Is UCLA’s running game so far beyond repair that their best option is to completely abandon it? How did the coaches not see such a glaring deficiency in spring/fall camp? Do you think it’s likely that Polamalu and Klemm are gone next season?
I don’t think they’ll completely abandon the run game for the rest of the season. They might still be terrible at running the ball, but that won’t stop them from trying. I think they went away from it against Utah because 1) they found some success passing and 2) Utah’s front is difficult to run on anyway. The timing was such that it wasn’t going to be easy for the Bruins to run last week even if they were good at it because the Utes have a good run defense.
During training camp, the run game actually did have success against the defense, so at that time, there wasn’t too much to be concerned about. Now the roles have switched a little bit. It’s definitely odd that it worked out like that. I don’t think anyone saw it coming because you honestly can’t expect a team from any Power 5 conference to be THIS bad at running the ball, especially when they want to run the ball. UCLA is literally the worst team in the country at running the ball (85.5 yards per game). A slight consolation is possibly that Texas State is still the most inefficient team, averaging 2.52 yards per carry, while UCLA is second-to-last with 2.81. You can’t predict that kind of ineptitude, especially during the offseason when hope springs eternal and people are seeing Pac-12 championship trophies in their sleep. As illogical as it sounds, I don’t think the mindset of training camp is to think of and plan for possible problems. It’s to (cliché alert) get better, and that mindset of constantly striving for better requires rose-colored glasses at times. And when you need to take those glasses off, it can be startling. Continue reading
It’s bye week so I’ll try to spend a few blog posts this week updating some of the previous graphs/charts I’ve made this season. Before we get to today’s, here’s a notebook about turnovers, of which UCLA has many. The Bruins have 19 turnovers this season, but have only allowed three touchdowns off those turnovers — and one of those turnovers was a scoop-and-score from Solomon Thomas.
So, back to the charts. Below are updated versions of the offensive/defensive efficiency grids I first posted three weeks ago before the Arizona game.
A reminder of how the grids are laid out: The vertical axis denotes the team’s position among Pac-12 teams in rushing yards gained/allowed per carry with the most efficient teams at the top. The horizontal axis denotes the team’s position among Pac-12 teams in passing yards gained/allowed per pass with the most efficient teams on the right. Teams in the red shaded area are in the best positions. The arrows indicate how teams moved since the end of the week 5 games. Continue reading
Greetings, friends. It’s the bye week, but the Inside UCLA blog never sleeps, so if you have UCLA football-related questions, leave them below (or send me an email at thnguyen(at)scng(dot)com). I’ll post answers THURSDAY.
One of the three members of the UCLA basketball team’s prized recruiting class won’t make his debut with the other two.
Freshman center Ike Anigbogu tore his right meniscus during practice last week and scout.com’s No. 17 recruit in the class of 2016 will miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on Tuesday. The tear is small enough that UCLA is hopeful for a return before Thanksgiving, in which case he would only miss the first four games of the season: Pacific, Can State Northridge, San Diego and Long Beach State.
On a team loaded with offensive talent, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound Anigbogu is the most imposing defensive presence. There isn’t another player on the UCLA roster in the mold of a rim protector who plays such a physical style.
“He’s a big body and we can pressure up more because we know Ike is in the back cleaning up shots and getting rebounds,” senior guard Isaac Hamilton said. “He’s going to be a huge key to our success.” Continue reading
Quarterback Mike Fafaul (left) might keep the starting job for a little longer as UCLA waits for Josh Rosen’s shoulder to heal. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova // SCNG)
Head coach Jim Mora has kept his cards close to the vest when it came to injuries this season, especially with quarterback Josh Rosen, but the head coach admitted Monday that the star sophomore is indeed battling a right shoulder injury (not news), specifically what seems to be a nerve problem in his shoulder (should be news).
With the bye week ahead, Rosen has a few extra days to get treatment before UCLA travels to Colorado next week, but if he can’t go, then the Bruins are plenty confident in their record-setting backup Mike Fafaul.
More on Rosen’s shoulder and Fafaul’s mindset.