Halfway through the 2017 season, UCLA is sitting at the exact same place it was this time last year: 3-3 overall and 1-2 Pac-12 after a loss in the desert. This was when things fell apart for the Bruins last year as quarterback Josh Rosen suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the sixth game of the year.
With Rosen healthy, the Bruins are trying to keep things together in the second half this year. They need three wins out of their final six to secure bowl eligibility, but don’t have much margin for error with road games against Washington, Utah and USC waiting. UCLA’s best chance to make a bowl game would be run the table at home, starting with Saturday’s game against Oregon at 1 p.m.
The Rose Bowl has treated the Bruins well so far this year as they’re 3-0 at home. Here’s how UCLA has performed in each game during the first half of the year:
Eleven of UCLA’s 15 turnovers have taken place in road games. The Bruins have only won the turnover battle once this year, which happened in the blowout win against Hawaii, and haven’t had a takeaway since the Stanford loss. Even then, UCLA needed a muffed punt to get the ball back against the Cardinal.
Rosen has struggled with interceptions on the road his entire career. Only five of his 24 career interceptions have come at the Rose Bowl. The one he threw against Colorado this year was his first pick at home since Arizona State in 2015.
Last week was the first time this season that Rosen didn’t throw for 300 yards. His 219 passing yards against the Wildcats were his fewest in a game since playing BYU in 2015.
Despite a good effort from the running game, without Rosen’s arm, the UCLA offense had no chance to keep pace with Arizona as the defense continued to struggle. Arizona gained more rushing yards than the Bruins gained total. Three teams have run for more than 300 yards against the Bruins and all six teams have averaged 4.4 yards or more per rush.