Bruins Begin New Season at Home
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By Earl Heath
Contributing Sports Writer
The 2023 season will be the first time in Chip Kelly’s time at UCLA that Dorian Thompson-Robinson isn’t under center. The former All-Pac 12 performer is in Cleveland doing his thing.
The shoes are expected to be filled by Ethan Garbers. UCLA coach Chip Kelley said this week that Garbers will get the start on Saturday against Coastal Carolina but that Collin Schlee and Dante Moore will see playing time.
“It is a unique situation, but they deserve to play. It’s the only fair way to do it,” Kelly said. “They all competed at a high level. We said it was going to be authentic and organic, and this is what it is right now.”
The Bruins who finished 9-4 will take on Coastal Carolina also 9-4 last season.
Garbers, a redshirt junior, has had one start in a 2021 loss at Utah. However, he has seen action in 11 games over the past two years.
The Newport Beach, California, native started his career at Washington before transferring to UCLA in 2020.
Schlee made 11 starts for Kent State last season before transferring to the West Coast. He passed for 2,109 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions last season.
“Not every organization has this many guys that can play for their team,” he said. “I played in a two-QB system at Kent (earlier in his career), so this is nothing new for me.”
Moore is the first five-star recruit Kelly has landed since coming to Westwood. He was an early enrollee and was involved in spring drills.
Moore said he is still getting up to speed with the offense but that everything started slowing down for him the second week of fall camp.
“Playing in the Rose Bowl is going to be insane,” Moore said. “I understand I am in college football now. It’s not like high school anymore.”
On the defensive side the BRUINS will have its third defensive coordinator in as many years after coach Chip Kelly hired D’Anton Lynn away from the Baltimore Ravens.
Lynn, the son of former Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, bucks the trend of Kelly’s previous two hires, who were over the age of 55, and will be asked to lead a defense that allowed 403.3 yards and 29 points per game last season.
“He’s well-rounded in every facet,” Kelly said. “That’s one thing about him is he’s got a wealth of experience after spending the last 12 years in the NFL.”
We will see what this new look BRUINS will be like this week.