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CFN Take: UCLA & Hundley Get By USC
UCLA Bruins 2013 ...
Head Coach: Jim Mora
UCLA 35, at USC 14
2013 Record: 9-3|
8/31 Nevada W 58-20
9/7 OPEN DATE
9/14 at Nebraska W 41-21
9/21 New Mexico St W 59-13
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/3 at Utah W 34-27
10/12 California W 37-10
10/19 at Stanford L 24-10
10/26 at Oregon L 42-14
11/2 Colorado W 45-23
11/9 at Arizona W 31-26
11/15 Washington W 41-31
11/23 Arizona State L 38-33
11/30 at USC W 35-14
Basically … Brett Hundley ran for two scores and LB Myles Jack, DE Eddie Vanderdoes and Paul Perkins each ran for short scores as UCLA got up early and kept answering USC scores when needed. The Trojans got an 11-yard touchdown run from Javorius Allen and a 22-yard Xavier Grimble scoring grab in the third, but the Bruins D forced two turnovers and the O scored 14 unanswered points.
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 18-of-27 passes for 208 yards and ran 13 times for 80 yards and two scores.
- USC RB Javorius Allen ran 20 times for 123 yards and a score.
- USC WR Marqise Lee caught six passes for 69 yards
- UCLA outgained USC 396 yards to 314
Arizona State 38, at UCLA 33
Basically … Arizona State got up big early, taking a 35-13 halftime lead on a touchdown run and scoring pass from Taylor Kelly, along with short touchdown runs from D.J. Foster and Michael Eubank and a pick six from Carl Bradford, but UCLA hung roared back in the second half with Myles Jack and Paul Perkins scoring on short runs in the third quarter, and Brett Hundley finding Shaquelle Evans for a 27-yard touchdown early in the fourth. Up five, the Sun Devil defense held on as the final two Bruin drives stalled.
- Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly completed 20-of-26 passes for 225 yards and a score, and ran 22 times for 97 yards and a touchdown.
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 18-of-26 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns with a pick.
- UCLA RB/LB Myles Jack ran 16 times for 86 yards and a touchdown.
- Arizona State RB Marion Grice ran 18 times for 96 yards, and caught seven passes for 72 yards.
at UCLA 41 … Washington 31
Basically … Linebacker/running back Myles Jack ran for four scores from short range, but UCLA had to keep fighting late to get by a plucky Washington. Husky quarterback Keith Price suffered an injured shoulder, but Cyler Miles stepped in and helped UW go on a 17-point run to pull within three in the third quarter. Jack’s third touchdown and a 40-yard Devin Lucien touchdown catch helped the Bruins to pull away.
- Washington committed 11 penalties for 113 yards and turned it over four times, and UCLA committed seven for 81 yards and gave it up twice.
- UCLA LB/RB Myles Jack ran 13 times for 59 yards and four scores, to go along with five tackles.
- Before getting hurt, Keith Price completed 10-of-18 passes for 181 yards and a score, and Cyler Miles stepped in and completed 15-of-22 passes for 149 yards and two scores with two picks.
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 13-of-22 passes for 159 yards and two scores.
UCLA 31, at Arizona 26
Basically … Linebacker Myles Jack saw a little time on offense, running for a 66-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to help UCLA hang on. The Bruins got a 66-yard Shaquelle Evans touchdown catch from Brett Hundley, and the two connected in the second from four yards out. Arizona kept the heat on with a four-yard Ka’Deem Carey touchdown run and two fourth quarter touchdown passes from B.J. Denker to Nate Phillips, but the offense failed on two final drives with Denker getting picked off to snuff out the final shot.
- UCLA LB Myles Jack ran six times for 120 yards and a score, and he made eight tackles with a recovered fumble.
- Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey ran 28 times for 149 yards and a score.
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 18-of-25 passes for 227 yards and two scores, and he ran 14 times for 56 yards and a touchdown.
