as the “Birthplace of the Internet” as the first ARPANET transmission (which would eventually evolve into today’s internet) was sent from UCLA to Stanford in October of 1969. The message “LOGIN” crashed the network and Stanford only received the first two letters. In modern times, the internet is used mainly by bored office workers, degenerate gamblers, and random creeps looking for the latest gender ideology brainwashing techniques for young children.
We can’t wait to see what the UCLA offense looks like this season. So many key pieces left the program, but Chip Kelly has done a great job thru the transfer portal. They might even have a superstar QB ready to hit the field. The early schedule is going to provide a stern test, particularly the Sept 23rd event in Salt Lake City. We’ll call for eight wins and an exciting season for Bruins’ fans. They might be a year away from doing more than that but who knows? Go Bruins!