UCLA proved that the hype it received over the offseason may have been warranted as the Bruins pounded the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday, 58-20.
And, as is the case with these blowouts, there were a lot of numbers that could describe how this game went. But because we have lives here at GJB, here are five.
The number of drives that ended in a punt for UCLA. UCLA failed to score on just two of its drives, one of which came late in the game with the win secured. While freshman punter Sean Covington didn’t get any action, we can derive from this number that the UCLA offense could be a serious problem for opponents. (As if the 58 points wasn’t enough.)
The time of possession percentage for UCLA, with Nevada holding the rock for 33:53 on Saturday night. Two things can be derived from this stat, and both would be accurate. First, this indicates that UCLA was scoring much faster than Nevada wasn’t scoring. All seven of the Bruins’ touchdowns of the game came on drives that took less than four minutes, and the final two took less than 90 seconds. Second, this number indicates that the UCLA defense couldn’t get off the field, and this is also true, particularly for the first half. Nevada was in possession for 18:31 of the first 30 minutes of the contest, a function of the Wolf Pack keeping drives alive with brilliant read options from QB Cody Fajardo.
The number of times UCLA QB Brett Hundley was sacked. For all of his swagger on display Saturday night, the redshirt sophomore benefited tremendously from an improved offensive line (that’s still incredibly young; holy hell). Hundley had a sizable amount of time to let loose and throw some serious long-balls, many of which were just a tad strong. The UCLA offensive line was a weakness in 2012, and thus far, through one game, that unit appears to be a strength.
UCLA’s redzone conversions, where the Bruins scored four touchdowns on four tries inside the 20. This was a bit of a frustrating aspect of the Bruins’ offense in 2012, where UCLA scored (either a touchdown or field goal) just 77 percent of every trip inside the redzone. With the offense firing on all cylinders the way it has, it’s important that UCLA convert when the opportunities present themselves.
The number of true freshmen who saw playing time for UCLA on Saturday night. While one would assume that these youngsters burned their redshirt late in a blowout game, 13 of these freshmen played in the first quarter, a shocking stat considering how well UCLA did overall. Perhaps the most electric freshman so far is Myles Jack, who recorded six solo tackles and broke up a sure-fire catch in the second half.