Another UCLA football win, another 640 total yards of offense.
It’s hard to believe that UCLA’s offense has become one of the most exciting and electrifying units in not the Pac-12, but the country in general. It’s a fast-paced, clean, smart, chain-moving, big-play-potential offense that entirely takes advantage of all of UCLA’s weapons.
Boy, this will be fun. Let’s just grade the offense already.
Brett Hundley, a redshirt freshman? A guy who needs some time to get used to the game and will mature along the way to become a great college QB?
Kiss my ass. He’s ready to go right now.
Hundley threw for four touchdowns and 305 passes this game, against a Nebraska team that figured to entirely shut down Hundley’s passing lanes with a vaunted secondary. And while the Cornhuskers have issues against mobile QBs, it wasn’t as if Hundley did much running: His largest run was only 20 yards and he gained just 53 in the game on 12 carries.
Hundley’s going to be a prolific passer for UCLA. It’s going to be insane to watch the kid win a Heisman at some point in his career.
We know Hundley had a hard time finding a rhythm against an inspired Nebraska defense in the first half, but he still managed a respectable line of 8-for-14, 77 yards and a touchdown.
Why the “A-” then? Richard Brehaut came in for an injured Hundley in the second half, and boy, he was not very good. He never looked comfortable in the pocket, threw erratically and even entirely misfired on a very well-thought-out field goal fake.
We said Johnathan Franklin should be a Heisman contender (we said he’d be on the national radar before these Bruins landed in Rice), and after a massive performance at Rice two Thursdays ago, the dude proved to be a star, and this team’s best player.
That’s 217 yards off of 26 carries for Franklin, an average of eight yards per carry, and this goes along nicely with his three receptions from Hundley for 59 yards and a touchdown. And, mind you, most of these were thrown in the flat, forcing Franklin to work and shimmy his way for that extra yardage, which he did fabulously.
Damien Thigpen and Jordon James served as solid relief for Franklin, though, combining for 13 carries and 64 yards, an average of nearly five yards per gain.
I’m being overly harsh on the receivers because I feel like I’ve given every other skill position so far a majorly beneficial grade.
But the wide-outs did well, they ran their routes and rarely were there silly drops, something that needed to be cleaned up completely. All the receivers hauled in the easy passes, and all of them were 50/50 on tough catches, namely this gem from redshirt freshman Devin Lucien (another guy Rick Neuheisel recruited and one that we’re grateful he didn’t play last season):
Yep, that’s great.
The offensive line wasn’t fantastic, but it was surprisingly solid and reliable. While the game against Rice showed the unit — filled with inexperience — needed improvement (though it wasn’t all that bad).
This game against Nebraska, against an aggressive front seven? They were really good this time around, allowing Franklin small enough holes for him to fit through, and the downfield blocking was damn good, just as it has been all season.
The line got a good push nearly every play, and Hundley also had a lot of time before his pocket collapsed.
Of course, the first half was maddening on the offensive line — the run game couldn’t get “that much” going early on. In addition, the false start penalties were frustrating.
Overall Offensive Grade: A… 94 plays of offense and 650 total yards gained is ridiculous, and that puts us in elite company.
What say you? These grades good enough?