LOS ANGELES — Chip Kelly will try not to make it rain at Autzen Stadium.

But UCLA’s new coach admits that his return to Oregon, where he posted a 46-7 record over four glorious seasons, is going to be emotional.

The Bruins play the Ducks on Nov. 3 in Eugene.

“It will be difficult, to be honest with you, because it’s a special place,” said Kelly, whose news conference inside a Hollywood hotel ballroom drew the largest throng of reporters during Wednesday’s Pac-12 media day. “It’s one of the real hallowed grounds of college football. If you’ve ever played a game in the stadium, whether you were the home team or the visitor, you’ll remember it.

“It’s a special fan base.”

Kelly left for the NFL after leading Oregon to four BCS bowls, three outright conference titles and a national title game appearance from 2009-12.

After getting fired by the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, Kelly worked in television and studied the football landscape before deciding to return to the Pac-12.

“It was my gap year. I had fun,” Kelly said of not coaching a team in 2017. “I had always talked to our players about getting out of their comfort zone, so that was as far out of my comfort zone as I’ve been.”

Kelly will be back in his natural habitat, the practice field, next Friday when UCLA opens fall camp.

The Bruins, who last won a conference championship in 1998, only have eight seniors on the roster and were picked to finish fourth in the South Division in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.

“I think the first thing is not to dwell on the past,” Kelly said. “I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t specifically say why things happen one way or why things happened in another way. We’ll try to be a forward-thinking operation.”

So how does Kelly think Oregon fans will react when he takes the field at Autzen Stadium wearing a powder blue visor?

“We’ll see. Depends on where we are,” Kelly said. “If we don’t have any wins, they’ll be excited when we come showing up.”

New redshirt rule

Pac-12 coaches and players seem to universally support the NCAA’s new rule that will allow players to participate in up to four games and still be able to redshirt.

Oregon defensive end Jalen Jelks, a fifth-year senior, took his redshirt in 2014. By the time the Ducks arrived at the Pac-12 championship game and College Football Playoff that season, he was ready to play backup snaps.

“I would have loved it to play a lot of downs in 2014. That would have been crazy,” Jelks said. “College football is getting a lot different, and I feel like it’s getting a lot better. Giving an opportunity to young guys and letting them get their feet wet and step in and get used to college football before they get thrown into the fire and burn a redshirt is a good stepping stone.”

No injury report in Pullman

In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states can legalize sports gambling, the Big Ten asked the NCAA to consider developing an NFL-style injury reporting systems for all teams to adhere to.

The idea isn’t sitting well with most Pac-12 coaches.

“Let’s start with the fact that I’m not a doctor,” Washington State’s Mike Leach said. “So I’m not even qualified to say whether a guy is injured or not. But then you’ve got one federal law that says you’re not allowed to reveal someone’s medical information. Then you’ve got another law that says we have gambling, so we want to know all about their injuries. …

“So I’m not going to reveal injuries, even if I’m qualified to, until I’m forced. And they might force me. I doubt it, but they might. And if they do, then I’ll try to figure out a way around it."

Kickoff rule change

In April, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rule change on kickoffs to allow for returners to make a fair catch on a kickoff inside the 25-yard line for a touchback.

The NCAA and NFL are trying to limit the number of kickoff returns to help reduce the tuber of concussions sustained by players.

“I think it’s a big part of the game, it’s a great part of the game,” said Stanford coach David Shaw, who has had some dynamic kickoff returners over the years. “This fair catch rule, I think, is an attempt to see, ‘How can we salvage this?’”

After kickoffs the play clock will immediately be set to 40 seconds to get the next series started more quickly.

The play clock will also be set at 40 seconds following a touchdown to expedite the extra point or two-point conversion attempt.

Still playing to win the games

Former NFL coach and ESPN analyst Herm Edwards will be back on the sideline after being hired to take over Arizona State’s program.

The Sun Devils are picked to finish last in the South Division in Edwards' first season in Tempe.

“Doesn’t matter to me. We don’t go by polls,” Edwards said. “We’ve got our own aspirations. We’re trying to win a Pac-12 championship.”

Notable

The Pac-12 will expand its pilot program to shorten the length of games by limiting halftime to 15 minutes instead of the traditional 20 minutes, restructuring commercial formats and moving up kickoff times six minutes at the top of broadcasts. In addition to utilizing these changes on Pac-12 Network telecasts, the program will extend to some ESPN and Fox broadcasts. … USC, the South Division favorite, enters the season with a 16-game home winning streak, its longest since 2001-04. The bad news for the Trojans is most of their key games this season — Stanford, Texas, Utah, UCLA — are on the road. ... Utah senior Matt Guy, the reigning Lou Groza Award winner, is looking to join Florida State’s Sebastian Janikowski (1998-99) as the only two-time winner of the trophy given to the nation’s most outstanding placekicker.

Quotable

“They know how good Auburn is,” Washington coach Chris Petersen said of his team’s preparations for its opener against an SEC opponent in Atlanta. “They’re not dumb. They’ve seen the tape.”