CFN Take: UCLA Stunned By Stanford

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 28, 2014


UCLA Bruins 2014 ... Head Coach: Jim Mora

UCLA Bruins

2014 Schedule
Record: 9-3

Aug. 30 at Virginia W 28-20
Sep. 6 Memphis W 42-35
Sep. 13 Texas (in Arl) W 20-17
Sep. 20 OPEN DATE
Sep. 25 at Arizona St W 62-27
Oct. 4 Utah L 30-28
Oct. 11 Oregon L 42-30
Oct. 18 at California W 36-34
Oct. 25 at Colorado W 40-37 2OT
Nov. 1 Arizona W 17-7
Nov. 8 at Washington W 44-30
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 USC W 38-20
Nov. 29 Stanford L 31-10
Nov. 28 Stanford 31, at UCLA 10
And You Care Because … UCLA had the Pac-12 South title for the taking, and came out rolling with a 15-yard Thomas Duarte touchdown catch on the opening drive, and that was about it. The Bruins took a 10-7 lead on a 42-yard Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal early in the second, but it was all Stanford D after the first few minutes, allowing fewer than 200 yards of total offense over the final 55 minutes. Remound Wright ran for two short touchdowns and Kevin Hogan threw two touchdown passes, including a 37-yarder to Devon Cajuste late in the first half with 24 unanswered points.
What Else? Time of possession: Stanford 37:49 – UCLA 22:11
- Stanford QB Kevin Hogan completed 16-of-19 passes for 234 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 46 yards
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 17-of-32 passes for 146 yards and a score
- Total yards: Stanford 436 – UCLA 262
Game Rating: C-

Nov. 22 at UCLA 38, USC 20
And You Care Because … UCLA busted open a 14-14 tie in the second quarter with 24 straight points with Brett Hundley running for a 15-yard score, finding Eldridge Massington for a 13-yard score and Paul Perkins running for a ten-yard touchdown. Hundley also threw two first quarter touchdown passes – highlighted by a 57-yard Thomas Duarte scoring play – to make up for a pick six to Anthony Sarao in the first few minutes. USC’s offense kept stalling, getting a two-yard Justin Davis touchdown catch for the only score from the O until the final minutes.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 22-of-31 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns with a pick, and ran for a 15-yard score
- USC QB Cody Kessler completed 22-of-34 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown with a pick
- Total yards: UCLA 461 – USC 276
- UCLA RB Paul Perkins ran 24 times for 93 yards and a score
Game Rating: C

Nov. 8 UCLA 44, at Washington 30
And You Care Because … Brett Hundley ran for two touchdowns and threw two touchdown passes with a 57-yarder to Kenneth Walker and a 15-yard play to Mossi Johnson, and Myles Jack ran for a 28 yard touchdown on the way to the easy UCLA win. Washington got a kickoff return for a touchdown from John Ross after Johnson’s touchdown catch, but was down 14-0 early before finally getting on the board with a 20-yard Cameron Van Winkle field goal and a six-yard Cyler Miles run. The Husky offense wouldn’t get into the end zone again until the fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach. Ka’imi Fairbarin hit three field goals for the Bruins.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 29-of-36 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran seven times for 18 yards and two scores
- Washington RB Shaq Thompson ran 16 times for 100 yards
- Third down conversions: UCLA 8-of-14 – Washington 5-of-13
- Washington QB Cyler Miles completed 14-of-24 passes for 155 yards and a pick, and ran 17 times for 62 yards and a touchdown
Game Rating: C+

Nov. 1 at UCLA 17, Arizona 7
And You Care Because … In a strange game, Arizona scored on its first drive, with Cayleb Jones running catching a 14-yard pass, but that was it. UCLA slugged its way to 17 points with a 24-yard Ka’imi Fairbarin field goal in the second and a five-yard Paul Perkins run in the third for all the points needed. Less than a minute later, Jordan Payton took a Brett Hundley pass 70 yards for a touchdown. Arizona had a few chances, but drives were stopped by key stops, a big interception, and a blocked field goal.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 19-of-26 passes for 189 yards and a score, and ran 24 times for 131 yards
- Arizona QB Anu Solomon completed 18-of-48 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and ran ten times for eight yards
- Total yards: UCLA 460 – Arizona 255
- Penalties: UCLA 11 for 118 yards – Arizona 4 for 40 yards
Game Rating: B-