- Arizona QB B.J. Denker completed 20-of-33 passes for 186 yards and two scores with a pick, and he ran 16 times for 82 yards.
at UCLA 45, Colorado 23
Basically … Brett Hundley connected with Devin Fuller for a 76-yard touchdown in the first quarter and from six yards out in the second, on the way to a 21-13 UCLA lead, but it would be a fight. Colorado got three Will Oliver field goals and a seven-yard Paul Richardson touchdown catch, but Hundley ran for two scores and Fuller added an eight-yard touchdown late in the fourth. Hundley’s one-yard run early in the third and a five-yard touchdown from Damien Thigpen late in the quarter put it away.
- UCLA QB Brett Hundley completed 19-of-24 passes for 273 yards and two scores, and he led the team with 72 rushing yards and two scores on 11 carries.
- Colorado QB Sefo Liufau completed 25-of-36 passes for 247 yards and a score.
- The Bruins committed 11 penalties for 122 yards.
- UCLA WR Devin Fuller caught three passes for 99 yards and two scores, and he ran for an eight-yard touchdown.
at Oregon 42, UCLA 14
Basically … Oregon broke open a 14-14 game with 28 unanswered points in the second half with two Byron Marshall touchdown runs, an eight-yard scoring grab from Bralon Addison, and a two-yard Thomas Tyner scoring run. Marshall scored on a 40-yard dash in the second quarter, and De’Anthony Thomas got in from one-yard in the first, but UCLA started out the scoring with a four-yard Brett Hundley touchdown run and an 11-yard Thomas Duarte scoring grab.
- UCLA fought the good fight for three quarters, and then the lack of offensive punch proved costly as the D couldn’t hold up. Brett Hundley completed 13-of-19 passes, but they only went for 64 yards with a touchdown with two picks. The Duck secondary contained everything – the UCLA passing game didn’t go anywhere, and while the running game came up with 219 yards and a score, it wasn’t nearly enough.
- The Bruins might be 0-2 vs. the North big boys over the last two weeks, but they now have to take care of home. Win out and go unbeaten in the South, and the rematch against the Cardinal or Ducks will come. It starts against Colorado next week, but then comes the real test at Arizona.
at Stanford 24, UCLA 10
Basically … Stanford got a brilliant one-handed 30-yard touchdown catch from Kodi Whitfield, and Tyler Gaffney ran for scores from one and four yards out on the way to a bruising win. Shaq Evans caught a three-yard touchdown pass to pull UCLA within seven in the fourth quarter, but the offense stalled late while Gaffney’s second touchdown run put it away.
- That’s the Stanford we’ve all been waiting for. It was tough, physical, and effective with Tyler Gaffney rumbling for 171 yards and two scores and the defense holding UCLA to just 74 rushing yards. It was tough on both sides of the ball and looked far different than it did in the Washington close call and the loss to Utah. The Cardinal was in total control.
- Brett Hundley didn’t play like himself. He was too tentative at times and didn’t have his normal command completing 24-of-39 passes for 192 yards and a score with two picks. He was under constant pressure, but he also didn’t hit on enough big throws.
- It was a tough game, and Stanford might have controlled the UCLA defense, but there were some nice performances from the Bruins – along with a scare, losing Eric Kendricks to a kidney injury. Safety Randall Goforth came up with 19 tackles and fellow safety Anthony Jefferson came up with 14.
- The Cardinal defense was all over the UCLA offense with strong safety Jordan Richards coming up with the key plays. He led the team with ten tackles with two picks – with one going for a touchdown negated by a holding penalty. The linebackers were fantastic – Shayne Skov made seven stops with a sack, but Richards was the key.
at UCLA 37, California 10
Basically … Brett Hundley threw for 410 yards with three touchdown passes as UCLA went in streaks to win easily. The Bruins got out to a 17-0 lead with Hundley hitting Devin Fuller for an 18-yard score and Paul Perkins running for a one-yard touchdown. Cal scored ten straight points with Daniel Lasco running for a six-yard touchdown, and then it was all UCLA as it scored 20 unanswered points as Hundley fount Thomas Duarte and Shaquelle Evans for touchdowns and Ka’imi Fairbairn hit two of his three field goals.
