What Go Joe Bruin Had to Say About UCLA Football
Along with giving our projections for the 2016 Pac-12 Football season, the writers of Go Joe Bruin also gave their opinions on UCLA Football.
Michael Hanna: Our defense has the exact same personnel as last year when it was not great and the offensive line is one interior injury away from disaster. Call me very skeptical.
Nathan Eberhardt: The defense should improve solely by virtue of being healthy. Also they’ll have had another year under DC Tom Bradley.
Michael Chavez: Our defense might have mostly the same personnel but there are little things that can be done that I think would really benefit the defense as a whole. Nick Terry has been a very solid addition even if only for beef. I may have said it here before but I don’t mind size exceptions as long as your whole unit isn’t an exception. I worry about our size at safety and some linebacker spots. Randall Goforth and Jaleel Wadood are really good players but might not be suited for the middle of the field.
Daniel Walker: Only weakness I see right now for UCLA is the O-Line. In every spring practice I saw, it was disappointing watching that unit. The false starts and the inconsistencies are a huge problem. And we lost one of the toughest guys on the roster in offensive guard Tevita Halalilo.
Aleks Dostonic: I feel like the only area where UCLA have an advantage over other teams is at QB, so many fresh faces for most of the top Pac-12 Football teams.
Mike Regalado: I hope for the life of me the 4-3 formation improves the run defense. The defensive backs are good, but they can’t do it all.
Matt Wagner: A big question surrounding UCLA is how the offensive line will perform this coming season with the losses of Jake Brendel, Caleb Benonoch, and Alex Redmond.
Hanna: The biggest help is going to be having an actual punter. It should help immensely with field position and time of possession. Most underrated yet crucial upgrade of the offseason.
Tellier: And even though I like our receiving corps, no one was more reliable than Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte. Eldridge Massington has glimpses here and there. And I guess we will see how Theo Howard develops.
Chavez: I’m hoping Nate Iese can put it together and be the chess piece this offense needs. I love me some tight ends.
Regalado: With more power in the offense, I can see the running backs having a big year. A lot of the pressure will be taken off them with some true fullbacks so Bolu Olorunfunmi, Soso Jamabo and Nate Starks will be able to shine in their individual assignments.
Chavez: If Alex Van Dyke could build some lower body strength I would be all for it. Fights the ball a lot though for my taste. I have felt like Iese has been miscast and underused since arriving in Westwood. Hopefully he can restore the former glory of UCLA TEs like my boy Ryan Moya.
Eberhardt: While I think the move to a more power-oriented offensive philosophy is a good one, I do wonder at the timing, having lost so much on the offensive line in the offseason. That said, I’m ready for a post-Mazzone offense.
Walker: Soso Jamabo is going to have a massive breakout year. He added so much muscle this offseason. He looks like a legit back now
Chavez: The Bruins are one of the few teams in the South not looking for a new quarterback and they should have a better defense. That coupled with the tweaks on offense and I see us being extremely competitive for the Pac-12.
Wagner: Fortunately, the Bruins are still very talented offensively, and look to take a step forward towards becoming the best defense in the Pac-12, and finally winning the Pac-12 Championship Game, the game which remains an ever-elusive prize for the Bruins.
Hanna: The thing I have a problem with when it comes to the defense is the mentality. There is bend but don’t break and then there’s acting like giving up a big pass will herald the apocalypse like our defensive coaches seem to think. You have to mix in even a token amount of aggression if only to keep the opposing offense on its toes.
And then GJB had something to say about the rest of the Pac-12 Football teams…
Next: What Go Joe Bruin Said About the Rest of the Pac-12