Oct. 25 UCLA 40, at Colorado 37 2OT
And You Care Because … After the two teams traded field goals in the first overtime, UCLA survived in the second overtime as Brett Hundley answered a 34-yard Will Oliver field goal with an eight-yard touchdown run for the win. The Bruins appeared to have the game well in hand up 31-14 in the fourth helped by two Paul Perkins touchdown runs and a Hundley scoring throw to Jordan Payton, but Colorado roared back with Sefo Liufau throwing two touchdown passes to Bryce Bobo from 38 and three yards away, but it was a 35-yard Will Oliver field goal with 36 seconds to play that forced overtime.
What Else? Total yards: UCLA 509 – Colorado 500
- UCLA RB Paul Perkins ran 19 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 12 yards
- Colorado QB Sefo Liufau completed 27-of-45 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 24-of-39 passes for 200 yards and a score, and ran 12 times for 110 yards and a score
Game Rating: A

Oct. 18 UCLA 36, at California 34
And You Care Because … Ka’imi Fairbairn nailed a 26-yard field goal to give UCLA the lead late, and Cal couldn’t answer in the final minutes in a weird and wild game. Brett Hundley threw two touchdown passes, but it was his 15-yard dash that gave the Bruins the lead late in the third. Cal’s Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes including a 23-yarder to Kenny Lawler in the fourth, but the two-point conversion attempt failed, keeping it a one-point lead and opening the door for the UCLA win. Paul Perkins caught a 16-yard touchdown pass to start things out for the Bruins, and he later took a Hundley pass 49 yards for a touchdown with 13 seconds in the first half.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 31-of-42 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and he ran 17 times for a team-leading 94 yards and a score
- California QB Jared Goff completed 25-of-41 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, and RB Daniel Lasco ran 19 times for 44 yards and two touchdowns
- UCLA RB Paul Perkins ran 15 times for 86 yards and caught four passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns
- Total yards: UCLA 567 – California 366
Game Rating: B+

Oct. 11 Oregon 42, at UCLA 30
And You Care Because … Oregon bounced back from the Arizona loss in a big way, starting out with a 21-3 lead with Marcus Mariota running for a 13-yard score and finding Thomas Tyner and Pharoah Brown for touchdowns. UCLA made it interesting late in the first half with Brett Hundley running for a 16-yard score with three seconds remaining, but it was all Oregon to start the second half with Mariota taking off for a 23-yard score and Royce Freeman running for two short touchdowns. UCLA got some late scores, with Jordan Payton scoring twice as part of a run of 20 unanswered points, but the Ducks were able to close out late.
What Else? Total yards: UCLA 553 – Oregon 468
- Oregon QB Marcus Mariota completed 17-of-27 passes for 210 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 75 yards and two touchdowns
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 26-of-37 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran 22 times for 89 yards and a touchdown. Paul Perkins ran 21 times for 187 yards
- Oregon RB Royce Freeman ran 18 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: C+

Oct. 4 Utah 30, at UCLA 28
And You Care Because … Utah’s Andy Phillips nailed a 39-yard field goal with 34 seconds to play for the win after UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a last-second field goal from 50 yards away. Down 24-14, the Bruins finally exploded with a 93-yard Devin Fuller touchdown catch, and took the lead on the extra point after a 40-yard Eldridge Massington touchdown catch, but the Utes cranked out a drive over four minutes leading to the winning field goal. The Utes jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a Tevin Carter interception return for a score and a 42-yard Dres Anderson touchdown catch, but the offense struggled in the second half, getting one long drive finishing with a Devontae Booker score late in the third. They needed it with UCLA’s offense finally waking up over the final 25 minutes.
What Else? Utah RB Devontae Booker ran 33 times for 156 yards and a score, and caught three passes for 15 yards
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 16-of-21 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
- Utah QB Kendal Thompson completed 10-of-13 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, and Travis Wilson completed 2-of-5 passes for five yards
- Total yards: UCLA 406 – Utah 342
Game Rating: A-