- UCLA might have been in for a little bit of a battle in the second quarter, but it did what it wanted to on both sides of the ball. Brett Hundley was in total command, completing 31-of-41 passes and being razor sharp on third downs. There were a few drives that ended in field goals deep in Cal territory – this could’ve been really ugly – but the Bruins didn’t have any problems.
- Once again, the Cal secondary didn’t have any chance. The Bear defense is going to be a problem on a consistent basis, so the offense has to keep up. Jared Goff only threw for 215 yards on 43 passes with no touchdown passes and one pick. UCLA bottled up just about everything, especially after the first half.
- Anthony Barr only came up with three sacks, but he generated a sack with two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. On the other side, Myles Jack came up with 12 tackles and crushed any semblance of a Cal running game. There was decent pressure from the UCLA D with three sacks.
- Where’s Cal’s win going to come? It has to go to Colorado and the home games – Oregon State, Arizona and USC – aren’t going to be easy. The Bears are clearly the worst team in the Pac-12, and unless the pass defense improves by leaps and bounds in a hurry, this could be an utterly disastrous season.
at UCLA 34, Utah 27
Basically … UCLA came up with its sixth pick of the game to hold off a feisty Utah team that scored late on a 37-yard Andy Phillips field goal, and made things interesting by recovering the onside kick. Brett Hundley threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payton, caught a scoring pass from seven yards out, and ran for a score from 36 yards away, but Utah wouldn’t go away. Travis Wilson threw two first quarter touchdown passes, and Keith McGill picked off a Hundley pass for a fourth quarter touchdown to tie it at 24, but UCLA’s defense held firm when it had to, closing the game out with Myles Jack interception
- Give the UCLA defense credit. The game might have been tight, and there were problems early and 13 penalties committed throughout, but after the first quarter the D allowed two field goals and clamped down time and again. Utah didn’t have an answer for Anthony Barr up front, and Anthony Jefferson led the way with two of the team’s six interceptions.
- Utah was happy to put the game into the hands of Travis Wilson, and while he came within a toe of tying the game up late, his six picks and mistakes were too much to overcome. In a lot of ways, the Utes outplayed the Bruins, but just when it seemed like they had the game under control, the turnovers followed.
- It wasn’t quite Brett Hundley’s best game. He was good, and he got the win, but he threw a pick and completed 17-of-27 passes – he wasn’t as sharp as normal. Even so, he got the win in a hostile environment. He got beaten up, but he kept making the plays the team needed at the right time.
- After the heartbreaking home loss to Oregon State, this was a must win for Utah to possibly turn everything around. The team showed once again that it’s far, far better than it was last season, but with Stanford up next, and road games at Arizona and USC to follow, this loss might be disastrous for bowl hopes.
at UCLA 59, New Mexico State 13
Basically … The Bruins went through a light scrimmage scoring the first 45 points of the game with Brett Hundley throwing three touchdown passes and Jordon James running for a 19-yard score. New Mexico State finally got on the board with a 33-yard Adam Shapiro catch in the fourth quarter, but UCLA kept on cranking with two three-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter from Malcolm Jones.
- Considering the Bruins cranked out 692 yards of total offense and won in a walk, there were some problems. UCLA turned it over three times with two Brett Hundley interceptions, and committed 15 penalties for 138 yards. Now come the big conference games, and the mistakes have to stop.
- UCLA is fantastic, with the ability and potential to get to the Rose Bowl, but New Mexico State still failed to do anything to make it interesting. It’s been a rough start to the season, but Andrew McDonald completed 9-of-13 passes and moved the offense a little bit.
- Davis Cazares continues to put up huge stats, even if the NMSU defense doesn’t seem to function well enough as a whole. He came up with 12 tackles with two picks. He deemed to do everything on his own; his ten solo stops would’ve led the team by 2.5 tackles.
