UCLA Football: 3 takeaways from bounce-back win over Cal

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Cal Golden Bears
UCLA Bruins

UCLA football lost its opener against Colorado but bounced back to beat an up-and-coming Cal team in Week 11. What’d we learn?

Sundays are usually for the NFL, but Cal and UCLA met to make up for a couple of games that were supposed to take place on Saturday. Arizona State and Cal were supposed to meet and UCLA was set to host Utah, but a COVID-19 outbreak prevented that.

Credit both schools for getting this game set up. Even more credit has to go to UCLA for looking like a completely different team from its opener with a 34-10 win over Cal.

Chip Kelly’s hot seat cooled off a little bit with the win as the Bruins didn’t look as helpless as they did in a road loss to a Colorado team that was playing its first game with a brand new coach.

What’d we learn from the rare Sunday afternoon UCLA vs. Cal game?

3. The defense looked completely different

After giving up 48 points and over 500 yards to Colorado in the opener, UCLA only allowed 10 points and under 200 total yards to a Cal offense that was supposed to be even better this year. That’s a testament to the improvement this team made from Week 10 to Week 11.

Chase Garbers was expected to be one of the better quarterbacks in the Pac-12 this season but he didn’t do much against the UCLA defense that gave up over 260 yards to a first-year starter last weekend. He finished with just 122 yards and an interception on 18-of-33 passing.

Cal also only rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, averaging less than two yards per attempt.

UCLA’s defense made the necessary fixes after the opening weekend and that’s all fans wanted to see from Chip Kelly’s squad. The Bruins’ defense has been mediocre for years, but we finally saw signs of life on Sunday.

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