Sept. 25 UCLA 62, at Arizona State 27
And You Care Because … Down 17-6 early in the second quarter, UCLA stepped up with the start of a massive explosion, going on a 56-10 run starting with a 80-yard touchdown pass play to Eldridge Massington. ASU appeared to be ready to close out the first half strong, but Ishmael Adams returned a Mike Bercovici pass 95 yards for a touchdown in the final seconds for a ten point Bruin lead, and the rout was on. UCLA needed one play to start the second half with a score, with Jordan Payton taking a Brett Hundley pass 80 yards for a touchdown, and following a 24-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal for ASU, Adams struck again with a kickoff return for a score. Hundley finished up with a four-yard scoring pass to Payton and a one-yard touchdown run.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 18-of-23 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns and ran eight times for 72 yards and a score.
- Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici completed 42-of-68 passes for 488 yards and three touchdowns with a pick.
- UCLA WR Jordan Payton caught five passes for 151 yards and two scores, and Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong caught 12 passes for 146 yards
- UCLA RB Paul Perkins ran 14 times for 137 yards
Game Rating: B

Sept. 13 UCLA 20, Texas 17 in Arlington
And You Care Because … UCLA lost starting QB Brett Hundley to an elbow injury, but backup Jerry Neuheisel got the job done finding Jordan Payton for a 33-yard score with three minutes to play, and the defense held on to get the tough win. Texas took a 10-3 lead going into halftime on a two-yard M.J. McFarland touchdown catch, but a mistake on the coin toss meant UCLA got the ball to start the second half, as well as the game, and it went 75 yards leading to a Nate Iese touchdown catch. The Longhorns took the lead in the fourth on an eight-yard John Harris touchdown catch, but helped by a big punt return from Ishmael Adams, UCLA took the lead for good on just one play.
What Else? Brett Hundley injured his elbow after starting out going 4-of-4 for 48 yards. Jerry Neuheisel completed 23-of-30 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
- Tyrone Swoopes had a much stronger game after the BYU blowout. The Texas QB completed 24-of-34 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns.
- UCLA’s running helped take the heat off the quarterback concerns. Paul Perkins ran 24 times for 126 yards.
- UCLA LB Eric Kendricks led the team with 11 tackles, while Texas LB Steve Edmond made 13 tackles with a forced fumble and tackle for loss.
Game Rating: B+

Sept. 6 at UCLA 42, Memphis 35
And You Care Because … UCLA got into a much bigger firefight than expected, seeing its 35-21 lead get erased by a 40-yard Doroland Dorceus touchdown run and a 17-yard pick six from Fritz Etienne to tie it up, but Brett Hundley responded with a strong nine-play, 75-yard drive closed out by a 33-yard Thomas Duarte touchdown catch. Hundley threw three touchdown passes and Paul Perkins ran for two scores, but Memphis wouldn’t go away with Paxton Lynch throwing a touchdown pass and adding a rushing touchdown to stay alive. However, UCLA never trailed after getting down 7-6 late in the first quarter.
What Else? UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 33-of-44 passes for 396 yards and three touchdowns with a pick six, and he ran 11 times for 26 yards.
- Memphis QB Paxton Lynch completed 27-of-41 passes for 305 yards and a score, and he ran ten times for 27 yards and a touchdown.
- Memphis LB Tank Jakes was a force making 11.5 tackles with two sacks, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
- Memphis got flagged ten times for 110 yards, UCLA was tagged nine times for 85 yards.
Game Rating: B+

