UCLA football coach Chip Kelly talked to the media after his team's win against Washington on Saturday night, breaking down how the Bruins withstood the Huskies' comeback and the key plays late from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, tight end Greg Dulcich and cornerback Devin Kirkwood.
It was Planes, Trains and Automobiles to get here. Where are we?
Some of my friends that were taken out of locker rooms to somewhere in a building, it didn’t end well, so hopefully this one ends well.
Swing in momentum, withstanding comeback from Washington?
You know, we talked about it last night, you have to be resilient in this league and playing a game is kind of like being on a roller-coaster, you know, there’s ups and there’s turns and the only rule of a roller-coaster is you can’t get off in the middle, so our guys did a great job, they were really resilient. To win in this league on the road, you can’t turn the football over and we didn’t turn the ball over tonight and that’s part of where we ended up with, and then we got a huge turnover at the end out of Dev and then our guys, to go on the field and finish it and run the clock out, I thought was a credit to those players; they did a great job.
Yeah. He can cover a lot of ground and he’s got such great length that he kind of made that up—if you kind of looked, I thought it was a really good play call by them and when he threw it, I thought we may be beat here, but he closed the gap and he’s just got such long arms, he made a heck of a play on the ball and he’s got really good ball skills and for a young kid like that, the cool part about Dev, Dev’s never acted like a freshman, so there’s a maturity to him. He came from a really good high school program and was really, really well-coached by Scott Altenberg, who’s a Bruin alum, and I know he’s fired up back home, but it was really cool to see different guys step up and make plays today, so.
Dorian big plays?
Yeah, I thought Dorian played great today. I think he got it to eight different receivers, he did a really good job of spreading the ball around, he did what our game plan was going in, he executed it to a T, he was really good protecting the football—I don’t think there was one up there that was in harm’s way, you know, and he is such a weapon in the run game and we had some critical runs from him to keep drives extended and then the big play at the end was just huge—we needed one first down and for us to be able to run out the last five minutes of the clock and make them use all three of their timeouts was really cool.
Run game with Charbonnet?
Yeah, he did, and it starts up front. We’ve got a good group, Justin does such a great job with those guys, but it all starts up front and I think this may have been Greg Dulcich’s best game blocking—it’s really been an emphasis for him and he’s really stepped it up, so I think that whole group up front and obviously the way Zach and Brittain both run, it’s hard when we can get them to the second level, and then when you have a quarterback that can affect you with his feet and you always have to honor him because if you do stick your face in there, like what happened on the last play, he can make it count, so it’s the whole group—it’s the O-line, our receivers contribute, it was the whole group, so.
Something different about game-clinching drive? Dorian say anything to offense?
No. I mean, there’s no win-one-for-the-Gipper speeches there, it’s just our players executed and I think our conditioning is really good, I think the way these guys train, I feel like we get stronger as the game goes along, we talk about when we get into the fourth quarter it’s not the end of the game it’s actually just the beginning of the game for us and our guys were fired up and knew what they had to do and if everybody just wants an opportunity and if you can say, ‘Hey, put it in our hands and give us something to do’ and I think our offense did a great job. You know, they drove the length of the field and scored a touchdown to take a lead and our defense went on the field and caused a turnover and gave it back to our offense and our offense ran the clock out, so I think it was a really good team victory.
Game plan without Kyle Philips? Back next week?
Kyle was unavailable today, and I thought our staff did a really good job. Again, I said it earlier, we got the ball to eight different receivers. Logan Loya stepped up, I thought Kaz did a really nice job, obviously Greg was huge on that last drive, Kam Brown with a touchdown, Chase Cota's making plays, so I just thought everybody did a great job with the absence of KP.
Philips back next week?
Again, KP was unavailable tonight. I loved how you tried to slip it in there, I appreciate it, awesome, it's awesome, but I did not drop my guard. KP was just unavailable tonight.
Shovel pass to Dulcich?
We threw a couple, Kaz caught a couple of em, just something that we felt fit for what Washington did, trying to get the ball moving in different directions. Dorian's such a threat on the perimeter that we got something out of it. So it was a heck of a play by Dorian cause it did not look like it looked in practice, it looked a lot prettier in practice, it looked a lot more wide open in practice, but I thought Dorian made a really good play there, I thought Greg made a great play there, so credit to those two guys, that was all about the players.
Home game against Oregon, playing against former team in Rose Bowl for first time?
It'll be like another game. It's not my former team, I was there a long time ago, so I don't know any of those coaches, I don't know any of those players. So it's not like I'm going back to coach against a bunch of guys that I coached and I coached that coaching staff and I – there's nobody on the coaching staff and none of the players, so I don't think that. I'm just elated and more excited that anybody in the country cause we get to play at 12:30. It's an afternoon game, it's an amazing thing. And the entire Pac-12 is playing, they're all gonna kick off before the sun goes down this week, so give our commissioner credit, it's an unbelievable job by him and I know there's a bunch of coaches and players and families that are excited. And for me, it's for the game, because little kids need to see you play cause we have a responsibility as a group to keep this game going. And if we play late night all the time and no one gets to see us play, then 20 years from now, who wants to see you play? There's a bunch of little kids – we have a coaching staff that's elated because their kids haven't been able to go to games at night because it's too late for them. Now they all get to go at 12:30, so Justin Frye's whole family can be there, Ryan Gunderson's family can be there, Derek Sage's family can be there. That's the way it should be, cause we have a responsibility to the young kids of the world to show them what a great game this is, and that's our responsibility to put on a good show against a really good Oregon team.
What time is that in the Philippines?
What time is that in the Philippines? They're not happy, I'll tell ya that right now. So coach Norwood – and the reason we talk about the Philippines, his son plays professional basketball in the Philippines, so we get the report all the time from him. They're gonna have to suck it up.