Chip Kelly, UCLA prepare for ‘business trip’ to Oregon

LOS ANGELES — Coach Chip Kelly and the ninth-ranked UCLA football team are coming off a bye week and their first of two weeks to prepare for No. 10 Oregon.

It will be UCLA’s third consecutive game against an AP Top 25 opponent but just the second road game of the season.

The Bruins (6-0 overall, 3-0 Pac-12) are viewing the upcoming game as a “business trip” and staying true to the “controlling what we can control” mantra in order to prevent from making this week’s game any bigger or different than any other.

ESPN’s “College GameDay” pregame show will be in Oregon to preview and highlight the game before the conference showdown is aired on Fox (Ch. 11) with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.

“(Just) another week,” UCLA linebacker Carl Jones said. “We just have to stack days on days then on Friday ship out to Oregon and handle business. It’s a business trip.”

While Colorado’s on-the-field performance could be viewed as considerably different from teams like UCLA and Oregon, the Bruins will have to lean on the overall experience of that first road game on Sept. 24 – their conference opener in Boulder – to help prepare for the Ducks (5-1, 3-0) this week.

“We get in Friday around six, we play the next day,” Kelly said about the upcoming travel. “We all know what this entails. It’s a business trip, just like any other away game in this league.”

Attendance at the Rose Bowl has improved for UCLA’s previous two home games, but the Bruins won’t have many fans cheering in their favor this weekend at Autzen Stadium.

Kelly will have the team prepared for any potential situation, especially when traveling to an area he’s familiar with. Kelly spent six seasons coaching in Oregon, including four seasons as the Ducks’ head coach.

Autzen Stadium is considered one of the loudest venues in college football, so UCLA has been playing fan noise through the speakers it usually uses to play a variety of music, throughout practice this week.

“It’s a difficult place to play, just like anything in this league,” Kelly said. “You go to Washington and it’s hard, you go to Oregon it’s hard, I think that’s part of it when you’re playing meaningful games in October is you gotta be prepared for crowd noise, so we’ll be prepared for it.”

“The environment, the noise, the fans, all those pieces are great elements, but none of those things are playing the game,” Oregon head coach Dan Lanning said during his Monday press conference. “So none of that’s really going to have a factor. Playing here before, that can be a factor in this game. He’s got great experience in this place. I’m sure (Kelly) has some fond memories in this place. But none of that’s really going to carry into what actually has to happen from an execution standpoint on the field.”

The Bruins also have no control over the weather, with thundershowers and wind in the projected forecast, according to The Weather Channel, for Saturday.

The possibility of thundershowers could create delays during the game. Kelly mentioned in the past that he prepares his players for rainy conditions with wet ball drills and situations during practice.

The only weather-impacted game the Bruins have played so far this year was the Sept. 3 season opener against Bowling Green when temperatures soared above 100 degrees.


St. John Bosco quarterback Pierce Clarkson announced on Twitter that he received a scholarship offer from the Bruins on Monday. Clarkson is ranked as a four-star recruit in the 247sports composite and is currently committed to Louisville.

Clarkson is listed on the 2023 All-American Bowl and Polynesian Bowl Game rosters. Both showcase games are held for the top high school seniors prospects following the conclusion of the season. He was also named as an Elite 11 quarterback for 2022.

The St. John Bosco quarterback is teammates with two UCLA commits. Four-star defensive back RJ Jones committed to the Bruins on Friday. Jones became the highest-rated prospect in the 2023 class, days after four-star running back Roderick Robinson II (San Diego Lincoln High) de-committed from UCLA and flipped to Georgia.

Three-star safety Ty Lee announced his pledge to the Bruins in May.

Pierce’s father, Steve Clarkson, is a notable quarterback coach, based out of Pasadena, who has mentored Ben Roethlisberger, Teddy Bridgewater, Nick Foles and former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.


Laiatu Latu has received national attention this week for his performance through the first six games this season. He is tied for second in the nation with 6½ sacks this season. He was also added to the 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List.

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Latu also has the attention of Lanning ahead of this week’s game.

“Just having an awareness of (Latu) is the biggest thing,” Lanning said Monday. “… knowing where he’s at all times and being able to count for him.”

UCLA’s offensive line was also recognized as one of 22 units for the Joe Moore Award’s midseason honor roll. The Bruins were one of three Pac-12 teams to garner attention from the award’s voting committing, along with USC and Oregon.


Linebacker JonJon Vaughns appeared limited during individual position drills that were taking place during the media viewing period on Tuesday.

Vaughns was spotted on crutches during the third quarter of the Utah game.

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