Football fans, welcome to the inaugural Daily Bruin Sports fan Q&A. We asked for your questions on the big season opener through our social media. While we’re not too keen on The Den’s plans for the student section, our Sports Editor Ryan Smith answered all of your questions, from the quarterback situation to record predictions.
UCLA plays Cincinnati in their season opener. The Bearcats were 4-8 last year and will enter Saturday’s contest with a similar roster to the one they have had the past two seasons, in which they have gone a combined 8-16.
Who’s the starting QB???
— Chocolate Boy Wonder (@IAmLeoGlaze) August 29, 2018
The starting quarterback for Saturday’s game will be Wilton Speight. Speight is a graduate transfer from Michigan who made 16 starts with the Wolverines over his three seasons with the team. He led Michigan to an Orange Bowl appearance as a junior in 2016, but missed nine games last season due to cracked vertebrae in his back. You can read about him here.
When will he name Devon Modster starting QB? The people been waiting for it. pic.twitter.com/SC3dKjAg0r
— Sinigang Stock Market (@joshyyAYY) August 29, 2018
Unfortunately for Devon Modster fans, he did not win the quarterback competition coming out of fall camp. That does not mean he is out of the picture, however. Do not be surprised if the redshirt sophomore gets a chance should Wilton Speight struggle during the early part of the season. Modster had a solid outing against Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl last season and showed he has the ability to start in a conference such as the Pac-12.
Chip Kelly’s Bruins are not going to be like anything we have seen in the past few football seasons at UCLA. Kelly is all about speed and efficiency, and he has been getting his players ready for the up-tempo style since spring camp in March. Expect the offense to move fast with minimal huddles and the defense to fly all over the field. This team is all about speed.
It is hard to imagine a scenario in which UCLA makes a complete 180 from the past few seasons, especially in such a talented conference with so many ranked teams. I think a realistic expectation based on the schedule would be around six wins. The Bruins have a tough conference schedule with a lot of good opponents, including Washington, USC, Stanford and Oregon. Do not be surprised if Kelly’s process takes a few seasons to come to fruition. I know it is hard, but stay patient.
We will have to wait until November to find out, but both schools underwent significant changes this past offseason. USC lost Sam Darnold to the NFL while UCLA lost Josh Rosen. Not to mention the Trojans just named a true freshman their starting quarterback. The Bruins also hired a new head coach in Kelly and nobody really knows what to expect.
I have a hard time believing that Cincinnati will ruin Kelly’s UCLA debut. The team has been excited for this game for weeks and I do not think they will let the fans or their coach down. I have the Bruins winning 31-13.