2. Offensive Preview, Projected Starting Lineup and Depth Charts
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Things are very different from a year ago. Last year, before the start of the 2016 season, the Bruins were poised to have a big year with a rugged offense, quarterback Josh Rosen looking to build off a successful freshman year and were predicted to win the Pac-12 South Division.
Projected Starting Lineup – Offense
- RT: Andre James
- RG: Michael Alves
- C: Scott Quessenberry
- LG: Najee Toran
- LT: Kolton Miller
- QB: Josh Rosen
- RB: Bolu Olorunfunmi
- TE: Caleb Wilson
- WR: Theo Howard
- WR: Christian Pabico
- Slot: Darren Andrews
- Notable reserves: RB Soso Jamabo, RB Nate Starks, WR Jordan Lasley, OT Sunny Odogwu
Things did not exactly go as planned. The power offense implimented by Kennedy Polamalu did not fit, Rosen was knocked out of the second second half of the season with a shoulder injury and UCLA finished 5th in the South. And why was that? The O-line could not advance the offense down the field, the running game was nonexistent and the receivers were plagued by dropped passes.
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Well Rosen is back, the offensive line has gotten revamped, the runners are rushing and those receivers that can consistently catch balls will be on the field.
The offensive line has some experience with Miller and Quessenberry. Shuffling positions and injuries are forcing the Bruins to continuously move players around, but it seems as though the coaches have zeroed in on a starting five.
There were a lot of injuries among the running backs, which allowed Bolu Olorunfunmi to emerge as the potential starter, though count on the coaches using all five of their talented backs at different points throughout the season.
And an interesting development has occurred with the receivers. A walk-on, Christian Pabico, seems to be stepping up as a starter due to his consistency as a pass-catcher, something UCLA desperately needs. Along side him, expect Theo Howard to be the down field threat while Darren Andrews remains the go-to guy. Add in Caleb Wilson at tight end and the Bruins should have a receiving corps that will be vastly improved from last season.