After UCLA’s 42-14 defeat at Eugene, many people were pointing fingers. Was it Brett Hundley’s inability to throw the ball more than 10 yards? Was it the offensive lines fault for not protecting him? Was it offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s fault?
UCLA was starting Scott Queensberry and Caleb Benenoch, two true freshamn offensive lineman on Saturday, and they did a pretty darn good job. They created a solid pocket for Hundley throughout the game, but of course there were times when the pocket would collapse. That is to be expected when most of the lineman are true freshman. That being said, it’s unfair to blame the offensive line. They did their job and it sure isn’t easy, especially playing at Autzen.
Brett Hundley had a very poor game, he was 13 of 19 for 64 yards, one touchdown and two very costly interceptions. He also ran for 72 yards on 15 carries for a touchdown, but most of those yards came on two big runs. Hundley struggled to through the ball downfield, and when he did, it wasn’t pretty. Brett Hundley was picked off in the fourth quarter as he was looking for Shaq Evans, the only problem was the fact that he didn’t look off the defensive back and pretty much telegraphed the throw to Evans. The last two to three games have really shown that Hundley still has a lot of work to do.
Who I really blame the loss on is offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. Early in the season, we were used to seeing a variety of trick plays, a motion jet sweep to the receiver, a wide-out pass and a handful of misdirection runs. After the Utah game, the offensive play calling has been extremely weak. At a pivotal juncture in the first quarter, UCLA was faced with a 4th and manageable one yard. I was expecting to see UCLA to run a swing pass to the outside, or a jet sweep to the wide receiver, but I was very wrong. Mazzone called for a very simple run up the middle, right into the teeth of Oregon’s blitz and Paul Perkins got stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The play calling was very vanilla the whole game, to beat Oregon, you’re definitely going to have to throw something different at the opponent and throw them off of the scheme. Running this “vanilla” style isn’t going to work against the elite teams of CFB.