4. Krys Barnes Was on FIRE!!!
Yes, it is true, the UCLA linebacker is thin and experiencing a lot of injuries. That’s not going to help the middle of the defense when you’re trying to take a step forward. Still, there was a huge bright spot among the linebackers against Washington as Krys Barnes set an example of how the Bruins are supposed to present themselves in each and every game they play.
Barnes has been playing well all year, but he stood out against Washington as he consistently found his way into the backfield. With UCLA using different looks close to the line, Barnes was able to get around blocks and penetrate gaps to get at the Browning and the ball carriers. Barnes finished the game with 9 tackles, 3 for a loss, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry.
The sophomore is disrupting plays by knocking down balls, getting into the backfield for sacks and tackles for a loss and getting after runners trying to get into the open field. With his emergence, the linebackers are moving steadily along. Now can you imagine what this defense would be like if Josh Woods, Jaelan Phillips, Je’Vari Anderson and Mique Juarez were 100% healthy and helping this position group out? A lot of damage would be done.