Aug. 30 UCLA 28, at Virginia 20
And You Care Because … UCLA got three defensive touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-3 lead, but Virginia came back with two Matt Johns touchdown passes to pull within four midway through the third quarter. Brett Hundley took over, leading the Bruins on a 59-yard, ten play drive finishing up with a six-yard touchdown run to take the lead for good, but the Bruin defense had to hold up late.
What Else? UCLA got three defensive scores and still needed everything in the bag to get out alive. The pass protection was awful, there were 12 penalties, and Brett Hundley was merely average, completing 20-of-33 passes for 242 yards and running for 39 yards and a score. There’s a lot of work to do …
- Or, Virginia just might be a lot better. It was sloppy in the second quarter with the three big turnovers for scores – give credit to UCLA for forcing the errors – but the team kept on fighting and stayed alive. The defensive front was terrific making five sacks led by Henry Coley’s 14 tackles, a forced fumble and two sacks.
- The UCLA linebackers were fantastic. Eric Kendricks came up with 16 tackles with a pick six and a forced fumble for a score, and Myles Jack made 13 tackles with two broken up passes.
- Matt Johns stepped in at quarterback and was great for the Cavs, hitting 13-of-22 passes for 154 yards and two scores to get Virginia back in the game.
Game Rating: B

2014 Preview 

With Brett Hundley back for another season, the Bruins are eyeing a Pac-12 title … at a minimum.

The quarterback and his coach, Jim Mora, are back for a third season together, which has the program believing it might be ready to take the next major step in its evolution. Mora has recruited extremely well since coming over from the NFL ranks, erasing whatever edge crosstown rival USC had when Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin were in charge. UCLA has the wind at its back after winning 10 games for the first time in eight years, capped by season-ending blowouts of the Trojans and Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl. It’s going to be very interesting to see where those gusts carry the Bruins in 2014.

Mora has been an unmitigated godsend for UCLA. Under his meticulous guidance, the Bruins have been a vastly different team than the ones that were shepherded to mediocrity by the inept trio of Rick Neuheisel, Karl Dorrell and Bob Toledo. Everything that UCLA does in preparation for Saturdays is tighter and smarter. And it’s showing up in the results.

Hundley’s decision to hold off on the NFL for another year was a game-changer in Westwood. He’s one of the top young quarterbacks in America. The Bruins are thrilled to have him around as the offensive ringleader, especially since the surrounding talent is longer on potential than production. UCLA doesn’t technically harbor a No. 1 at running back or wide receiver, and the youthful O-line is being asked to grow up after allowing the second-most sacks in the Pac-12 in 2013.

The defense is on an upswing, even after losing OLB Anthony Barr and a chunk of the D-line to graduation. The recruiting of Mora and his staff has positioned the program to move forward without skipping a beat. There are budding stars everywhere, such as linemen Eddie Vanderdoes and Ellis McCarthy and linebackers Myles Jack and Kenny Orjioke. And the secondary, which was a question mark a year ago, is poised to rank among the best in the Pac-12. The safeties are rock-solid, and corners Fabian Moreau and Ishmael Adams won’t be unheralded for much longer.

Mora and his staff have a very good thing going at UCLA, and they caught a huge break when Hundley decided to return for his junior season. Provided the Bruins can handle the increased hype and expectations, this could be the shoot-for-the-stars kind of year they’ve have been seeking for more than a decade.

What to watch for on offense: The maturation of the O-line. This is where it all begins for the Bruins, who’ll either flourish or flounder versus top competition based on the play of the blockers. There are so many questions surrounding this unit. Will RT Simon Goines be healthy enough to play this season? What can be expected of Miami transfer Malcolm Bunche, whose toughness was questioned in the past? And are last year’s rookies, LT Caleb Benenoch and RG Alex Redmond, ready to take their game to the next level? Brett Hundley didn’t return to school to be treated like a piñata, and it’s up to the line to protect the franchise accordingly.

