The hype is gathering again for UCLA, ranked as high as it’s ever been during the Jim Mora era and looking as capable as any other team in a wide-open Pac-12.
The No. 7 Bruins are set to host Arizona State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, considered a trap game only because that’s the cliche when a superior team is facing an obviously lesser one.
Working in UCLA’s favor are two factors: It has a bye week after this, so there isn’t much to peek forward to; and coaches and players have lambasted the defense’s performance in Tucson despite a 56-30 win, putting an additional chip on the Bruins’ collective shoulder.
Barring a significant collapse for the Bruins (4-0, 1-0), the struggling Sun Devils (2-2, 0-1) don’t look like the team that will spoil their perfect start.
When UCLA has the ball
The offense has been as about as potent as anyone could have hoped heading into the season, with freshman quarterback Josh Rosen capably guiding a crew of veterans into the end zone.
UCLA’s primary hiccups have come in the red zone. While it sits just outside the national top 25 in yards per game (482.5), it ranks just No. 71 in red-zone conversion. Meanwhile, Rosen has hit speed bumps as well, looking like an NFL-ready passer in his career debut against Virginia before slowing down against UNLV and BYU. Continue reading