UCLA Bruins Hot Start to 2021 Football Season

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After winning the first two games, many fans are now very excited for the Bruins, and can’t wait to see what the season brings.

Justin T. and Sophia T.

The UCLA Bruins started the season with a bang, starting the season 2-0 for the first time since 2017. Needless to say, this has caused UCLA fans to get excited about the 2021 season. 

UCLA’s new starting running back, Zach Charbonnet, had an impressive season opener with three touchdowns in the home opener, and another touchdown in the second game adding to the Bruins’ success. 

According to LAFBnetwork, while recruiting new players, Bruins’ head coach Chip Kelly wanted a physical back because he loves to “run the ball.” Over the past few years, Kelly has relied on the running game a lot, so Charbonnet was a perfect fit.

“He’s relentless when he has the football. He is always running with great forward lean and it makes him very difficult to tackle,” Kelly said. 

Zach Charbonnet joined the UCLA Bruins in January of this year. He transferred from the Michigan Wolverines, played in 18 games, and was in the 2021 spring training. Charbonnet entered the transfer portal because he felt that Michigin was not giving him as many snaps as he deserved. 

“No matter where I am, I’m always going to have that chip on my shoulder and work hard and try to outwork everyone,” Charbonnet said.

Last season, UCLA’s starting running back Demetric Felton had a decent season, but Charbonnet has more than filled in the hole left by Felton. Throughout the first two weeks of the season, Charbonnet has looked like a steal, having run for 223 yards and four touchdowns. He has averaged nearly 13 yards per carry over 17 rushing attempts, and leads the league in seven rushing categories through two weeks. 

“There’s no reason to think that Charbonnet can’t be that guy moving forward, especially now that Felton (has left)” said LAFBnetwork.

Is it bad that UCLA is starting off this hot? Some people might set really high expectations for the rest of the season. For the past couple of seasons, nobody has expected UCLA to go to the playoffs or finish in the top 10. But their hot start may persuade people to think differently. 

Before Saturday’s win against LSU, the Tiger’s head coach, Ed Orgeron, had some interesting comments. In his interview before the game Coach Ed called out UCLA when he said, “Bring it on you sissy blue shirts.” Soonafter UCLA’s confident win, the merchandise staff trolled Coach Orgeron making shirts saying “sissy blue shirts.” 

In CBS Sports’ new NCAA rankings, the Bruins have moved ahead of teams like Notre Dame, Clemson, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Iowa State. However, in this week’s Top 25 poll, the Bruins are listed at 16th, still an improvement from past years. 

If UCLA can keep up their success, they may have a real chance at winning the PAC-12.