UCLA Football, Now and into the Future

facebooktwitterreddit

The UCLA Football team just went 8-5 in an injury-filled season that ended with a 37-29 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a team that only had five wins before this match-up. So where are the Bruins and where do they go now?

The 2016 UCLA Football season is eight months away. That could be a long enough time for the Bruins to figure out what went wrong with this season. Though we can point to the insane amount of injuries that possessed this team, it did not account for the all the problems the Bruins had in 2015.

The Bruins lost Myles Jack, Eddie Vanderdoes, Fabian Moreau as well as several others to significant injuries, specifically on defense. The UCLA D tried, but at times could not over come the loss of key players, the constant re-shuffling and the burning of redshirts so that this unit could properly function week in and week out.

It also did not help that UCLA also lost Chris Clark, Fred Ulu-Perry and Alex Redmond prematurely as they all voluntarily left the program. Who knows what went on behind the scenes, but from an outsiders perspective, this does not look good, especially regarding recruits.

Even that is something that has/will affect the Bruins. In the last few months, the Bruins have lost K Bailey Raborn, OL Sean Auwae, DB Jordan Parker and 5-star DL Oluwole Betiku (who just recently committed to USC). Once again, from an outsiders perspective, it appears that UCLA is not only having guys leaving the program, but apparently they cannot get guys to stay with the program.

— A little side note with recruiting, UCLA has been doing quite well as you can read about in our Offensive Big Board and our Defensive Big Board , thanks to Go Joe Bruin writer Michael Hanna.—

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

And then there is the question about coaching. It was not horrendous (okay, maybe at times), but it was not where it needed to be in Head Coach Jim Mora‘s tenure. Still, there are things he has to address on his staff.

We almost have to give a pass to first-year LB coach Scott White for keeping his unit together in the midst of some serious roster depletion, but there were times where he clearly did not have a handle on many situations (and I will not even get into the decline of special teams).

Another issue is how inconsistent the offensive line looked under Adrian Klemm, despite beginning the season with the biggest collection of starts in the nation. Looking at what the Bruins did in the Foster Farms Bowl, getting only 67 rushing yards in the entire game, is something that Mora has to look long and hard at.

Speaking of runs, Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure and Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley had no answer for stopping the run this year. Stanford ran over the Bruins, USC ran over the Bruins and Nebraska ran over UCLA. With eight months until the new season, UCLA Football needs to rethink the operation of the run defense.

And what about the offensive play-calling, which once again, looked stifled and predictable. Though QB Josh Rosen was above average with 319 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, he also had 2 interceptions in a bland offense that relied on big passes, which the Bruins only connected on a few times.  Yes, it was good that Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone was back after being hospitalized and calling plays, but it just seems that what he has been doing, has started to fade.

So what does that mean for the future? Who knows at this point. It seems that if Mora was going to make coaching adjustments, he might have done it before the bowl game. Still, it is not too late, but what exactly will he do?

Coaching is clearly the many concern here as it affects recruiting, development and game planning going forward. Though Mora has been successful, and this still was a winning season, he does not want to go backwards, which, unfortunately, seems to be the way UCLA Football is trending.

Next: The Top 10 UCLA Quarterbacks

Still, this was an awkward year, one that many fans are glad is over, but going into the future, the only thing we can do is hope that Mora seems what is wrong with this team and fixes it.