UCLA coach Chip Kelly gives opinion on sagging fan attednace

Construct a schedule crammed with model names and they’re going to come.

That was Chip Kelly’s message Monday when the UCLA coach addressed the crew’s sagging attendance on the Rose Bowl. Already this season, the Bruins have drawn the 2 smallest crowds since they started calling the venerable stadium residence in 1982, together with 29,344 on Saturday in opposition to South Alabama.

“Attendance, I think when you look at it, especially here on the West Coast, is probably relative to your opponent and really knowledge of the opponent,” Kelly stated, alluding to a lack of knowledge about South Alabama.

“People know the name of LSU [a UCLA opponent last season that drew 68,123]. I think what’s kinda lost on me is that you don’t understand that South Alabama, just cause it’s a regional school from the Sun Belt [Conference], but that’s as good a football team as we’ve played in the last two years … but they don’t have name recognition and I get that.”

UCLA’s no-name schedule that additionally included Bowling Inexperienced and Alabama State — a Soccer Championship Subdivision opponent the Bruins added after Michigan backed out of two video games — has left it with a mean residence attendance of 30,072 that ranks 10th within the Pac-12, above solely Oregon State (26,475) and Washington State (24,422). (For context, Oregon State’s capability has been diminished to 26,407 throughout renovations at Reser Stadium and the crew has performed considered one of its residence video games this season at Windfall Park in Portland.) The Bruins’ quantity is lower than half the 63,670 that USC has averaged for its first two residence video games.

Kelly identified that college students haven’t been again at school earlier than this week, a problem confronted by different colleges on the quarter system akin to Stanford. The Cardinal drew simply 26,826 for a sport in opposition to Colgate earlier than internet hosting a crowd of 43,813 in opposition to USC the next week.

Corridor of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman ripped followers from his alma mater Saturday on Twitter, calling the attendance “an embarrassment” whereas additionally acknowledging his top-ranked Bruins couldn’t fill the Rose Bowl for a sport in opposition to Washington State in 1988.

Aikman referred to as for the development of a 30,000-seat stadium on campus whereas including one caveat.

“If we can’t play better than we did today,” Aikman wrote, “it would be half-empty too.”

Kelly stated he anticipated crowds getting larger as UCLA moved into its Pac-12 schedule, however the Bruins’ convention residence opener in opposition to No. 18 Washington on Sept. 30 figures to attract a smaller crowd than regular as a result of it falls on a Friday, including snarled site visitors to the listing of causes to not attend. The Bruins’ final Friday residence sport, in opposition to Utah in October 2018, drew 41,848.

Andrus out for yr

Barring a medical waiver that would supply a seventh season of eligibility, Martin Andrus Jr.’s school profession is over.

The defensive lineman who pushed by two severe knee accidents to return late final season is out for 2022 after struggling one other unspecified damage within the third quarter Saturday.

“It’s crushing cause you watched him rehab,” Kelly stated, his eyes glistening. “He’s a sixth-year kid that came back, took advantage of the COVID year, has worked so hard and was playing really, really well for us. … He’s a special young man, he’ll overcome this like he’s overcome the other ones, but it’s the fact that he doesn’t get to finish the way he wanted to finish is hard and it’s tough.”

The absences of Andrus and fellow defensive lineman Gary Smith III, who was additionally injured Saturday, left the Bruins with solely 4 inside defensive linemen who weren’t in scout-team jerseys at follow Monday. One in every of them, Dovid Magna, was a former walk-on and one other, Sitiveni Havili-Kaufusi, is a transformed linebacker-fullback.

There have been extra encouraging damage updates relating to working backs Zach Charbonnet and T.J. Harden. Charbonnet, who appeared barely hobbled after the sport Saturday, and Harden, who didn’t costume for the sport, each participated within the portion of follow open to reporters.

Kelly stated reserve offensive deal with Siale Taupaki, who didn’t look like on the sport Saturday, was “unavailable.”