UCLA Football: 50 Days to Kickoff, 50 Things to Look For in 2016

2 of 11
"Sep /

1. The Start of School, A Dip in Production?

It happens every year. Right around the third or fourth game of the season when UCLA starts school, the UCLA Football team usually hits a bump in the road. With almost a month to concentrate on nothing but football, once school starts, the added pressure of being a student athlete takes hold and somehow the Bruins take a step back in production.  If this were to happen, hopefully it happens after game #4, against Stanford.

2. Hollins Breakout Year?

Deon Hollins had a breakout game during the 2015 Alamo Bowl. With three total sacks, he looked to be the pass rusher the Bruins so desperately have been looking for since the departure of Anthony Barr. During the 2015 season, he didn’t exactly fulfill those demands, but there was progress. Though he was still effective, for the most part production suffered due to the lack of overall effectiveness with the  run defense. This year, in a 4-3 defense, he could flourish.

3. Special Teams Upgrade?

Ka’Imi Fairbairn won the Lou Groza Award for best kicker in the country and there is talk UCLA has a better kicker coming in this season.  They will also have a better punter and long snapper. This past national signing day, UCLA snaked three special teams players who wore all number two at their position last year. Special Teams: upgraded.

4. What’s Up With Tom Bradley?

Though this is a concern more for the present, Bruin fans everywhere want to know what is happening with Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley. After a deposition was unsealed claiming he knew of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, Bradley has maintained that he nothing about said crimes. So is he free of this debacle or will it come back to haunt him (and UCLA) this year?

5. More Rosen Running The Read Option

Many Bruin fans might not realize this because of the limited amount of runs he took in 2015, but Josh Rosen is a runner. Just check his high school tapes. He is particularly good in the read option. So will we see more runs from Rosen in 2016? We think so.

Next: 6-10