Kirk Herbstreit wasted no time making a bold prediction for the 2021 college football season. During this Saturday's edition of College GameDay, he named one program that could be a "surprise team" this fall.
It turns out Herbstreit is very confident in the UCLA Bruins this year. They've been underwhelming since Chip Kelly took over as the head coach in 2018, but Herbstreit believes the Bruins are about to get back on track.
“I’m very confident this year in the Bruins, they’re one of my surprise teams,” Herbstreit said on College GameDay, via 247Sports. "I think in his fourth year, he’s got a quarterback that has played a lot of football and I think because of that, it allows them to be able to feel that they’re going to have the best year Chip Kelly has had since he’s been there. They're going to be able to run the football. The quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, is a guy that knows this system and is very familiar with what Chip Kelly wants to do. He's got some players around him this year."
UCLA has a lot of returning talent for this season, which includes dual-threat quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Last season, he had 1,120 passing yards, 306 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns.
Thompson-Robinson needs to be way more productive this fall if the Bruins are going to take that next step as a team. It all starts this afternoon when UCLA takes on Hawaii in its season opener.
Clearly, Herbstreit thinks UCLA will be just fine against Hawaii this Saturday afternoon.
"I think UCLA gets off to a good start against Hawaii and I think people in the Pac-12 South better beware of Chip Kelly," Herbstreit added. "Right now it's almost like, 'what's wrong with Chip Kelly? He's hasn't won a non-conference game, what's wrong?' This year, by about two, three weeks into the season, I think people are going to be saying, uh-oh, look out for UCLA. I think they could have that kind of year."
Kickoff for the Hawaii-UCLA game is at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.