Week 1 of college football is over and UCLA came out victorious to the tune of a 58-20 victory You can view the celebratory tweets here, IE Angel's Eye Test here, video highlights here and photo montage here. Here are our thoughts on game 1 of the 2013 college football season, including our thoughts on the 14 true freshmen who saw the field.
1. Initial Impressions?
bruinclassof10: This was a good first game. It was good to see us hit our stride in the 2nd half, as the offense found its rhythm, Jordon James capitalized on wide running lanes and Lou Spanos made some good adjustments to slow down Cody Fajardo and the Pistol. Malcolm Jones took advantage of every play that he was on the field, and Brett Hundley had a good tune-up game. We have a number of extremely talented freshmen who will be studs for us in the future. Have you ever seen so many freshmen get this much meaningful playing time? These aren't your Dorrellian freshmen.
Achilles - Not impressed with the defense at all in the first half, second half was much more impressive. The blocked punt seemed to bring the energy level up. It was still pretty close and maybe it was the heat but everything seemed just a bit off, then we scored, held, blocked the punt and they remembered how to keep a team down and pull away.
IE Angel: Whenever you win a game by 38 points, it was a solid 60 minutes. The first half left a little to be desired on both ends. How much of that was rust and how much of it was game-planning is up in the air, but the second half was one of the best halves of football UCLA has played in many years. Nevada is going to make some noise in the Mountain West, Fajardo is as athletic a runner as UCLA will see at QB until Marcus Mariota.
uclaluv: I think it is pretty awesome how well we played given all the players who had never played in a college game before. The play looked awkward at first, but that is probably because the speed of the college game vs. high school. We have some amazing talent out there. I am hoping they have a fast learning curve. If they do, it could be quite a year.
Odysseus: It was a good game. I was really disappointed the way the first half ended, but the the superior athleticism won out in the end and the final result was it should have been.
Ajax: I have to admit, I was a little concerned about the offense in the first half. However, the second half performance alleviated my concerns. Overall, the performance was what one would expect given the talent disparity. I am excited to see this team against a decent opponent.
AHMB: I thought the team looked great physically. I know it was Nevada, but our guys just looked like a different caliber of athlete across the board. In the first half, it seemed as though our guys were a little restrained, but wow did they ever open it up in the second half.
gbruin: The defense had me a little discouraged in the first half, but I was pleased with how the offense came out. It was encouraging to see some obvious adjustments really tip the scales in the second half and especially with how the defense played, but I always wonder why those changes can't be made sooner. Still this is a good looking football team.
2. The Good
bruinclassof10: Pretty much everything. O-line. 2nd half D.
IE Angel: The entire second half and most of the first half (I'm a little more positive on the way the first half went, but there were some rough moments). The 15 true freshmen that took the field and all looked solid or better. The fact that UCLA didn't punt once and ran 82 plays on offense. Holding a top 10 offense from a year ago to 350 yards and 20 points.
uclaluv: The team as a whole. They knew what they were doing and continue to look like a together team. Hundley for the most part made good decisions and did not seem to be in a hurry back there. Thank you o-line! Some of that is Hundley's work ethic and experience and some the o-line. Hundley only seemed under pressure a couple of times and was able to then use his feet to get out of it. The o-line made holes that would have impressed Moses! Malcolm Jones: he's better and he's back. He looked so powerful and swift. He was solid with the ball. If we had a wish section, mine would be that he get a much larger role. I think he's a force to be reckoned with. Group tackles. I enjoyed hearing "Kendricks, Barr, and Zumwalt on the tackle". Pretty scary. Keenam Graham was a beast. Okay, all of the beasts on D. The twos and threes getting playing time. Depth man, so much depth! Yes there were penalties, but we weren't getting all of those 5 yard penalties for false starts. This team worked hard this off-season and it showed. And Jordon James stepped up to fill some mighty big shoes.
Odysseus: Hundley looked better than last year. Avoiding sacks, his arm looked strong. There were a few miscues, but if he continues to progress, he can be special. Seeing all the true freshmen playing and contributing was exciting and it really makes it look like Mora and his staff are continuing to build. ZERO SACKS.
Ajax: On Offense, it was good to see Jordan James step up and take advantage of that #1 RB spot. Alex Redmond's performance was also impressive. Some things that didn't happen: sacks, turnovers and punts. On Defense, I think the story has to be the emergence of the true freshmen. Myles Jack is going to be a special player. It's scary to think about how dominant Eddie Vanderdoes will be when he has the benefit of two years of Coach Alosi.
AHMB: I was impressed by the running game. I thought it would take some time for the running game to get up to the level the offense needs it to be, but the offensive line and backs came out of the gate strong.
gbruin: The offensive line and the running game. Holy cow. I was curious how we'd do without JetSki and how much pressure would fall back on Hundley and pass protection. Well, there were no issues Saturday, though I'm not sure the Nevada defense was that big a test. Man, do those freshmen look big and strong and ready to play.
3. The Bad
bruinclassof10: Our D looked a little rusty in the first half, as we gave up several first downs to a mobile QB (Taylor Martinez is a bit more talented so we better bring our A-game) and we didn't get to see Priest Willis play (he was reportedly missing from warmups too). I think Anthony Barr should've sat this game too as we shouldn't risk aggravating a preexisting head injury. Penalties still kill momentum too.
Achilles - Manfro returning kicks ...
