By the numbers countdown to kickoff: 6 days

Conor McDermott and Josh Rosen celebrate his touchdown late in the fourth quarter in their game against Washington State Saturday. (BILL ALKOFER, OC REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Conor McDermott and Josh Rosen celebrate his touchdown late in the fourth quarter in their game against Washington State Saturday. (BILL ALKOFER, OC REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.

10 receiving touchdowns scored 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

The Bruins were hopeful about their depth on the offensive line heading into last season, but by season’s end, things looked dim.

Injuries made for a rotating cast of characters on the offense line and six different starting combinations in 2015.

By the Foster Farms Bowl, the Bruins were so thin on the line that they leaned on a walk-on, Cristian Garcia, and a former defensive lineman, Najee Toran, for support. Garcia got the start at left guard during the bowl game

“We make it work,” offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said. “This is why we have guys who can play multiple positions. Just plug guys in and keep it moving.” Continue reading

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By the numbers countdown to kickoff: 7 days

UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen #3 fumbled the ball and USC Trojans defensive tackle Rasheem Green #94 picked it up and ran it in a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. USC defeated UCLA 40-21 in a cross town rivalry at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. 11/28/2015 (photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen #3 fumbles while being sacked against USC. USC  defensive tackle Rasheem Green recovered it and in a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. (Photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.

10 receiving touchdowns scored 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

Although quarterback Josh Rosen set a school record for consecutive passes without an interception (245) last year, he said his main goal heading into his sophomore season is taking better care of the football.

He had 13 total turnovers last year (11 interceptions, two fumbles), with seven of them coming in the second half of games. A reminder of when Rosen’s turnovers occurred during each game:

rosen turnovers

In the first seven games of the season, Rosen turned the ball over six times, but only twice in the second half. In the last six games of the season, five of Rosen’s six turnovers occurred in the second half, including three in the fourth quarter of games.

Rosen’s 11 interceptions the most among top nation’s top true freshman quarterbacks last year and the second-most for starting quarterbacks in the Pac-12, trailing only Cal’s Jared Goff, who threw 13. When comparing pass attempts and interception, Washington State’s Luke Falk proved to be the most efficient quarterback in the conference, throwing 80.5 passes to every interception. Rosen threw 44.3 passes to each interception.

Here’s how all the starting quarterbacks in the conference stacked up last year:

passestoints

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UCLA practice links: Almost game week

Linebacker Jayon Brown runs drills at practice in San Bernardino. Photo by Rachel Luna/San Bernardino Sun

Linebacker Jayon Brown runs drills at practice in San Bernardino. Photo by Rachel Luna/San Bernardino Sun

Main story from Friday’s practice: The Bruins might be a little tired, but are looking forward to game week

Notebook about the running back competition, the No. 1 jersey and the loudest stadium Kennedy Polamalu has ever coached in.

Video interviews with Polamalu and DC Tom Bradley.

Personnel notes from practice:

  • From the portion of practice that was open to the media, we only saw Marcus Moore standing on the sideline. Everyone else was going through walk-throughs. I also want to point out the obvious and say that that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else is completely healthy.
  • Bradley said defensive end Takkarist McKinley was limited in practice, although it wasn’t completely due to injury. Bradley said he wanted to give some of the younger players reps and McKinley already knew many of the concepts the team was going over in practice Friday.
  • Bradley added that he expects Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (appendicitis) back on Monday. The defensive lineman was cleared for activity on Wednesday and did some drills on the field Friday, Bradley said.
  • Tight end Austin Roberts (concussion) was at practice.
  • The defense got its chance in the white game jerseys Friday after the offense took its turn Thursday.
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VIDEO: Kennedy Polamalu and Tom Bradley

Offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu talks about how the team spent the past week, how he hopes UCLA will handle playing in Kyle Field and the loudest stadium he’s ever coached in.


Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley talks about the run defense, what he looks for when watching tape and what he expects to face from Noel Mazzone.

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By the numbers countdown to kickoff: 8 days

Photo by Frank Perez/Correspondent

Photo by Frank Perez/Correspondent

Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.

8TH IN THE PAC-12 IN RUSHING DEFENSE LAST YEAR

The Bruins were ranked eighth in the conference in rushing defense (198.5 yards allowed per game) last year with major losses to Stanford and Nebraska all due to the team’s inability to stop the run.

Stanford racked up 311 rushing yards against the Bruins while Nebraska, which finished the season with a losing 6-7 record, had 326 in the Foster Farms Bowl.

UCLA hopes that concentrating on run fits and proper technique, combined with a switch to a 4-3 formation will fix last year’s woes. So far, they’re encouraged by the results in practice.

Going against Kennedy Polamalu’s offense also helps the defense prepare to face Stanford’s powerful running game again this season.

“Practice now is much more physical,” defensive lineman Rick Wade said. “It’s much different, it’s completely different. So seeing the double teams, seeing the fullbacks, seeing the tight ends, it really does help us and I think it will translate into the season.”

Here’s a reminder of how the defense performed each game against the run.

ucla run defene with average

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