What to watch for on defense: Who’ll get after the quarterback? The Bruins had 32 sacks last season, but 22 of them came from seniors. New coordinator Jeff Ulbrich is on the prowl for successors. Fingers are crossed that veteran DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa can remain healthy, while building on a breakout spring. Anthony Barr’s old outside linebacker spot is likely to go to junior Kenny Orjioke, an explosive edge rusher who opened a lot of eyes in April. It’ll be all hands on deck for UCLA, right down to the walk-ons, like DE Zach Vinci, who matched Odighizuwa’s two sacks in the spring game.

The team will be far better if… the O-line takes the next step. Sure, the Bruins are brimming with as much front wall potential as they’ve had in years. But it’s time for this group to put it all together, from emerging OT Caleb Benenoch to OG Alex Redmond. It’s incumbent upon the blockers to not only protect the franchise, QB Brett Hundley, but to also create more opportunities for a set of backs and receivers that can use the boost. If UCLA is going to be more explosive in 2014, it’ll have to attack the situation from the inside out.

The Schedule: If the Bruins are really that good, they’ll have their chances to prove it with a road game at a motivated Virginia to kick things off, and then after a layup against Memphis it’s off to Arlington to deal with a Texas team that really, really needs a win over a team like UCLA. The Pac-12 opener against Arizona State makes it three games away from Pasadena in the first four, and then comes October. The Bruins have to go back on the road after dealing with Utah and the possible Pac-12 title game preview against Oregon, but it’s not that bad going to Cal and Colorado as part of yet another run of three away games in four. The payoff is November with three of the final four games at home including showdowns against USC and Stanford to finish things up.

Best offensive player: Junior QB Brett Hundley. On Jan. 5, Hundley announced that he’d be remaining in Westwood for his junior season. The Bruins’ 2014 forecast has been through the roof ever since. UCLA was going to be good no matter who took snaps this fall, but with No. 17 back for at least another year, the program is a bona fide playoff contender. Hundley is a physically imposing dual-threat in the mold of a young Donovan McNabb … and he isn’t even close to peaking in his evolution. If he puts it all together as a junior, the Bruins are liable to compete for their first national championship since 1954.

Best defensive player: Sophomore LB Myles Jack. Dual-threats don’t typically play linebacker, but Jack was not the garden variety rookie a season ago. In 2013, he was the embodiment of what’s currently taking place at UCLA under Jim Mora, starring on defense and at running back when the position was thinned by injuries. Jack is a rare all-around athlete, with the humility and the dedication to get exponentially better in his sophomore season. The table is set for No. 30 to be one of college football’s signature players of 2014.

Key player to a successful season: Senior Owamagbe Odighizuwa. UCLA is pining for a disruptive presence up front on defense, which Odighizuwa is planning to address. The senior has elite potential when healthy, which has not been the case in recent years. The Bruins need him to be the player he was in April, dominating the offensive linemen to create havoc in the backfield. Someone on this team has to pick up the slack left by Cassius Marsh, Keenan Graham and Anthony Barr.

The season will be a success if ... UCLA wins the Pac-12. The Bruins have been building toward this moment, right? It’s Mora’s third season, and it’s Hundley’s third season as well. The blue-chip talent that the staff has been able to attract is no longer unfamiliar with the system or the expectations, so miscommunications ought to be relegated to the rookies. Yeah, the schedule is predictably brutal, but getting Oregon, USC and Stanford in Pasadena will make navigating that slate a bit more realistic.

Key game: Oct. 11 vs. Oregon. Are you really ready to climb higher in the pecking order, UCLA? Then go prove it against the better teams in the Pac-12, beginning with this high-profile visit from the Ducks. Oregon has won five straight meetings, pulling away last year in Eugene, 42-14. If the Bruins and Hundley can outscore the Ducks and Marcus Mariota, the host could end the weekend as more than the South Division favorites. It’ll validate its status as a playoff contender.

2013 Fun Stats:
- Yards per pass: UCLA 8.3 – Opponents 6.5
- Touchdowns scored: UCLA 63 – Opponents 37
- Third-down%: UCLA 49% - Opponents 35%

- 2014 UCLA Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players
 


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