About last night: A review of UCLA’s 44-23 loss to Washington

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (3) is sacked by Washington’s Benning Potoa’e late in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

After Washington ran the ball 58 times against UCLA on Saturday, racking up 333 yards on the ground in a 44-23 rout, a reporter asked UCLA safety Adarius Pickett if he was surprised that the usually balanced Huskies ran the ball so often. He was, he said. Then again, maybe he wasn’t.

“I mean, why would you?” Pickett said. “You’re having success on the ground.”

The Bruins (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) were thoroughly dominated by No. 12 Washington on Saturday. The offense gained a season-low 232 yards and lost quarterback Josh Rosen to an undisclosed injury that will receive more evaluation this week. The defense continued to show why it is the worst rushing defense in the country. The special teams gave up 40 yards per kick return, including a 82-yarder.

UCLA has to recover quickly with another road game Friday at Utah at 6:30 p.m.

Links to recap Saturday’s game:

A delayed more in-depth analysis of the game:

GOODS

  • Keisean Lucier-South: What the Bruins like the most about Lucier-South is that he’s healthy. With the most recent injury to Josh Woods, who is out for the remainder of the year, UCLA just needs capable bodies on defense to play linebacker and Lucier-South finished with a team-high nine tackles. He’s a versatile piece of the defense as he’s getting more comfortable in coverage. He has shown decent discipline on zone reads and diagnoses plays quickly, like he did on UW’s second drive of the game on third-and-9 to tackle Jake Browning for a loss and force a field goal.
  • Stefan Flintoft: In a battle with one of the most dangerous punt returners in the country, Flintoft helped the Bruins win the net punt (36.2 yards for UCLA, 34.5 yards for UW). Three of his eight punts were fair caught and two were inside the 20-yard line. Freshman defensive backs Mo Osling III and Quentin Lake made some good plays on punt coverage. Flintoft, who was also a captain for the pregame coin toss, averaged 43.1 yards per punt.

BADS

  • Missed tackles: The Bruins were doing well in the first quarter, then missed two tackles on a screen pass that went for 35 yards. It was the first of many cracks that eventually left the UCLA defense in shambles again. The Huskies scored their first touchdown on that drive and didn’t slow down for the rest of the day. Missed tackles are the new drops. Like how the constant drops sucked the life out of last year’s offense, missed tackles seem to slowly chip away at the defense’s confidence at the game wears on.
  • First-down efficiency: The Bruins had seven third-down attempts of 9 yards or longer because they only gained 3.2 yards per first-down play. They gave up a sack on the first play of the game. They had two first-down drops. UCLA came into the game leading the conference in third-down efficiency, but only converted on three of its 13 attempts against UW because the Bruins were constantly behind the sticks from the start.
  • Line of scrimmage physicality: UW has an experienced offensive line and two 300-plus-pound defensive tackles and dominated the line of scrimmage all day. The defensive line rarely got any push-back. The offensive line could not handle Vita Vea, Washington’s 340-pound, NFL-bound defensive tackle. Some of the lack of physicality for the defensive line could be a matter of youth. The Bruins are playing so many young players. Martin Andrus, Greg Rogers and Jaelan Phillips are all true freshman. Marcus Moore, Osa Odighizuwa and Chigozie Nnoruka are coming off redshirt years. While Jacob Tuioti-Mariner didn’t make a lot of flashy plays, I thought he was one of the most consistent defensive linemen in holding the point of attack or at least not getting blown off the ball. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Tuioti-Mariner is the most experienced defensive lineman the Bruins have left after Matt Dickerson’s injury.
  • Other bads: Kickoff coverage (40 yards per kick return), the injury to Rosen, penalties that led to first downs (Kenny Young‘s late hit first quarter, Krys Barnes’ horse collar tackle in the second quarter, Jaelan Phillips kneeing Myles Gaskin’s facemask for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter)

GO FIGURE

  • 8 receptions for Darren Andrews, which moves him into a tie with Danny Farmer for fourth on UCLA’s all-time receptions list with 159.
  • 39 yards in the third quarter for UCLA
  • 62 rushing yards for UCLA, a season-low

QUOTABLE

“When you’re fighting with a short sword, there’s only one thing you can do and that’s continue to advance and that’s what we’ll try to do.”

~ UCLA head coach Jim Mora

PERSONNEL NOTES

  • Freshman linebacker Rahyme Johnson worked in on special teams. I believe that it was his collegiate debut.
  • Out with injuries:
    • Austin Roberts (ankle, 1st game out)
    • Rick Wade (knee, 2nd game out)
    • Josh Woods (shoulder — out for year)
    • Jalen Starks (ankle, traveled, did not play)
  • Jordan Lasley missed his second game due to disciplinary reasons. Mora said Lasley’s return will “be determined as we go.”
  • Pete

    What’s there to comment. They got killed because they are no good…Fight On!