By Harvey Hoffman

Eagles washout coach Chip Kelly may finally be in the verge of turning around the UCLA program, and with it his own career, which has been on the slide since he was fired by the Eagles a game before the end of the 2015 season.

He then got hired and fired by the Niners and has been trying to resurrect what had been a great career at Oregon.

Three seasons, 31 games and 1,372 days after he was hired, Kelly may be on the verge of a first at UCLA.

His first non-conference victory.

Las Vegas oddsmakers have made the Bruins 18-point favorites to beat Hawaii in their season opener todayat the Rose Bowl, suggesting that Kelly will finally break through after a litany of losses. He’s gone 0-6 in non-conference games, including 0-4 against Group of Five opponents, before his team played exclusively a Pac-12 Conference schedule in 2020.

In what might be a more telling assessment of the strength of Kelly’s team, UCLA is only a four-point underdog against No. 16 Louisiana State on Sept. 4.

The coach who guided Oregon to national prominence only to commence a 10-21 nosedive at UCLA might be forgiven for his early stumbles in Westwood if the Bruins can start 2-0, portending the kind of success that was expected upon his hiring in November 2017.