UCLA Season Report Card


Hard to pinpoint when the issues started – was it the Pistol? Kevin Prince hurt in fall camp? Prince out for the year midway through? Richard Brehaut’s inconsistency? – but the UCLA passing game scurried away with barely a whimper.

Johnathan Franklin burst onto the scene with UCLA’s first 1,000-yard season since Chris Markey in 2006, but you have to wonder if he was utilized enough because of ball-security concerns. Derrick Coleman and Malcolm Jones were effective, if inconsistent, in relief.

Far, far too many drops from what was thought to be a top-flight cast of receivers. Nelson Rosario proved that when healthy – and targeted – he can deliver, but Bruins needed more production from Taylor Embree, Josh Smith and Cory Harkey.

Pretty much splits right down the middle: An A for run blocking, an F for pass blocking. Grading the unit on a curve because only two starters – right guard Eddie Williams and right tackle Mike Harris – had significant playing time last season.

Injury bug stung everywhere, but no injury was as costly as Datone Jones. The junior defensive end would have been huge influence on young, inexperienced line. Have to think future is bright, though, with Cassius Marsh, Owamagbe Odighizuwa and more returning.

Akeem Ayers was simply dominant early before fading in mid-season because of myriad injuries. His production picked up toward end, but was limited against USC (three tackles). Patrick Larimore, Sean Westgate, Jordan Zumwalt good-but-not-great.

Trickle-down effect really left UCLA defensive backs with little help, and it showed as pass-interference penalties sky-rocketed and interceptions plummeted. After second-straight All-Pac-10 first-team season, Rahim Moore’s decision to stay or go could determine next season.

Kai Forbath surprisingly human, it was discovered, but sophomore punter Jeff Locke might not be. Both legs were crucial to UCLA. Not crucial? The return game, which was supposed to explode with newcomer Josh Smith, but fizzled out.

As captain, ultimately Rick Neuheisel gets the blame for the product on the field, which resulted in second eight-loss season out of three at the helm. But first mates Norm Chow and Chuck Bullough didn’t help, seemingly alternating poor performances.

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  • cliq

    4/12 does not = 60%

  • Bruintx

    Sure it does… ask any Trojan math major! LOL

  • ReelBruin2

    I don’t agree that Moore’s decision affects next season. He was over-hyped due to the 10 INTs. I actually prefer Riley as a player.

  • Ricky Marvheisel

    I thought Josh Smith was a lock to take a kick back for a TD this season Jon?

  • Coach Thom

    Little blocking support for our punt/kick-off returners doomed that part of the special team play. Poor tackling and poor pursuit lines allowed our opponents’ punt/kick-off returners good yardage. Overall, not impressive. Ganz has to pick up his game.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    An overall grade of D, the coaching staff gets a D- and yet somehow our esteemed AD apparently isn’t even considering firing Neuheisel. Somewhere Karl Dorrell is laughing. I mean, all he did was go to a bowl every year, field teams we at least thought could win most games and finish no worse than 5th in conference. Now, those aren’t exactly championship benchmarks, but Coach Neuheisel has failed to meet those 2 out of the three seasons here.

  • barrya

    Price, Bosworth, Jerzy aside, here’s a betting proposition: i will give you a team that will play the fifth toughest schedule in the country and then, come fall, loses its starting quarterback, center, best offensive guard, best rush defensive end and middle linebacker – how much would you really bet that this team would win many games? Given an over/under set so winning six games out of 12 is the OVER – BEFORE most of those starters went down – how many games would you REALLY risk your own money on that team winning?

    and when that team does go ahead and win only four games on the year, we still want to pitch hissy fits about the lousy coaching? Maybe folks are right about the coaching but there’s really no way to measure it off this season.

    As to QBs, Jon, it takes more than a year’s experience to do well as a QB. The way Prince looked through summer and the first week of fall, team would have done much better. Then he was hurt and Brehaut had to go out there and he just wasn’t ready. Only at year’s end did he begin to read better and set his feet – unfortunately, it took him about three quarters against SC to calm down. And then there’s the lack of pass protection from an OLine that actually was missing Maiava, Baca, Su’a-Filo (doesn’t really count as an injury as his mission was a given when he came in – but still not there), Harris at times. It probably would have been an average line WITH those guys, but without them….

    best thing about this year is it’s done with and all those freshmen, especially on defense, go into next year with a year behind them, both on the field and in the weight room through the off-season. There’s no way the defense isn’t better in 2011, no matter who is the DC

  • TruBruin

    Nobody on this report card deserves a B, including special teams! Forbaths miss in Washington was pivotal in that loss. Grades aren’t based on past seasons performances. Far to many fumbles for a B for the running backs.
    The Receivers Failed period!

  • Bill West

    I heard you on monday’s petro’s show that you were headed to have a phone interview with hundley.. did it happen and did you report on it? are you going to post it to hear or read?

  • W.E.B. Dupree

    If this season was a D, how much worse must it get before you’d give it an F?

  • blistergavilucla91


    Out of all the entries I’ve read, you have made the most sense, the sanest comment from anyone in this blog. I agree 100% with your assessment.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    4-8 is a “F” plain and simple.

    We, the financial supporters of Bruin athletics, DEMAND a better product on the field.

  • Anonymous

    Gold ought to leave barrya’s post as a permanent feature on the front page.

  • Slick Neu-weasel

    Just wait for next year. New recruits, new passion, more excitement. We will get an A. Or maybe an A-.