Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.
10 receiving touchdowns by Thomas Duarte last year, which led the team
9 returning starters on defense
8th in the Pac-12 in rushing defense last year
7 second-half turnovers for Josh Rosen last year
6 different starting combinations on the offensive line in 2015
5 straight losses to Stanford under head coach Jim Mora
4 different players attempted at least one punt last year
3 home losses to unranked teams in the past two years
2 straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons for Paul Perkins
1 LOSS IN THE MONTHS OF SEPTERMBER AND AUGUST FOR MORA
Under Mora, the Bruins are quick out of the gates. UCLA owns a 15-1 record in the months of August and September during the past four seasons. The one loss was to Oregon State at home in 2012, Mora’s first year.
It’s possible that UCLA’s academic calendar contributes to the hot starts. UCLA doesn’t start school until the end of September because the school is on a quarter system. Semester-system schools, like USC, start class in late August.
“You have practice for about two hours and guys can just focus on football and focus on (Texas) A&M,” linebacker Kenny Young said of the advantages of a quarter system. “For the next two or three games, it’ll be like that. So it helps us.”
The Bruins will need the extra down time to prepare for a front-loaded schedule. Texas A&M is by far UCLA’s toughest opponent in a season opener in Mora’s tenure. In previous years, the Bruins have opened with Rice, Nevada and Virginia. UCLA also has a road game against BYU and a crucial home game against Stanford in September.
Starting off strong has been crucial for the Bruins because they have struggled with consistency later in the season. Under Mora, UCLA is just 8-7 in the month of October (when classes start to get going) and 12-6 in November.
Only one day left!