21. No Caleb Wilson, but there are plenty of tight ends to choose from
Wilson was a game changer, but now the Bruins have to change their game as he is off to the NFL. When looking at how the TEs will be used, the question won’t be “who will replace Caleb?” It will be “how many will replace Caleb?” I expect to hear the names of Devin Asiasi, Jordan Wilson, David Priebe, Greg Dulcich, and Michael Martinez being called several times throughout the season.
22. OL Chris Murray is getting bigger and better
For a freshman to come in and be a solid contributor to the offensive line like Murray did last year is a big deal. It will be even more of a big deal when he helps hold down the interior of the line with not only his experience but those of the linemen around him. It seems clear that he will significantly develop by next season, but he could also head into All-Pac-12 territory with what he will be able to do.
- UCLA Run Defense in 2017: 287.4 yards
- UCLA Run Defense in 2018: 199.4 yards
23. More improvements on the offensive line
Speaking of the offensive line, we saw them get immensely better as the 2018 season progressed. Expect more of the same in 2019. Though they lost several key linemen after last season, the core of Boss Tagaloa, Chris Murray, Jake Burton, and Alec Anderson will continue to move things forward.
24. Stop making JJ Molson kick 50-yard field goal attempts!
Whether it is a called play to scrape up any amount of points after a bad drive or the offensive line being called for offsides and pushing the line of scrimmage back, UCLA has to do everything to make sure JJ Molson is not making absurdly long field goal attempts. Yes, he has a solid foot and should be considered for the Lou Groza Award, but he cannot solve all of UCLA’s problems. If they need Molson, they have to put him in a situation where he will have the most success.
25. Those Evil Thursday Night Games
So not only does UCLA open the season with a Thursday night game at Cincinnati, but quite arguably their toughest game will be at Stanford on a Thursday night. The last time the Bruins played the Cardinal in Palo Alto on a Thursday, they were destroyed, 56-35. And that was with Josh Rosen.