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UCLA's Kelly not panicking despite 0-2 start

LOS ANGELES -- Despite an 0-2 start behind an offense that ranks 119th or worse nationally in scoring, rushing and total offense, UCLA coach Chip Kelly said he isn't hitting the panic button with the Bruins.

"There's never a panic button," Kelly said before UCLA's practice on Monday. "You have to have a good Monday, and if you have a good Monday that leads to [other good practices] as the week goes along, and that's what the process is all about.

"You don't tear up the root of the tree to see if it's growing. You just keep watering it and you keep growing it and doing what you're supposed to do, and that's what happens over the course of time."

After losses to Cincinnati and San Diego State -- which beat UCLA for the first time in 23 tries on Saturday -- to open the season, the Bruins have scored just 28 points and rank 127th nationally with 239.5 yards of total offense per game. The Bruins are also averaging just 3.7 yards per play, which ranks 128th nationally.

However, Kelly said he isn't panicking about his offense's slow start because he believes the main issues have to do with a lack of consistency from his young team. He doesn't believe any sort of overhaul to the offense is needed, but his players have to start cleaning up the little things and making sure that mistakes don't continue to be a habit.

"You're just one [play] off or two off," Kelly said. "Sometimes it's a receiver maybe with a drop, or then it's a protection breakdown or then we miss on something. We just need to be more consistent. I think that's what all teams at this point in time are striving for. We've proven that we can do it in both weeks, it's just a matter of doing it on a consistent basis.

"We've got young players that are playing for the first time and they're making mistakes. Hopefully they're not making the same mistakes. That's when you have issues, when the same mistakes continue to rear its head."

Kelly pointed to the Bruins' opening drive against Cincinnati, on which they got down to the 5-yard line before fumbling, and the opening four-play touchdown drive against San Diego State as reasons for both frustration and hope with this offense.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson hasn't had any sort of consistent comfort in the pocket through two games, and Kelly has talked continually about the issues with protection. Thompson-Robinson has been sacked five times, including three in Saturday's 23-14 loss at home to San Diego State.

"If we protected a little bit better, I think we would have even better results," Kelly said.

What Kelly doesn't plan to do is simplify or change how his offense operates. While things have regressed for an offense that averaged 485.5 yards and 31.3 points per game last November -- all four games with Wilton Speight at quarterback -- Kelly said that he's trusting his players and his process ahead of Saturday's game with No. 5 Oklahoma at the Rose Bowl.

"You just can't say right now, 'Hey, let's run an entirely new offense and an entirely new defense,'" he said. "You do that and you'd probably lose by a thousand. You have to be consistent and get better at what you do and what you're good at."