Back in August, quarterback Brett Hundley admitted that he will have to shoulder a larger part of the offense. Without all-time leading rusher Johnathan Franklin by his side, the thought was that UCLA would have to become a more pass-happy team.
That hasn’t happened dramatically, even given offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s love for spreading the field. In 2012, the Bruins’ run-pass ratio was 1.21. After three games this season, it’s up slightly to 1.33.
The number is skewed by blowouts that allow UCLA to run the ball more late in games, but Hundley still thinks it’s the running game that sets the table in this offense.
“It’s a balance,” he said. “It’s a big balance with this team. I feel like this offense, it balances itself out. At the end of the day, teams can’t decide which one we’re going to do just because we can do either/or.”
James agreed that the running game has dictated the pace of the games so far, but added that that could change depending on how opposing defenses scheme against the Bruins.
“As the season goes on, I think people will key in more on the run and we’ll have to rely more on the pass,” he said. “We have great receivers and a great quarterback, so we’ll get the job done.”