UCLA vs. Arizona: Unit by Unit Analysis

It was a defensive debacle on Thursday, but the offense doesn't come out smelling very rosy either.

Quarterback- C-

Kevin Prince actually played decently when the game was still in doubt. After Arizona's touchdown to put the score at 28-7, Prince's stat line was 6-8 for 116 yards and a touchdown. Of course, the throws were a little uglier than that, with bad throws caught by Joe Fauria and Josh Smith on the touchdown drive, but results matter. Once the game got out of hand, and UCLA had to throw much more, things got a little rough for Prince. Relatively un-pressured for most of the game, he missed some throws, including some deep shots early in the second half to Smith and Randall Carroll. Hard to blame Prince for most of what went on, though. The game just got out of hand too quickly, and he is not the quarterback to rally from a deficit.

Running Backs- F

Just a largely ineffective game for both Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman. Coleman spent most of the game running directly into the pile and not showing much push, and Franklin had another back breaking fumble. It's a shame to call it out, since Franklin is one of the few guys who consistently plays and practices hard, but that fumble was a game changer. If UCLA scores on that possession, you could see the game almost turning into a shootout, with the score 21-14. UCLA's offense was actually looking pretty good up to that point. It was just a crippling play at more or less midfield that led directly to the ensuing Arizona touchdown.

Receivers- F

Nelson Rosario gave the worst performance and effort of his career at UCLA. You'll almost never see a fumble the way he fumbled- ripped from his arms while all he was trying to do was fall down. His two drops probably didn't matter because the game was long since over, but they were just brutal. If he doesn't see a reduction in playing time after this game, it's just a further indictment of a program that's shown serious issues with accountability. In other news, Taylor Embree was thrown out of the game for throwing a punch, Jordon James had an awful pushoff on an offensive pass interference call, and Smith was probably at fault for the first drive failing due to not completing his route out of the back field, even if Prince threw the ball way too hard. Not a banner day for the receivers.

Offensive Line- D

On one hand, the offensive line did a nice job (as they've done mostly all year) protecting Kevin Prince. Prince generally had a good amount of time to throw, and the two times he was sacked at the end of the second half were mostly due to coverage. On the other hand, there were almost no holes for the running game, and Alberto Cid in particular had another fairly rough game in that regard, repeatedly getting shed at the line. Cid also had a false start on UCLA's 4th drive after Josh Smith's 25 yard wheel route that put UCLA in a 3rd and 8 which, as we all know, is nearly insurmountable for UCLA.

Offensive coaching- C

As far as such things go, the offensive coaching was actually fine. We saw a wheel route to Josh Smith, a screen pass to Franklin, some great misdirection on the touchdown pass to Franklin, and a slant pass to Shaquelle Evans. The fact that this makes us excited is a problem. The fact that it hasn't happened all year is a bigger one. Still, if the receivers had shown a little less of the stone trampoline hands and Franklin had held onto the ball, the offense might have looked OK. It's hard to grade on potential though, so this is still a C.

Defensive line- F

This was where the game was decided, and it was decided in the first quarter. No one on the defensive line had anything resembling a good day. Iuta Tepa and Cassius Marsh were the only two who showed flashes, with Marsh making a nice bull rush for a sack on a three man rush, and Tepa hurrying a couple of throws. Otherwise, it was just ugly. Donovan Carter, Nate Chandler, and Justin Edison spent most of the day getting sealed off for gaping holes up the middle. Damien Holmes did next to nothing from the edge. Datone Jones tackled well when the ball was run at him, but aside from that, had no impact on the game. Against a team with no running game to speak of prior to yesterday, it was just an awful display. They got no consistent pressure against Nick Foles, and they allowed running backs to get to the second level untouched. Just ugly.

Linebackers- F+

I was going to give this a straight F, but after watching the game again, Jordan Zumwalt still played really hard when the rest of the team mostly packed it in, so he‘ll account for the +. Sean Westgate had another entirely ineffective game, running directly into the offensive line on every blitz and running play, taking himself out of the play. Arizona again made a habit early of running directly at him. Patrick Larimore looked much the same as Westgate, getting blocked out of plays repeatedly. No one in that linebacking corps has shown the ability to blitz, or disguise a blitz. Glenn Love made a couple of nice plays, including the safety, but he didn't play enough. If you were an alien watching the game, you'd think the main goal of a blitz is to run directly into an offensive lineman.

Defensive Backs- F

You have to feel for Sheldon Price, who made every effort to come back for this game but simply wasn't 100%. It was just an uncharacteristic day for him, as he couldn't close on receivers fast enough, and also had a number of missteps where he was tripped up or could only change direction at half speed. Aaron Hester had a really bad night, getting burned repeatedly by Juron Criner. He didn't pack it in, which was nice to see, and still played hard in run support. But he was just completely overmatched by a scheme that called for him to play 10 yards off and a receiver who found it all too easy to get behind him. Andrew Abbott played a nice game, and had a few moments in the second half where he looked very good, but he was not enough to stem the tide. Dietrich Riley whiffed badly on a tackle in the back field on Arizona's fifth drive that led to another Arizona touchdown four plays later.

Defensive coaching- F

This was an epically bad day. After at least mixing it up a little against Washington State two weeks ago in terms of pressing and playing off of receivers, the defense spent almost the entire day playing 10 yards off of receivers, and naturally, Foles ate it up. It's a weird thing to say, but even the blitzes that UCLA calls are vanilla, usually involving two linebackers running up the middle to wind up in the waiting arms of an offensive lineman. Naturally, UCLA saw serious success in the second half blitzing Zumwalt, Riley, and Love off the edge, something we haven't really see much of this entire year and likely won't see again. Against Foles, a supremely accurate quarterback who can pick you apart if you let him, that scheme (10 yards off the receivers with the only blitzing from up the middle) made no sense.

Special Teams- C

Tyler Gonzalez made a field goal, which was nice. Hey, gotta look on the bright side, right?

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