2011 Season Report Card


The training camp battle between Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut was a farce, and neither gained solid footing. Prince handled scrutiny like a pro, but cannot ignore that Bruins finished 81st in passing, 88th in scoring.

Between Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman, the Bruins had one really good running back. Problem is, in the Pistol offense, you need two, and Franklin and Bash were rarely “on” at the same time.

Fans will always wonder “What could have been?” if Nelson Rosario had been pushed harder, but give him credit: four 100-yard games, and five more with 74 yards or more. Between Joseph Fauria, Shaq Evans, Devin Lucien, there are brighter days ahead.

Just about played up to its potential, but then you realize how little potential the unit actually had. Loss of Sean Sheller was brutal, but the line held up relatively well. Xavier Su’A-Filo’s return next season will take group to next level.

Unquestionably the most disappointing unit after impressive training camp raised expectations. Team ranked 112th in sacks and 87th (tied) in tackles-for-loss, and teams ran right up the gut. There is talent, but needs better management.

The guy who played the best (Eric Kendricks) didn’t play enough, and the rest of the unit was steady if unspectacular. With plenty of talent returning and ready to thrive, group could take a big leap in 2012.

The Bruins ranked 65th against the pass and 75th in pass efficiency defense, but that was a product of a passive scheme rather than poor play. The emergence of Andrew Abbott was something to behold, Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price improved and Tevin McDonald looks like a budding star.

If not for Jeff Locke, this grade drops to an F-. Locke single-leggedly kept UCLA in some games even after he was thrown off rhythm by early kicking duties. Tyler Gonzalez was a nice story, but not more than that, and the return game was absolutely dreadful.

Discipline, discipline, discipline. Bruins rarely played well, even in wins and week in, week out inconsistency was only one symptom of system-wide failure. Suspensions, brawls, dropped passes – they all stem from the same place.

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  • Surrender Monkey

    When do we get back to the Rose Bowl Game Jon? I have heard that taunt for months now.

  • BruinPain

    Jon, you’re always grading special teams more harshly than say the QBs when Jeff Locke is one of best punters in the nation and Prince one of the worst QBs. He even filled in admirably for Kip “The Yips” Smith until Tyler “The Soccer Manager” Gonzalez stepped in. I know our coverage teams were awful and we didn’t shine on returns but D+? And the DBs get a B-? A final thought, what are the odds that we’ve seen Prince’s final start for UCLA now that we’ll move to a big boy offense?

  • Mr. Chips

    Mr. Gold,

    You are an astute grader, and offer pithy rational for the grades given, except in regards to your predilection towards the rather large, rotund players who mirror your own physique resulting in an elevated grade for the Offensive Line.

    Sir, while they may be good young men, but they are not, as a unit of players, worthy of the gentleman’s “C” you awarded them.

    How would a man educated at Eton state it…ah yes…They sucked!!!

  • Anonymous

    Its hilarious that you and Tracy Pierson think you have the knowledge to grade the team! Total lack of knowing what is really going on.

  • Anonymous

    So why did Mora keep Inoke Breckterfield?

  • Semi-Pro

    They kept Breckterfield because of his recruiting ties and because even though the D-Line performed below expectations, they also were the only unit to actually improve as the year went on. That’s a sign of good coaching.

    Also, much of the D-line performance issues were due to poor scheming (Tresey’s fault) and lack of strength (S&C Coach) not because of Breckterfield.


    You graded the coaching way too high.

  • Bruin Gold

    Coach Mora is going to bring in discipline, responsibility, and the willingness to punish players who are cancers.

    Hard-nosed is how I like football.

    Jonathon Franklin said it was a lack of leadership from the players. That is bull. UCLA’s players simply lacked the burning desire to win. They lacked discipline. They lacked responsibility. They were not dedicated to football. They wanted to party like the adolescents in the frat houses. They laughed when UCLA lost. Those players needed to be weeded out.

    Players who are winners are single-mindedly dedicated to the game. They sacrifice their all to the game. Winning teams are built from these players. UCLA simply had too few winners.

    I look forward to the change Coach Mora is going to bring.

  • gilligan

    I have a question, a lot of the UCLA players were highly recruited (e.g. Carroll, Marsh, Owa) and have been a disappointment during their UCLA tenure, does the responsibility belong more to the coaching staff or players themselves for not working harder? As a USC fan, I really enjoy reading that Woods, Lee and Barkley work hard after practice and study game film in a consistent basis to improve their performance. I don’t recall reading this type of stuff with UCLA players. Not saying it doesn’t happen, I just haven’t read about it.
    I also have another question to the UCLA fanbase, who are the UCLA leaders for the coming year? In many instances it looked like they didn’t have a leader on the field.
    The only objection to the grading scale is the QB section, a QB’s job is hard to accomplish without a consistent running game, offensive line or reliable receivers. I think the QBs are little better than people realize, not saying that they are first round draft picks but I think they are capable of more if they had a better supporting cast and passing scheme.

  • Tony

    Jon your overall GPA is 1.6 so that is a D+ sir

  • Good thoughts Gilligan. I also want to see a crack down on the drug use that seems to be permeating the team. More and more players have been slapped on the wrist for pot, and we wonder why the team is lethargic, unmotivated, and inconsistent.

  • Defensive Line was very disappointing…jones led the team with THREE sacks..

    uclafball.com check it out. spread the word.

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here

    Enjoyment by Trojans watching this tire fire: A+