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The Bruins have reached eight wins for the first time in six years, and they're going to be heading into bowl season on a winning streak.

UCLA football (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) beat Cal (4-7, 3-5) 42-14 at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The victory marked the Bruins' third in a row after their early November bye week, and it was also coach Chip Kelly's first win in a regular season finale since getting to Westwood.

These are three of the biggest takeaways, narratives and questions to come out of Saturday's game.

Kazmeir Allen is the ultimate weapon

It was obvious the second he committed to UCLA that Allen was going to be an elite piece in Kelly's offense. And in his collegiate debut, he proved that belief to be true when he rushed for a 75-yard touchdown against Cincinnati.

It's been an up-and-down couple of years for Allen, who went long stretches without ever seeing the field, caught between positions without a role, and it seemed like all of his insane potential was going to be wasted.

This season, after making the official transition to receiver, Allen has finally broken out.

Allen is up to 17 receptions for 254 yards and four touchdowns, while also still contributing 93 rushing yards and standing out as the best return man in the Pac-12.

Against Cal, he added his first rushing touchdown of the year, taking an end around 8 yards into the end zone.

Saturday was far from his best performance, as his two big mishaps arguably stood out more than his positives. Allen's fumble on a kickoff return cost his team the ensuing touchdown, and he could have ended up with a 69-yard touchdown reception to his name as well, but he let the absolute dime from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson slip through his arms for the drop.

But even with those lowlights, Allen was still a threat all over the field – out of the backfield, in the slot, outside the numbers, in the return game and so on. The Golden Bears had to keep an eye on him and focus a lot of their attention on him, so even when a play didn't pan out, Allen did his job in drawing attention at the very least.

He is not the perfect player, and he is not always the right option in every situation, but seeing Allen finally become a consistent part of the offense is a welcome sight for fans and followers everywhere.

Jerry Azzinaro has Chase Garbers' number

One of the defining traits of the Chip Kelly era has been the lack of success on the defensive side of the ball, especially in defending the pass.

Defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro's units have been carved up by a long list of opposing quarterbacks over the past four seasons, and his track record is among the worst in the country at his position.

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One area where Azzinaro has succeeded, however, is shutting down Cal quarterback Chase Garbers.

Heading into Saturday's regular season finale, Garbers had faced UCLA twice and had a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio, a completion percentage under 60% and 172 yards per game in those contests. Somehow, things got even worse this weekend, with Garbers going 16-of-31 with two picks, no touchdowns and 125 yards.

Assuming Garbers leaves Berkeley this offseason, he will have finished his career as a Golden Bear averaging 159 yards per game with a 92.9 passer rating, a 54.8% completion percentage against his public school rivals to the south. Versus all other opponents, Garbers has averaged 199 passing yards per game with a 136.1 passer rating, a 62.6% completion percentage, 49 touchdowns and 20 interceptions for his career, so apparently it's Azzinaro who can really get in the kid's head.

Still no quality wins

Sitting at 8-4 heading into their bowl, that seems like a pretty solid season for the Bruins.

And yes, it is a vast improvement on five consecutive sub-.500 seasons entering 2021, that much is for certain.

But looking below the surface just an inch shows that UCLA did not actually improve all too much this fall in terms of who it's beating.

All eight of the Bruins' wins have come against teams that are .500 or worse, and all four of their losses have come against teams with winning records. Part of that has to do with the ineptitude of the Pac-12 and other teams just not being as good as expected. LSU, instead of being a title contender, fired its coach midseason and finished dead last in the SEC West.

But the problem isn't exclusive to this season.

In 2020, all three of the Bruins' wins came against teams that were .500 or worse and all four of their losses came against teams with winning records. In 2019, only one of their four wins came against a winning team.

Since the start of the 2018 season, UCLA is 16-3 against teams that finished without a winning record and 2-22 against teams that have finished over .500. The Bruins taking advantage of a soft schedule this fall is comforting, but it's something that even the 2018 and 2019 squads did a pretty good job of as well.

Right now, the Cals and Stanfords and USCs of the world are down really bad, and Kelly has proven he can kick those teams when they're down.

When they eventually get back up, he's proven he hasn't done a great job of punching above his weight class – or even at it.

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