- As a tribute to fallen teammate Nick Pasquale, UCLA started out its first offensive series with just ten men on the field.
UCLA 41, at Nebraska 21, Sept. 14
Basically … UCLA overcame a sluggish started with 38 unanswered points as Brett Hundley finished with three touchdown passes and Jordan James and Paul Perkins each ran for scores. Nebraska came out hot with three Taylor Martinez touchdown passes with two to Quincy Enunwa, but the offense stalled after a 22-yard touchdown catch from Kenny Bell midway through the second quarter.
- It took a little while for UCLA’s offense to find its footing, it wasn’t sharp out of the gate, but Brett Hundley got red hot and that was it. He completed 16-of-24 passes for 294 yards with three touchdowns, and he ran well with 61 yards on 19 carries.
- Nebraska didn’t do enough to establish the ground game. Taylor Martinez threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns, but he should’ve done more running once the offense fell flat. He tried to make things happen through the air and finished with -13 rushing yards on ten carries.
- UCLA never let the Huskers get the ball late in the game, but the Nebraska offense had a lot to do with the time of possession with misfire after misfire. UCLA had the ball for 10:25 in the fourth.
- Nebraska got good pressure into the backfield and on Hundley, but it didn’t matter much. Hundley was cool under fire, but Nebraska came up with three sacks and nine tackles for loss.
at UCLA 58, Nevada 20, Aug. 31
Basically … Brett Hundley controlled the game from the start for UCLA with a 37-yard touchdown run. He added four touchdown passes and an 11-yard run, but it was a blocked punt for a score in the third quarter that helped the Bruins pull away. Nevada hung around with two touchdown runs from Cody Fajardo, but the balanced UCLA offense was too much to deal with scoring 21 unanswered points in the fourth to make it a blowout.
- 345 rushing yards, 302 passing yards. That’s how the UCLA offense is supposed to work. It was explosive, effective and very, very efficient. Hundley was terrific throwing for 274 yards and two touchdowns and running for 63 yards and two scores. Jordan James added 155 yards and a score on 21 carries.
- The problem for UCLA? Penalties, with a sloppy 12 for 93 yards. They didn’t turn out to matter, but the team has to tighten up before dealing with Nebraska soon.
- UCLA started to pull away and Nevada couldn’t do anything to stop it. Cody Fajardo was a one-man gang throwing for 164 yards and running for 106 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t get any help from the defense.
- The Wolf Pack owned the time of position, but the defense couldn’t get off the field. UCLA converted 9-of-12 third down chances.
Why To Get Excited … for the first time in over a decade, the Bruins have the luxury of momentum. The program surprisingly won nine games in Jim Mora’s debut at the helm, and the staff has cobbled together back-to-back dynamite classes. In other words, UCLA is in the process of passing crosstown rival USC, which was not long ago unimaginable. The Bruins are trending north, which is having a positive impact on everyone involved with the team.
Why To Be Grouchy … as revelatory as UCLA was in 2012, it’ll still begin the new year on a three-game losing streak. The Bruins slumped to the finish line, exposing their youth and flaws on defense and along the offensive line. Despite receiving constant support from the pass rush, the secondary still allowed too many long balls over the top. And now that unit must replace three starters, leaving FS Tevin McDonald to bloom into a physical and emotional leader.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … shoring up the offensive line. The good news is that the Bruins were extraordinarily young up front in 2012, using a bunch of freshmen and sophomores. The concern is that they ranked 118th in the country in sacks allowed. LT Xavier Su’a-Filo is a rock and a potential All-American, but the staff is counting on Torian White, Simon Goines and Jake Brendel to evolve into veterans between now and September.
Non-Conference Games: Nevada, at Nebraska, New Mexico State,
Games Against The North: California, at Oregon, at Stanford, Washington
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Nevada, New Mexico State, at Utah, California, Colorado, Washington, Arizona State, at USC
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Nebraska, at Stanford, at Oregon, at Arizona
Schedule Analysis: Is this when UCLA take a huge leap forward under Jim Mora, or is it going to be inconsistent again as it tries to navigate its way up through a rough Pac-12 schedule? Starting out against Nevada isn’t going to be a breather, but there’s a week off to figure out what needs working on before a huge date at Nebraska. Win that, and 5-0 is a must with New Mexico State up next before an off week to prepare for easy games against Utah and Cal – forget about last year; beating the Bears shouldn’t be a problem.
