First off, let me say wow. On the first play of Houston’s drive, they tried a lateral and failed. Houston players thought that the play would be blown dead, so they quit on the ball; UCLA quickly swarmed the ball and Eric Kendricks picked it up and took it to the house for a 23 yd. TD.
Lets grade the defense!
Defensive Line: B+
The reason why I gave them that grade is because they were absolutely unbelievable at stopping Houston’s run game. They held Houston to negative rush yards until the fourth quarter, although they winded up with 139 rushing yards it was during ‘garbage time.’ UCLA did get some pressure on David Piland but Houston’s offensive line protected him well throughout the game. The line did a good job at stopping runs at the line of scrimmage all game, yes, all game and not just the second half. Their leading rusher ran for 74 yards, a big chunk of those came in ‘mop up time.’
I will say that I’m fairly disappointed that I didn’t see UCLA’s D-Linemen swarm the quarterback as I would have liked to. Thank God it didn’t have to come to that, David Piland just gave the game away. Just like they say, “the battle is won in the trenches,” UCLA won the battle in the trenches. Even Datone Jones had a touchdown reception this game, can he take over Fauria’s starting job? hahahaha.
They LB core did a solid job at backing up the linemen during run plays and plugging holes. I will say that they were pretty awful at guarding the quick slant, I saw them get beat numerous times on that route. I will point out Anthony Barr, he did a good job at bothering David Piland, he got a sack and a fumble (which was overturned by review).
This group of LB’s is very fast, athletic and hard-nosed. I’m not worried about them, they’ll get better because Mora and Co. will push them to get to the next level.
Wow, 5 interceptions. Sheldon Price had 3, freshman Randall Goforth had 1 and Tevin Mcdonald had one that was returned for 50 yards. Our secondary has really come together over the past years, credit is due to Sheldon Price who was absolutely bullied his freshman year. He has come back stronger and he is ready to prove his doubters wrong, proud of you young fella! Secondary was relatively clean penalty wise, played great coverage and they were able to jump some routes and break up some passes.
Also, an other note from the secondary. Ishmael Adams will miss the remainder of the season due to shoulder surgery (played 3 games). He will apply for a medical RS.
Overall Grade: B+