UCLA Football: The Defense Is Damn Good and Proved It Against Utah


UCLA Football has a very good defense, and despite being plagued by injuries all season long, they have stepped up and proved their worth and did that in front of a national audience today as they limited the Utah Utes to zero touchdowns in the Bruin’s 17-9 victory.

The UCLA Football defense was incredible. In the Bruins 17-9 win over the Utah Utes, UCLA did not allow a single touchdown by a team that scores 33.4 points per game.

RELATED: UCLA Football Still Controls Their Own Destiny With Win Over Utah

Utah is not the most offensively dominant team in the Pac-12, but they have been able to put the ball in the end zone when needed. That was not the case today. Though Utah was missing one of their biggest offensive weapons as Devontae Booker is out for the season after knee surgery this past week. With that, UCLA’s defense showed Utah what they are all about.

The Utes did do alright with junior running back Joe Williams who did one hell of a job cloning Booker. Williams had 26 carries in this game and made them all count. Gaining 121 yards and averaging 4.7 per carry, Williams was bruising through the Bruins defensive line most of the game.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

Despite starting slow, Utah had picked up their run game which lead to three very strong drives that bridged the second and third quarters. All of them had lead to scores, but only field goals as the Bruins were able to stop the Utes from getting a touchdown on the ground or through the air.

That is where the UCLA defense came up big.

Utah had marched down the field in their first drive of the game until Kenny Orjioke forced a fumble that Randall Goforth picked up. UCLA then forced a punt on the next Utah drive.

After that is when the Utes stepped up their run game and pounded through the Bruins, yet what really mattered is the stops UCLA got in the red zone. Instead of touchdowns, they forced Utah to settle for field goals.

After those three drives, the Utes punted four consecutive times and then killed their last drive with a Travis Wilson fumble that essentially sealed the win for the Bruins.

In those final five drives, UCLA’s defense was playing lights out. It seemed they forgot how to tackle for a hot minute, but that faded as the Bruins had stopped Utah cold.

In those final five drives, UCLA’s defense was playing lights out. It seemed they forgot how to tackle for a hot minute, but that faded as the Bruins had stopped Utah cold.

UCLA had figured out Utah’s scheme of running Williams, having Wilson on a keeper or throwing out to the flat. The Bruins seemed to be where they were needed, especially in the second half.

On top of that they had some spectacular performances by several defensive players. Freshman Nate Meadors was easily the player of the game who came through on several plays. Aside from knocking down multiple potential touchdown passes, Meadors was a beast in the open field and ended the night with seven tackles.

Despite a minor injury, Jayon Brown was very active and put several bigs hits on the Utes on his way to 10 tackles. Aaron Wallace was another linebacker that was all over the field, especially in the backfield as he was pestering Wilson all game long.

Then there were guys like Jaleel Wadood, Takkarist McKinley, Randal Goforth and Marcus Rios that made major roles in this defense. These players are doing what they need to get UCLA Football in contention to win the Pac-12 South and they did that with their performance today.

Needless to say this defense is for real. Now imagine what they would be like with Eddie Vanderdoes, Myles Jack and Fabian Moreau in the mix.

Despite losing these players, the Bruin’s defense is finding their identity and just at the perfect time. The Bruin’s next game is against crosstown rival USC and this game decides the winner of the Pac-12 South. Strap in Bruin fans, this season just got real.