UCLA Football: Statistical progress after the Fresno State game

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Kazmeir Allen #19 of the UCLA Bruins carries the ball during the third quarter against Fresno State Bulldogs at Rose Bowl on September 15, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Kazmeir Allen #19 of the UCLA Bruins carries the ball during the third quarter against Fresno State Bulldogs at Rose Bowl on September 15, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The UCLA football team took a step back this past weekend against Fresno State. Go Joe Bruin looks at the Bruins’ statistics and tries to make sense of where they are headed.

Here at Go Joe Bruin, we wanted to track the progress of UCLA football and one of the easiest ways to do that is to look at statistics (though we are aware, this is not the only way to track progress). Unfortunately, there was not much progress against Fresno State.

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In fact, it seems the Bruins went backward and several key stats back that up. We are hoping for the best with Chip Kelly, and understand that there will be growing pains, but right now it is quite painful.

Total Offensive Yards:

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 319.7 (109th) | Vs. Fresno State: 270

Dorian Thompson-Robinson once again started for the Bruins and once again he (and the offense, let’s be fair) had a hard time getting the team moving forward. After Oklahoma, many thought there might be progress. Unfortunately, there was not.

Offensive Rushing Yards

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 130.7 (192nd) | Vs. Fresno State: 119

There are several problems with the running game. The offensive line, blocking, field vision, reads, play-calling… it is just not working. Part of the problem is that Chip Kelly is cycling in running backs after almost every play. This not only stops momentum but does not allow for consistency. There are also a lot of questionable play calls. UCLA seems hell-bent on running the ball up the middle and it is just not happening. What is the definition of insanity?

Offensive Passing Yards

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 189.0 (91st) | Vs. Fresno State: 151

These numbers were expected to be higher, but the Bruins could not get into any rhythm. It also did not help that DTR threw two picks, though they came because the Fresno State defense tipped both balls. The Bruins also had a problem getting their receivers open and allowing them a chance to make big plays. Does Kelly continue with this gameplan or does he make changes?

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Scoring Offense (Points)

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 17.3 (109th) | Vs. Fresno State: 14

If you can’t get downfield, you cannot get points. It is as simple as that. UCLA was on a bit of a roll in the second and third quarters, but that quickly died. It also did not help that the defense did not do them any favors. About them…

Total Defensive Yards:

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 405.0 (73rd) | Vs. Fresno State: 420

I’m not sure what was going on with the Bruns’ defense overall. Fresno State’s Marcus McMaryion cut up the defense and pretty much did whatever he wanted and the Bruins could only watch and hope they could limit the Bulldogs because they were not stopping them.

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Defensive Rushing Yards

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 176.3 (77th) | Vs. Fresno State: 150

This might look like a good stat, especially since we are watching the Bruins try and improve their run defense, but it is skewed when you realize that Fresno State did not need a lot of yards to be dominant on the ground. What do I mean by that? McMaryion had four rushing touchdowns. With all four scores, he accumulated a total of five yards. Yup.

Defensive Passing Yards

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 228.7 (63rd) | Vs. Fresno State: 270

If McMaryion decides against football as a profession, then maybe he should become a surgeon as he was slicing UCLA every which way on Saturday night. The Bruins’ pass defense has been strong, but they took a beating for the second week in a row. Fresno State’s receivers had so much time and space to operate, one would think UCLA’s pass defense was the worst part of this squad.

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Scoring Defense (Points)

Season Avg (Nat’l Ranking): 37.7 (103rd) | Vs. Fresno State: 38

The Bruins are giving up a lot as they are allowing their opponents to get downfield with ease. That, in turn, is giving them more and more chances to score. Like you saw above, Fresno State just needed to get near the goal line and they would eventually waltz into the end zone. Over and over and over and over.