CoogFans' UCLA update

UCLA has some talent, but this is a team that has no identity and is desperately searching for an offensive leader.

UCLA Bruins
Pac-10 Conference

  2010 Record: (0-2, 0-1)
2009 Record: (7-6, 3-6)
2009 Bowl: EagleBank Bowl vs. Temple (W 30-21)
Coach: Rick Neuheisel (11-14 at UCLA, 77-44 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Norm Chow
Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Bullough

  Current Leaders:
Rushing: Johnathan Franklin, RB, 133 yards
Passing: Kevin Prince, QB, 159 yards
Receiving: Nelson Rosario, WR, 73 yards
Tackles: Tony Dye, S, 22
Sacks: Akeem Ayers, LB, 1; Nate Chandler, DE, 1; Damien Holmes, DE, 1; Pat Larimore, LB, 1; Glenn Love, LB, 1
Interceptions: none

  Other Key Players: QB Richard Brehaut, DT David Carter, CB Aaron Hester, RB Malcolm Jones, S Rahim Moore, DE Iuta Tepa, LB Sean Westgate

  UCLA did not start the 2010 season the way they had hoped. The Bruins hung around in a trip to Kansas State but came back home with a 22-31 loss. Coach Rick Neuheisel and company then opened up conference play by hosting Stanford. The Cardinal had not won at the Rose Bowl since 1998, but UCLA's offense struggled big time and Stanford blew UCLA out of their own house. This is a team that has a lot of work to do before hosting Houston on Saturday, with or without Case Keenum.

  Strengths:
The good news for UCLA over the first two weeks of the season is the play of their defense. Often put into tough situations, the defense has actually done surprisingly well. The secondary has turned into the strong point on paper, but that is partially because the opposition does not need to pass too often against the Bruins since they usually have a lead. Yet, Tony Dye and Rahim Moore are a couple of great safeties and they will lead the unit to better performances in the weeks to come. This group has gotten some pressure on the quarterback as well. The front four usually needs some help from the linebackers when it comes to sacks, but overall the opposing quarterback needs to worry about the Bruins blitz schemes. If somebody, like defensive end Nate Chandler or Damien Holmes, can get consistent pressure on their own, it will free up the talented linebackers led by Akeem Ayers to help in pass coverage or stop the run.

  Weaknesses:
Quarterback Kevin Prince has had a tough time after spending much of the off-season on the sidelines. He had a decent freshman campaign, but not being around over the summer has really hurt his development. In time, he may get back into the swing of things, but for now he is leading an awful offense and doing nothing to help. Through two games he has completed a mere 39.5 percent of his passes for 159 yards and one touchdown. He has thrown three interceptions and been sacked five times as well and by the end of the Stanford game he was benched in favor of Richard Brehaut. Brehaut did not do much better than Prince in what was pretty much mop up duty against the Cardinal. Coach Neuheisel will probably stick with Prince since Brehaut did nothing to separate himself when given the opportunity, but Prince is on a very short leash. The running game should be good with the emergence of Johnathan Franklin. He has done a decent job, rushing for 133 yards on 24 carries, but without a passing game, the opposing defense can easily stop him.

  The Bottom Line:
UCLA has some talent, but this is a team that has no identity and is desperately searching for an offensive leader. Prince could be that guy if he can build off last season and forget about the first two games of the 2010 campaign. However, he needs some help and the ground game has to get moving consistently so the defense does not spend 35 or 40 minutes per game on the field. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Houston scores so fast that the Bruins defense will actually spend more time on the sidelines than the offense this week.

  2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 172.50 (51st in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 100.50 (115, 10)
Total Offense: 273.00 (111, 9)
Scoring Offense: 11.00 (115, 10)
Rushing Defense: 262.00 (116, 9)
Pass Defense: 107.50 (10, 3)
Total Defense: 369.50 (75, 6)
Scoring Defense: 33.00 (102, 9)
Turnover Margin: -2.50 (118, 10)
Sacks: 3.00 (17, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 3.00 (97, 9)

  2010 Results:
September 4th at Kansas State: 22-31
September 11th vs. Stanford: 0-35

     


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