Josh Rosen (Photo by Steve Cheng)

UCLA Offensive Preview

UCLA's offense has struggled this season, but is talented. Read on for a complete preview.

You can take what you know about UCLA’s offense from last season and forget about it, at least from a scheme standpoint.

The Bruins have gone from more of a spread offense to a power offense, very similar to what Stanford runs.

The results so far this season have been mixed and there are a few reasons for that, but the overall talent level is more than fine.

Of course, the offensive success is largely based around the performance of sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen

He has struggled a bit with the new offense, but it is difficult to take anything away from his talent. 

Rosen has thrown five touchdowns to four interceptions while completing a little over 61 percent of his passes and averaging nearly 300 yards per game.

To be fair, three of Rosen’s interceptions came in the season opener against Texas A&M and he has thrown at least one touchdown in each game.

In addition, his wide receivers have really struggled to help him because there have been more dropped passes this season than the Bruins expected.

Junior Darren Andrews leads UCLA in receptions and yards with 12 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound receiver has been a bit inconsistent with 91 of those yards and the lone touchdown coming against BYU.

Along with Andrews, Arizona will be looking to find an answer for 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior Kenneth Walker.

He has 11 catches for 185 yards and a score and, once again, there is an issue with consistency. 

Out of those 185 yards, 115 of them came against Texas A&M along with the one touchdown. He has yet to reach the 40-yard mark since then, though he remains a relatively strong deep threat.

One receiving threat that could pose a major problem for Arizona is 6-foot-3, 242-pound tight end Nate Iese.

The Wildcats have really struggled with tight ends in the past and although there is a new defensive coordinator, Iese is still good enough to hurt Arizona.

His biggest impact this season was against Stanford with a five catch, 89-yard, one touchdown performance and it will be interesting to see if that performance is a sign of momentum.

Those three receivers aren’t the only threat the Bruins have in the passing game. Eldridge Massington, Jordan Lasley, and Ishmael Adams all have at least 100 yards on the season.

The Bruins may not have a dominating receiver this season, but the balance is enough to pose some fits for Arizona.

If there is one disappointing aspect of UCLA’s offense, it is easily the running game, which is averaging only 3.2 yards a carry.

Sophomore Soso Jamabo is getting the bulk of the carries and has 41 attempts for 211 yards and three touchdowns.

Jamabo has yet to reach 100 yards this season and was a non-factor against Stanford. He scored three touchdowns against UNLV and had an average of eight yards a carry, so that game skews his numbers a bit.

However, Jamabo ran all over Arizona last season. He had nine carries for 96 yards, which is the high for his career.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see 5-foot-10, 225-pound sophomore Bolu Olorunfunmi get some more carries.

He has 33 of them this season for 136 yards and two touchdowns, but ran well against Stanford and could turn that into more carries.

The reality of the matter is that it won’t matter who is running for UCLA unless the interior offensive line gets better.

It does not make a lot of sense because there is talent on the offensive line, but there really have not been many holes for the backs to get through and the entire offense is struggling due in large part to the blocking.

Keys to the Game

1) Pressure Rosen: If Arizona lets Rosen take his time and make his progressions, it is going to be a long night. His numbers this season may not reflect it, but Rosen is as talented as any quarterback in the country when he's on.

2) Make UCLA one dimensional: Arizona needs to take away the run and we would expect the Wildcats to run blitz like it did against Washington. If the defense knows what’s coming, it will have a much better game.

3) Get a three and out: We’ll start with one and then maybe move on to a few more. Arizona just isn’t getting them this season and that’s a recipe for disaster on the road.

Players to Watch

#4, RB Bolu Olorunfunmi: Jamabo gets the attention, but we have a feeling Olorunfunmi will get more carries on Saturday.

#11, TE Nate Iese: We mentioned this above, but Iese should scare Arizona a bit. He has good size and is as big as one of Arizona’s defensive lineman, so the Wildcats need to be careful. 

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