Here is the Go Joe Bruin position-by-position grades for BYU vs UCLA Football. The Bruins beat the Cougars, 24-23.
UCLA Football quarterback Josh Rosen had a tough night. No one is mistaken that. He had 3 passes intercepted, 2 of which were just bad decisions in traffic in the red zone. For the night he connected on only 11 for 23 passes.
Still, the freshman kept his poise and did not get rattled as he helped the Bruins roar back from 10 points down in the 4th quarter. Because of this, he gets a passing grade with the added note “needs improvement”.
Running Backs: A+
Sep 19, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) trails the play as running back Paul Perkins (24) breaks from BYU Cougars linebacker Sae Tautu (31) to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game at the Rose Bowl. Ucla won 24-23.Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The highest grade for UCLA Football goes to the running backs. Even though the defense kept the UCLA football team in the game, the efficiency and skill of Paul Perkins and Nate Starks came through with flying (running) colors.
Perkins ran for a season-high 219 yards which puts him at 7th in the nation in total rushing yards (429). Starks also helped with a late drive in which he ran for 60 yards and the game winning touchdown.
This was a hard grade to give as the Bruin receivers were not given many chances to participate in the game. In the last two contests against Virginia and UNLV, the ball was passed to 11 and 12 players, respectively. Against BYU, only five receivers got some action with Jordan Payton being the only effective weapon. The good thing for UCLA is that Payton brought his “A” game earning 59 tough yards and 1 touchdown reception. Unfortunately, overall the rest of the group gets a “B”.
Offensive Line: A-
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The offensive line continues to be the rock the UCLA Football needs them to be. Allowing Perkins to for 219 yards while holding back a strong BYU D-line took a lot of work. Though they did not allow a sack, Rosen did get hit a few times.
Part of that was mediocre decision making by the on the young QB, but as far as the O-line, they were sharp. It also helped that senior center Jake Brendel returned from a minor injury he sustained at UNLV.
Defensive Line: A-
The Cougars were trying to grind it out on the ground, but that is hard when the Bruins had their big guys up front stopping that progress. UCLA only allowed 151 yards rushing as the Bruins consistently stopped 1st and 2nd down efforts to move the ball. The unfortunate thing was that BYU used their passing game to their advantage in later downs.
Sep 19, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Aaron Wallace (51) sacks Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) in the first quarter of the game against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Things could have been different here, but the linebackers took a hit early as Kenny Young was ejected for targeting. His replacement Isaako Savaiinaea did a bang-up job covering for him with a team-high 10 tackles.
Defensive Backs: B-
Talk about a rough time. The BYU receivers seemed to do whatever they wanted against the Bruin secondary. UCLA allowed BYU QB Tanner Mangum to pass for 244 yards. That is not good.
It did not help that the Bruins lost one of their stud DBs for the majority of the game as Fabian Moreau left the game with an injury. His replacement, Denzel Fisher, had a tough time filling his role as the Cougars picked on him the majority of the game. Aside from that, the rest of the secondary did a decent job but also need improvements.
Special Teams: A
Ka’Imi Fairbairn went 1 for 1 on field goals. Matt Mengel averaged 37.5 yards per punt with a long of 41. Devin Fuller was exceptional on kick and punt returns, gaining a total of 194 yards on eight returns. I would say the UCLA Football Special Teams are definitely deserving of an “A”.