Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch talks about UCLA’s red zone struggles against USC and Josh Rosen‘s performance.
The second UCLA officially wrapped up its win against Arizona State last week, the focus shifted to Saturday’s rivalry game.
“Beat ‘SC! Beat ‘SC!” the crowd chanted at the Rose Bowl as the Bruins walked off the field.
UCLA will try to break a two-game losing skid against USC on Saturday at 5 p.m. and has it first chance of the year to secure bowl eligibility.
The game is on ABC with radio on AM 1150 or AM 570.
Links to all your necessary pregame reading:
- UCLA trying to focus on the result, not the rivalry against USC
- Scouting report with my prediction
- Pregame graph: How much has the UCLA defense improved?
- From columnist Jeff Miller: UCLA, Josh Rosen try to work in silence
- From columnist Mark Whicker: How UCLA lost its way
- A trip down memory lane with a list of notable rivalry games
- Can Rosen and Sam Darnold revive the rivalry?
- The story behind Saturday’s big prize, the Victory Bell
- From earlier this week:
- UCLA trying to keep its emotions in check
- The offensive line is coming off its best game of the year but needs to be even better Saturday
- Jedd Fisch‘s bag of tricks is nothing special to him
- DeShaun Foster wants to “make things right” at his alma mater
- Jim Mora roots for Darnold, but not on Saturday
- Video: Can UCLA pull off the upset?
- Answers to your questions in the weekly Q&A
- Getting amped for 2018 already? Here’s the 2018 schedule.
- On USC
- Already Pac-12 South champions, USC is trying to avoid a letdown against UCLA
- A look at O.J. Simpson‘s famous run in 1967 and its tangled legacy today
- Darnold keeps the memory of UCLA walk-on Nick Pasquale alive
- The USC secondary faces a big test in Rosen
- USC’s running game eyes a big week against UCLA’s struggling defense
- Video: Will USC take UCLA lightly?
UCLA is still last in the country in rushing yards allowed at 302.3 yards per game and has already surpassed the school record for rushing yards allowed in a season with two games left, but Jim Mora said he is starting to see improvement.
The UCLA head coach pointed specifically to a decreasing number of big runs allowed in recent weeks. Indeed, the Bruins have allowed only five runs of 21 or more yards in the past four games and none longer than 37 yards. This defense allowed at least one run of 66 yards or longer in each of the first four games of the year.
So if UCLA has finally been able to cut down on the explosive plays, then why aren’t the Bruins taking bigger steps forward when it comes to its rushing defense?
Here’s a look at how teams have gained yardage on the ground against UCLA this year. Each game is broken down into runs of different length (from negative-yardage rushes to rushes of 21 yards or longer) and each bar represents the percentage of rushes during that game that went for each distance. For example, 12.6 percent of Texas A&M’s runs against the Bruins went for negative yardage (as shown by the first bright yellow bar). Continue reading “Pregame graph: Is UCLA’s rushing defense starting to improve?” »