It's not very often that we find someone able to break down and dissect UCLA sports using fact-based analysis and statistics, but our own SB Nation's Bill Connelly has done an outstanding job of breaking down the numbers from the 2012 season and what it means for our Bruins going into the 2013 football season. It's a pretty outstanding read, especially when you consider that Connelly starts with:
Remember where UCLA was before Mora took over? The Bruins ranked 79th or worse in three of Rick Neuheisel's four seasons in charge; they were 52nd in Off. F/+ and 99th in Def. F/+ in 2011. They had finished with one winning record in five years, and that one winning record was 7-6. UCLA was frustrating at times, but it's hard to deem Mora's first season in Westwood anything other than a colossal success. The team surged on the field, and Mora seems to be shoring up some of last year's weaknesses with steady recruiting. UCLA beat USC, reached the conference title game for the second straight year (and actually earned it this time, as opposed to 2011, when USC was banned from the postseason and everybody else in the South stunk), and won at least nine games for the first time in seven years.
Connelly goes to break down UCLA (using statistics and facts, things completely foreign to Neubs and Howlers, and a bunch of nifty graphs and charts), channeling BN in emphasizing 9 key points: UCLA underachieved in a handful of games last year and was inconsistent (in large part due to youth), that UCLA was very balanced last year offensively (which was key), that Hundley needs to be better about throwing the ball away rather than taking the sack, that our young offensive line was thin last year but that depth will be much improved this year thanks to Adrian Klemm's outstanding recruiting, that the Bruins will need to avoid the devastating injury bug that has plagued us in the past, that Anthony Barr was a complete beast, our secondary will be our weakest defensive unit this season, how we cope with the loss of Jeff Locke will be important, and our road schedule will put Mora to the test.
All-in-all, it's an outstanding read and a very good fact-based analysis of UCLA's past season and what to expect going into this fall. Fire away with your thoughts on UCLA's past football season and upcoming 2013 season.