UCLA football game day links: The (likely) finale

USC's defensive tackle Rasheem Green pressures UCLA's Mike Fafaul (Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily News/SCNG)

USC’s defensive tackle Rasheem Green pressures UCLA’s Mike Fafaul (Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily News/SCNG)

Pending a perfect storm of certain teams losing, UCLA winning and the Bruins accepting a potential bowl bid at 5-7, this will be the end of a mediocre football season in Westwood.

The Bruins (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) likely can’t salvage much from a season that was lost long ago with a win over Cal, but after limping to the finish line last year, going out on a high note could at least make the offseason the smallest bit easier.

UCLA will kick off against Cal (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) in Berkeley at 4 p.m. with the TV broadcast on ESPN2.

Pregame reading links:

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Bruins try to balance speed vs. efficiency

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In the past four games, UCLA has reverted back to its spread offense of old. The decision was due in part to the change at quarterback as Mike Fafaul had been in Noel Mazzone‘s offense for four years at UCLA prior to this season.

Kennedy Polamalu said since after the Washington State game, the Bruins have been operating mostly in within the spread offense, which meant a significant jump in tempo. That change in pace on offense had mixed results for the Bruins on both sides of the ball.

Here’s a look at how the change in offensive philosophy affected efficiency on both offense and defense: Continue reading

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UCLA football links: Bruins brace for Cal QB Davis Webb

Cal quarterback Davis Webb #7 of the California Golden Bears signals to a team mate during the College Football Sydney Cup match between University of California and University of Hawaii at ANZ Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Cal quarterback Davis Webb #7 of the California Golden Bears signals to a team mate during the College Football Sydney Cup match between University of California and University of Hawaii at ANZ Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Replacing the No. 1 overall draft pick hasn’t looked too hard for Cal quarterback Davis Webb. He’s only led the Bears to the second-most prolific passing offense in the country in his first year in Berkeley.

With one of the worst defenses in the conference, Webb has little choice but to sling it every chance he gets in Cal’s Bear Raid offense.

More on the matchup between Webb and the UCLA defense.

Other links:

  • Meet UCLA commit Kanan Ray, from Sierra Canyon, who was told when he was a child that he would never be able to play football due to seizures.
  • Answers to your weekly questions
  • Pac-12 Networks is showing a feature on Takkarist McKinley on Saturday during the Pac-12 Football Pregame show (starts at noon). Here’s a preview:

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Weekly Q&A – Cal answers

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Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Thank you to those who wished me well this Thanksgiving and I hope you’re all having spectacular days full of football, food and good company. I, for one, am thankful for many things, including this space to do a job I greatly enjoy, reliable press box wi-fi and that feature on Twitter that allows you to search and add GIFs. That came in clutch this season.

So to get to your questions:

Jim Mora once yelled out in front of countless media after a USC football game “We own this town.” In your opinion, who owns this town as of Nov. 19, 2016: UCLA or USC? Also, will Texas be knocking on Mora’s door soon?

Like last week, you really shouldn’t need me to point out the obvious. When it comes to the football rivalry, USC has won two games in a row, has a star quarterback who is not only healthy, but captivating much of the West Coast (if not the nation), and recently flipped a local quarterback recruit (Jack Sears) from Duke. UCLA has landed a few blows, like grabbing Greg Rogers, but the scoreboard is trending in USC’s direction right now.

I don’t expect Texas to come after Mora if/when they part with Charlie Strong. Continue reading

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UCLA football links: Takkarist McKinley’s homecoming

Senior Takkarist McKinley is getting ready to finish his UCLA career with a homecoming to the Bay Area. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Press-Telegram/ Daily Breeze/SCNG)

Senior Takkarist McKinley is getting ready to finish his UCLA career with a homecoming to the Bay Area. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Press-Telegram/ Daily Breeze/SCNG)

Takkarist McKinley has had this game circled on his calendar for months. Not because it could be his last game in a UCLA uniform, or its against the team he signed with out of high school, but because he’ll have up to 50 people in his cheering section in the crowd.

McKinley shot up mock draft boards this year, and before he embarks on an NFL career he’s heading home to the Bay Area this Saturday.

“It’s a blessing,” the defensive end said of getting to play his final game as a Bruin in front of his hometown crowd.

More about McKinley’s homecoming.

Other links:

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