UCLA goes into its opener against Coastal Carolina planning on playing 3 quarterbacks

Thu, Aug 31, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

UCLA goes into its opener against Coastal Carolina planning on playing 3 quarterbacks

Coastal Carolina at UCLA, Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: UCLA by 14.5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook

Series record: First meeting

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Chip Kelly begins his sixth year at UCLA with his deepest roster. The Bruins return eight starters on defense but only three on offense. Tim Beck is in his first season as Coastal Carolina's coach after Jamey Chadwell left to go to Liberty. Beck was the offensive coordinator the last three years at North Carolina State. Both teams received votes in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25. The Chanticleers are 3-7 against Power 5 conference teams, with the three wins coming over Kansas in three of the last four years. UCLA is 3-5 against Group of 5 teams under Kelly.

KEY MATCHUP

UCLA QBs Ethan Garbers, Dante Moore and Collin Schlee vs, Coastal Carolina secondary. Garbers, who is in his third year with the Bruins, will get the start but Moore, a freshman and first five-star recruit under Kelly and Kent State transfer Schlee will also get snaps. They will face a Chanticleers secondary that was ranked 124th out of 133 Football Bowl Subdivision teams last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Coastal Carolina: QB Grayson McCall is a three-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. The senior was in the transfer portal during the offseason and did talk to UCLA before deciding to return to the Chanticleers. McCall was picked off only twice last season and his 69.7% completion rate was third nationally.

UCLA: DE/LB Laiatu Latu was second in the Pac-12 last season with 10.5 sacks and was a first-team Pac-12 selection. The defense has its third coordinator in as many seasons in D'Anton Lynn, who replaces Bill McGovern, who died in May after battling cancer. McGovern stepped down as coordinator at the end of last season and remained on staff as director of football administration.

FACTS & FIGURES

UCLA was one of seven FBS schools to rush and pass for at least 3,000 yards last season. ... The Bruins averaged a school record 503.6 yards on offense last year. ... RB Carson Steele averaged 129.7 yards per game at Ball State in 2022, which was eighth nationally. ... This is the first time Coastal Carolina is playing a game in the state of California. ... The Chanticleers have an 11-game winning streak in non-conference games.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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