Now that Spring Practice is over, it’s time to look forward to the 2016 UCLA Football season. If the Bruins want to meet their high expectations, the one thing they must do is improve their defense.
Are the pieces there for the UCLA Football team to become one of the elite defenses in the country?
Can their defense lead them to a Pac-12 or national championship? It can, but many things need to improve and certain players have to step up for it to happen.
The most obvious improvement Bruin fans would like to see is against the run. Too many times last season we saw the Bruin defense get shredded in the running game, allowing the opponent to control the clock and leaving little time for the offense to get things done.
Stopping the run begins up front and getting Eddie Vanderdoes back should make the defensive line more difficult to push around. Vanderdoes missed all of last season with a knee injury but how quickly he can shake off the rust and return to his All-Conference form will go a long way to defensive success.
With the defense moving towards more of a 4-3 defense, other defensive lineman will need to step up as well including junior college transfer Nick Terry who could move right into the starting lineup at defensive tackle. Last year, Eli Ankou and Matt Dickerson showed flashes that they could be outstanding defenders, but this year they need to become consistent performers that the coaching staff can count on.
Next: How The Defense Can Become Elite, Part 2