UCLA earned a great, gutsy road win on Saturday. Brett Hundley is just simply unflappable. To put a cherry on top, the gals at USC lost at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats. Now the questions start arising, can the Bruins win the Pac-12 South?
Coming in to this year, there were many questions about this UCLA team. Will the transition between coaches be tough? Is this team just too young? Can the offensive line prove themselves? Do they have a true QB? These questions so far have been answered, and the answer to all of those is a big, fat YES. This
team is not only young, but they’re coached extremely well. Mora, Klemm and co. have done a superb job turning the Bruin football program around, and wow, how long have we waited for this? More importantly, the Bruins are winning on the road, something they haven’t done for a couple years.
The recruiting this year was great, snagging Ellis McCarthy, Jordan Payton, Devin Fuller and many others. The development of Brett Hundley has been remarkable, he could have easily saved Rick Neuheiesel’s job but he decided to redshirt him. Johnathan Franklin and Datone Jones both decided to stick around for their senior years. Jones is easily having the best year of his collegiate career which increases his draft stock. For Franklin, he’s been beasting all year long. I’d love to see him get the ball more, and when he does, he’s breaking tackles, moving the chains and finding pay-dirt. The resurgence of our WRs have been huge. Last year, UCLA was dreadful in the passing game, now our WRs are more important than ever, and boy have they come up big time. They’re blocking down field, coming back to the ball. They’re doing the little things.
UCLA’s young offensive line has done a very good job this year. Simon Goines, Xavier Sua’filo and Jeff Baca have done a solid job at opening up holes for our running backs and giving Hundley time to throw. Has the pocket collapsed? yes. Have the holes been plugged up? yes, but this is part of the growing process. Brett Hundley has been hit a fair share of times, but we have to give credit where it’s due. Our run game has been a big part of our success this year. Not to mention, it’s difficult to be an offensive lineman and run this hi-tempo offense. It gets you gassed easily. It does help when you have a great coach in Adrian Klemm teaching the ways of the OL. Great job, guys.
Anthony Barr? This young kid converted from a FB to a LB over summer, so he didn’t have all the time to prepare himself fro the transition. Look at what he has done this year, he’s constantly harassing QBs, making big hits and forcing fumbles. He’s definitely a stud on the defensive side of the ball not only for the Bruins but in the nation, yes, in the nation.
So that being said, UCLA has two opponents that pose a threat the rest of the way: ASU and USC. USC is self destructing before our eyes. ASU is a solid team on defense and on offense as we saw on Saturday. USC plays Oregon on Saturday, ASU plays at Oregon State and of course, we play at home against a very underrated Arizona team. There’s no doubt in my mind that Oregon will blow out USC and that ASU will lose at Reeser Stadium in Corvallis. The future is in our hands; if we beat Arizona, then we have sole possession of first (if USC loses). U of A QB Matt Scott might be out with a concussion, and UCLA might catch yet an other break. UCLA will definitely be tested if he plays. The Bruins also have their hands full with Ka’Deem Carrey who has 961 yards rushing and 12 TDs.