As if having to play Stanford and Oregon from the North wasn’t bad enough, the games are back-to-back and on the road. Fortunately, three of the next four games are at home and the trip to Arizona is the only remaining game outside of Los Angeles. Colorado, Washington and Arizona State are all winnable home games to crank up the record, but the South title should come down to the showdown at USC.
Team Concerns For 2013: The needle is pointing up for the program, but first, the offensive line has to be far better. It was good for a strong running game, but it was miserable in pass protection. Replacing star running back Johnathan Franklin will be a big priority, and tight end Joseph Fauria is gone, but again, more than anything else the line has to be more effective at protecting Brett Hundley. Penalties were a
huge problem with a horrible stretch of four straight games getting flagged 12 or more times and committing double-digit penalties six times on the year.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive lineman. WHOA ... Jim Mora came up with a phenomenal haul that's every bit as good as anything USC has been able to put together over the last several years. Quarterback Asiantii Woulard was a good late get out of Florida, while middle linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea out of Hawaii along with linebacker Cameron Judge and offensive tackle Christian Morris made this an special offseason signaling a possible shift in power.
Wide receiver Eldridge Massington is a future No. 1 target and corners Priest Willis and Johnny Johnson are terrific. Throw in safeties Tahaan Goodman and Tyler
Foreman along with tackle Kenneth Clark and linebacker Myles Jack and the defense has its share of future stars. However, the key is the offense with more than enough prospects to play around with. Tackle Poasi Moala is the best of the lot, but guards Caleb Benenoch and Alex Redmond have the bodies to be rocks for the interior.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 10. That Class Was Heavy On ... Jim Mora is doing a good job keeping many of Rick Neuheisel’s recruits coming in. The Bruins loaded up two years ago and had a smallish class last season, and now it’s about bringing in as many good prospects as possible across the board. The defense has been improved over the last several seasons, and now it’s time to work harder on the offense with QB Devin Fuller a major coup, even through Brett Hundley was the star of last year’s class. The defense is getting plenty of bodies for the secondary with a tremendous group of corners coming in.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 25. That Class Was Heavy On ... Brett Hundley. The 2010 class was the big one in the Rick Neuheisel area, so this one was about getting a few decent players here and there. There aren’t any stars, especially compared to last year, except for Hundley, a 6-4, versatile passer who can run as well as wing it around the yard. For a program desperate to get something going offensively, Hundley will be seen as a savior. For the Neuheisel era, he had better be. The hope will be for Devin Lucien to quickly develop into a consistent target, while the defense will look to tackles Kvin McReynolds and Brandon Tuliaupupu to soon become anchors inside.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 7. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defense. Last
year's class was terrific, but this one is even
better. RB Malcolm Jones is the centerpiece of the
offensive class and Paul Richardson is a
good-looking receiver, but the focus was defense,
defense, defense. Getting safety Dietrich Riley away
from USC was a major coup, but that was nothing
compared to getting top end prospect Owamagbe
Odighizuwa to put on the Bruin hat instead of USC or
Nebraska. Cassius Marsh doesn't make up for the loss
of Brian Price at defensive tackle right away, but
it eventually will. Locking down the secondary will
be Anthony Jefferson, Tevin McDonald, and Shaquille
Richardson, three talented corner prospects.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 6. That Class Was
Heavy On ... cornerbacks. In a Pac-10 that’s usually flush with quality passers, the Bruins wisely answered with a quartet of really good cornerbacks. All four earned no less than three stars and were ranked in the top 50 at the position. The best of the bunch is Marlon Pollard, who fielded a slew of offers, and has an enormous upside to match his leaping ability.
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