Another Sun Belt shocker? What to watch for when UCLA faces South Alabama
They have forced the dismissal of one coach while speeding the redemption of another.
They have silenced fans inside the college football mecca that is Notre Dame Stadium, as well as a crowd of nearly six figures inside Texas A&M’s Kyle Field.
No smaller conference has done bigger things over the last week than the Sun Belt, whose underfunded upstarts knocked off three Power Five conference counterparts, including two ranked in the top 10.
Marshall edged Notre Dame, leaving Fighting Irish coach Marcus Freeman’s future in doubt only three games after he replaced Brian Kelly.
Appalachian State inflicted some southern discomfort on Texas A&M in intensifying the heat on Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher.
Those shockers leave the Sun Belt in need of a statement-making encore.
Your turn, South Alabama?
The Jaguars (2-0), who have posted quiet victories over Nicholls State and Central Michigan, will try to become the headliners Saturday morning when they face UCLA (2-0) at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins are 15½-point favorites against a program that has gone 1-10 against Power Five opponents, its only victory coming against Mississippi State in 2016. But UCLA coach Chip Kelly understands this won’t be the sort of anxiety-free afternoon his team enjoyed during season-opening victories over Bowling Green and Alabama State.
“This will be the best opponent we’ve played to date,” said Kelly, who is trying to go unbeaten in nonconference play for the first time with the Bruins.
Here are five things to watch as UCLA faces South Alabama at the Rose Bowl on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PDT (Pac-12 Network):
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