No. 13 UCLA well aware of what awaits in Fresno State

No. 13 UCLA returns home to Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday from an early bye week to host an upset-minded Fresno State team that has the Bruins’ complete attention.While UCLA (2-0) is playing its first game since a high-profile win Sept. 4 over 2019 national champion LSU, and sport their best ranking since peaking at No. 7 in 2015, they come into Saturday’s nonconference matchup with a losing streak against the Bulldogs.Fresno State (2-1) won each of the last three meetings with UCLA dating back to 2000, the most recent a 38-14 rout in 2018, during Chip Kelly’s first season as Bruins head coach.The Bulldogs have a different head coach this time, with Kalen DeBoer taking over for Jeff Tedford following the 2019 season. But Fresno State’s ability to test Pac-12 opponents appears to be unchanged with the shift in leadership.The Bulldogs led currently fourth-ranked Oregon in the fourth quarter of a 31-24 loss in Week 1.Fresno State’s near-miss against the two-time reigning Pac-12 champion Ducks was the result of a rally from down 21-6 in the first half. The Bulldogs have started slow in all three games, including Week 0 and Week 2 blowouts of Connecticut and Cal Poly.A faster start is crucial for Fresno State. Which has a cumulative first-quarter score of 14-14 in three games this season. UCLA, on the other hand, has started strong by outscoring Hawaii and LSU 24-3 in the opening quarter and 45-13 in the first half.”You’ve got a team that it’s super important for them to just play well all the time, they start putting unneeded pressure on themselves,” DeBoer said. “Especially when you’re looking at (quarterback) Jake (Haener). He just wants to go out of the gates and make it happen.”Whether he’s pressing early or not, the Fresno State quarterback caught Kelly’s attention with his eight passing touchdowns and three rushing scores through the Bulldogs’ first three games.”He’s a really, really good football player,” Kelly said. “He’s got a knack for keeping plays alive.”

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