UCLA football was absolutely routed by the Baylor Bears in the Holiday Bowl, 49-26, a loss that has major implications and provides a sense of urgency for the 2013 season.
Before we look at the bigger picture, however, let’s take a look at some really painful numbers (NOTE: Go Joe Bruin would prefer you to have a loved one accompany you while you read this in case you get emotional again.)
The number of rushing yards UCLA accumulated all game. The Bruins ran the ball only 28 times, well below their 2012 season average of 43 rushing attempts per game. From the outset, Noel Mazzone’s playcalling — which looked crisp and intelligent after UCLA’s bye week back in October — was incredibly pass-happy, with UCLA’s first two plays of the game going through Hundley until Mazzone finally allowed a Franklin run on 3rd-and-forever.
Franklin finished with a season-low 34 net yards to cap off what was an otherwise stellar year in 2012.
The percent of passes completed by UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, by far the lowest of the season for the freshman quarterback. Hundley, in his defense, was pressured on nearly every pass play, and Baylor’s corners put together a dominant performance against a receiving corps which was seemingly more talented by a mile.
But Hundley made quite a few terrible throws on crucial downs which made his poor performance more salient, and while fans are upset with him, UCLA should still be happy that the quarterback position is still in good hands.
The amount of sacks Baylor recorded against a UCLA offensive line that proved to be overmatched and, midway through the game, incredibly depleted. The pressure put on Hundley early and often proved to contribute to his mediocre performance. UCLA needs offensive line depth pretty badly and will get seven highly-rated offensive linemen in their 2013 recruiting class (hopefully).
The number of third-down conversions UCLA had all game, as the Bruins went 1-for-17 on third downs. Earlier in the season, UCLA was one of the worst teams in the nation in third-down conversions, but improved that stat as the season progressed, namely after the bye week. However, their third-down issues reared their ugly head, and much of that can be chalked up to shoddy play-calling from Noel Mazzone.
UCLA’s average field position was on their 39-yard line, a very advantageous stat. By comparison, Baylor’s average field position was 31, meaning despite the fact that UCLA earned better field position on average, they were totally dominated by Baylor’s defnese.