After a game of misfires and set-backs, we go harsh in our position group report card for UCLA vs Arizona State.
Oct 3, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Rosen has seen what ASU did to him before from BYU, but did not seem to learn from it.
The Sun Devils brought a lot of pressure from all angles and although the offensive line did not help, Rosen put himself in several bad positions and made several bad choices from holding on to the ball too long to making bad passes in traffic.
He was able to get a few good connections, primarily with Thomas Duarte, but for the most part, this was a weak effort.
Running Backs: C-
UCLA had 62 yards of rushing. Paul Perkins 63 to himself. Nate Starks added 23. Soso Jamabo had -2 and Rosen brought it all back with -17 rushing yards. What has been the driving force of the Bruin offenses the last two seasons hit a wall in the shape of the ASU front. The offensive line did not help as the Bruins allowed the Sun Devils into the back field time and a agin which completely disrupted the running game.
Wide Receivers: C
Oct 3, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Thomas Duarte (18) scores a touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Duarte gets an “A”. Jordan Payton, Stephen Johnson and Devin Fuller get “Bs”. Unfortunately, this is about how the group did collectively and they did not do well. The receiving game gets a “C” as players could not break away from defenders, blocking was subpar and all the dropped balls amplified how out of rhythm the entire offense was.
Offensive Line: D
The rock, the anchor, the line. It was anything but in this game. The offensive line often looked confused with the schemes they were going up against. The Bruins were pushed around in a fashion similar to that of last year’s Utah game. Because of that, it disallowed the offense to execute and threw them off their game.
Defensive Line: C-
Things were not going well for the D-line. Just like last week, the Bruins were pushed back and allowed massive holes to open up for the ASU RBs. But it was not just that which leads to their bad grade. It was the fact that the Sun Devils ran right through UCLA.
On ASU’s final score, Kalen Ballage scrummed the ball into the end zone for an impressive 23-yard run. He took the entire Bruin team with him on that run. Kenny Clark did his part, part the younger guys need to get up to speed quick or teams will run right at them all season long. And guess who is next on the lust… Stanford.
I have to give some credit here. Isaako Savaiinaea has been fantastic since taking over for Myles Jack in the middle. Though he is not Jack, he is giving out a fantastic effort. Savaiinaea finished the game with a team-high 10 tackles, and 1 interception.
I also give a shout out to Aaron Wallace, but for the most part, the LBs were not as effective as they have been. Runs weren’t stopped, tackles were not being made and there was confusion all around. That has to be the answer for Mike Bercovici running 34-yards untouched up the middle for a touchdown, right?
Defensive Backs: C-
This was another concern. Bercovici carved up the Bruin defense as the Bruins were playing way off of their receivers, not getting to the ball and did not make tackles.
Bercovici had all day to throw because the Bruins did not have much pressure on them, and on his way to 273 yards passing, connected with five different ASU WRs who each had a long reception of at least 22 yards. It also did not help that UCLA was without Marcus Rios who had been in the hospital for the last few days.
Special Teams: C+
This was not their worst game, but not their best either. Hats off to Ka’Imi Fairbairn who landed his career-long as he hit a 53 yarder. The punting game was where it needed to be seeing as Adam Searl and Matt Mengel combined for 9 punts.
Return coverage was bad. Tim White had seemingly muffed a kick return, only to recover, blow through the Bruins and get up field for 63 yards. This needs to improve before the Bruins get up to Palo Alto.