Before Jim Mora’s staff arrived at UCLA, just two Pac-12 teams ranked top-30 nationally in total plays: Oregon and Arizona State. In 2012, the Bruins joined the list along with Arizona.
Last season, the conference pushed even faster. Though UCLA and the Ducks dropped to 38th and 32nd in the country, the Pac-12 still had six teams that ranked top-30 in total plays: Arizona State, Cal, Arizona, WAshington, Washington State and Oregon State.
Does that affect how the Bruins design their defense?
“Enormously,” said defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. “You know, I’d be a dumbass to kind of just do what we do. That’s the deal with defense. You’ve got to adapt. Offenses can force a defense to adapt in a lot of ways like our offense does to opposing teams. So we have to.
“You can’t do a lot of NFL concepts. Not only because of the offenses that you face, and with the hash marks — there’s just so many factors that make you adapt. But I feel like we’re getting closer.”