Nothing came easy for Max Hall tonight. Bruce Davis made sure that Hall was never comfortable in the pocket. Despite that, Hall still managed two touchdown passes to go along with 21-35 passing for 232 yards.
Considering that Hall had to operate without any semblance of a productive running attack, it makes his numbers all that more impressive. UCLA sold out with blitzes on almost every play, leaving the Cougar wideouts in single coverage. It would have been nice to see Hall take more advantage of this man-coverage without much - if any - safety help, but Hall had a solid outing considering what he had to deal with.
Running Back: Incomplete
Did they ever have a chance? You could count your fingers on one hand and come up with a greater number than the times the Cougar RBs were able to run out of the backfield without being immediately met by a Bruin defender behind the line of scrimmage.
Harvey Unga and Manase Tonga did the best they could with what they were presented with throughout the game, but this observer feels that they didn't have a chance to perform, leaving them with an incomplete grade.
Wide Receiver: B+
It was all about Austin Collie in this one. Collie proved to be the only real playmaker on offense to hold the Bruins accountable for their hyper-aggressive defensive play. Collie made one of the more difficult catches you'll ever see, having to adjust to a pass while on the fly on the Cougars' final drive of the game.
Michael Reed was able to chip in here and there, but Collie was the show in this one. Collie was able to gain advantage during most man-on-man situations, as any receiver should.
Tight End: C
Dennis Pitta had too quiet of a game, while Andrew George was able to add just 12 more yards to the tight ends' overall production. The tight ends were used far more for blocking in this one than they have been in games past due to the impressive barrage mounted primarily by Bruce Davis on passing downs.
Offensive Line: D
The point of attack was won by UCLA's defensive front on almost every single play. They were able to get by blocks with ease, jumping play after play after play in the backfield.
Granted, the OL wasn't aided one bit by the offensive coordinator's unimaginative and predictable play-calling, but they didn't come close to getting it done at the point of attack. UCLA was able to sell out on every single play run by the Cougar offense, and were right on where they sold out at a staggering rate.
Bruce Davis again proved to be unblockable. The return of a healthy Dallas Reynolds this time around didn't warrant any discernable advantage, as Davis was murder on the edge yet again. The interior line was unable to handle UCLA's DTs either, and got out-physicalled all game long.
Defensive Line: C
UCLA was able to mount too good of a running attack, leading to a C grade. The pass rush was there at times, but giving up 163 yards on the ground shouldn't be acceptable to a defense which prides itself on stopping the run.
Bryan Kehl may have had his worst game of the year, as he was unable to wrap up or push the running back backwards during key stretches of the game. Kelly Poppinga and Shawn Doman were the two linebackers who came to play, as both had good outings.
Corby Hodgkiss had yet another outstanding game, providing great coverage down the field and accounting for an impressive interception. Hodgkiss was also very good in run support.
Kellen Fowler almost gave the game away by attempting to knock down a pass that put UCLA well within field goal range on the final possession of the game. Had Fowler not gone for the knockdown, he likely would have held the UCLA receiver to just a three-yard gain.
Special Teams: B
The kick coverage was outstanding, the return game unspectacular save for a couple of great returns by Collie, and the punting was lacking, although C.J. Santiago did warrant some degree of redemption after placing a beautiful punt inside the five-yard line on his final punt of the game.
True freshman Eathyn Manumaleuna saved the game for the Cougars by getting a hand on the final field goal attempt. BYU isn't a team that blocks many kicks, but when it counted and when the game had to be saved, Manumaleuna came through to get a hand on the ball to secure the victory.
Offensive MVP: Austin Collie
Defensive MVP: Corby Hodgkiss