UCLA Football: Offensive starters thriving, 2nd/3rd string struggles

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 01: Josh Rosen /

The offensive side of the UCLA Football team is improving, but there are concerns about the second and third string squads who struggled in the first half of fall camp.

The biggest goal of the UCLA Football team is to improve the offense. With the first half of fall camp over, it is apparent that they are heading in that direction.

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New Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch and his position coaches have tailored their schemes to better fit the talents of their players. This was something that was not done last season with Kennedy Polamalu.

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So far, it seems to be working, albeit slowly. Though the offense — led by quarterback Josh Rosen — was outshined by the steadfast defense for most of the start of camp, the Bruins’ offense managed to get their shots in and take a few drives into the end zone during 11-on-11s and scrimmages.

the Bruin offense will be much improved from last season. I’ll go as far as to say they will be “really good”. The problem that remains is that the 2nd and 3rd string squads are not quite caught up.

Josh Rosen is slowly turning back into the elite athlete he was before his injury last season. Since fall camp started, both he and the offense were slow off the starting line, but have been picking up the pace.

In this writer’s opinion, the Bruin offense will be much improved from last season. I’ll go as far as to say they will be “really good”. The problem that remains is that the 2nd and 3rd string squads are not quite caught up.

Last Saturday I watched UCLA’s last open practice and Rosen had no trouble leading the team down field. His counterparts RB Bolu Olorunfunmi, TE Caleb Wilson and WR Darren Andrews (just to name a few) continually shined in practice. Even the offensive line looked stout in protecting Rosen and opening up holes for the runners.

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But things changed when others took control of the ball. When QBs Devon Modster, Matt Lynch and Austin Burton were in, there were some visible troubles.

One of the reasons for this is because UCLA’s defense is stacked with talent. With the defense being so deep and skilled at many positions, it often resulted in the defensive players getting at the QBs, pressuring the QBs, swarming the ball carriers and and swatting down balls (if not intercepting them).

The players also do not have the chemistry that Rosen has with his team. Though that is starting to grow, it is not where it needs to be as we are within 20 days of kickoff.

UCLA’s (first string) offense is good, but they will be in trouble if a significant amount of starters are hit with the injury bug.

The good news is that not everyone on the 2nd and 3rd teams are struggling. The Bruins have plenty of talent, but like the potential starters at the beginning of fall camp, the backups need time to adjust and learn the new system. Hopefully, that happens sooner than later because as we saw last season, after a few crucial hits, the Bruins went down in flames.

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Stay healthy, protect Rosen and Fight, Fight, Fight. If UCLA can accomplish this, then we should see some success on the gridiron this year.