IE Angel: It seems like nitpicking to critique a 58-20 win over a good team, but there is always room to improve. Anthony Barr and Cassius Marsh in particular were disappointing in the first half on containing Fajardo. Have to be much better than that against Nebraska and Oregon in the future. Brett Hundley and the wideouts missing on 3 or 4 deep balls that could have been huge plays left a little to be desired.
uclaluv: Agree with Achilles. I also wasn't impressed with Manfro in the run game. I think Perkins and Malcolm should be ahead of him. Also, what IE said. It seemed like coverage on the ends was breaking down. They were moving into the ball instead of staying on the outside and containing. Marsh getting punched in the face through his face mask and retaliating. I don't blame him. But those kinds of penalties might really hurt in the future.
Odysseus: Penalties. Yikes.
AHMB: It's hard to argue with the first half production offensively, but I thought the gas could've been stepped on a little more.
gbruin: I would say penalties, but they really spiked in the third period and that's when we left Nevada in the dust. Anthony Barr didn't look as quick as we've seen him, and I would guess he's still feeling the effects of that preseason injury. The team will likely be pretty fired up in Lincoln, so I hope it doesn't take another half to get the defense settled and play disciplined.
4. Game's Most Valuable Player(s)?
bruinclassof10: There were a lot of standout players this week, as Brett Hundley accounted for 4 TD's, Jordon James gave the Nevada D fits, Shaquelle Evans seemed to be open on every play and on D, Keenan Graham, Myles Jack, Eric Kendricks, Jordan Zumwalt and Eddie Vanderdoes disrupted Nevada frequently. I can't pick just one.
Achilles - Kenny Orijike for blocking the punt. And so I'm different than Co10.
IE Angel: For all of the criticism, warranted or not, I've given Jordon James in my time on this blog; I am glad to have eaten crow on Saturday. James looked like a D1 back for an entire game. That is the first time I've seen it and I hope it isn't the last.
uclaluv: The coaching staff, the o-line, Evans, Hundley, Graham, all the line backers, I don't have one either IE. There were many stars and there was a team.
Odysseus: I'm going to go with Alex Redmond, starting as a true freshman and playing well. The entire offensive line deserves this, but I wanted to single him out.
Ajax: This is a toss-up because there were several outstanding performances on both sides of the ball. I'm going to go with Jordan James, since the running back position was the biggest question mark before kick off.
AHMB: The freshmen. All of them. Very, very impressive. Well, except for Covington. He didn't show me anything.
gbruin: The offensive line. No real sacks (I'm not counting Neu's scramble out of bounds for a 2 yard loss). Hundley had all day to throw. Every running back had big holes. If we can block like that all season, our offense will score big, making opposing offenses play catch up and feed right into our defense.
5. Honorable Mentions?
bruinclassof10: The Mazzone family. From Coaches Noel and Taylor, to Grayson, this was a family affair that I'm sure the Mazzones will remember fondly; nearly flawless offensive gameplan, outstanding quarterback play and a few catches by Grayson capped off a 58-point performance by the UCLA Mazzones.
Achilles: The offensive line, who opened huge holes.
IE Angel: The offensive line deserves a ton of credit, but they were a physical mismatch for Nevada's d-line from the get-go. On the defensive side, I can single any one guy out. It was the unit as a whole in the second half. Notably Eddie Vanderdoes, Keenan Graham, Myles Jack, Fabian Moreau, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt.
uclaluv: I heard in the post-game report that Nebraska defenders could hear Hundley's passes buzzing by their ears and that he might even need to start taking some speed off of them. So a shout out to Hundley and Alosi (and crew) for all the work they put in. That goes for all of the players. There were men out there Saturday night. Malcolm Jones, for working hard, overcoming obstacles, and coming back for a 2nd chance.
Odysseus: Hundley, James, XSF, the entire OL, Orijike, Kendricks.
Ajax: Myles Jack. The kids was everywhere on defense.
AHMB: Jordan James.
gbruin: Jordon James stepped right into Franklin's shoes and didn't miss a beat. Huge and extremely pleasant surprise. Myles Jack looks like he belongs on defense already. And Malcolm Jones - how awesome was his performance, considering what he's been through. Really happy for him.
6. What we hope gets addressed against Nebraska next week?
bruinclassof10: We better work on containing a mobile QB otherwise our D is in for a long day. We didn't get to see our secondary tested much either and that's a good thing. I hope they're ready.
Achilles: PENALTIES. PENALTIES. DID I MENTION THE PENALTIES
IE Angel: My dream scenario is under 6 penalites and under 4 touchdowns for Nebraska. Nebraska is too talented to contain all game on either side of the ball. UCLA can and should put up a ton of yards and points on Nebraska's defense (how do you let Wyoming put up 600 yards?), so the question will be how much did Cody Fajardo prepare the UCLA defense for Taylor Martinez.
uclaluv: agree with b10, A, and IE... containment and penalties. Mostly containment!
Odysseus: stay at home, play your assignments, and play smart.
Ajax: At this point, the penalties are a major concern. We can get away with some sloppy football against lesser opponents. However, those penalties will come back to haunt us against better teams. I would also like the see the linebackers do a better job of containing the QB on the zone read.
AHMB: I'd like to see the D come out and play great football in the first half. It's going to take two good halves to beat a good Nebbie team on the road.
gbruin: Disciplined play right from the start. Defense needs to maintain their gaps and responsibilities. No one can make stupid penalties. Good ball control on offense where the crowd noise will make communication tough. On the road in a very hostile environment, we can't give Nebraska any freebies.
7. The Extra Point.
bruinclassof10: Here's an opening week haiku.
True freshmen played great.
UCLA Fight Fight Fight
Cornhuskers up next.
Achilles: Geoff Strand
IE Angel: Not looking forward to waiting until next Saturday to watch this team play again. Wish I could fast forward to that game in Lincoln tomorrow.
uclaluv: "I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent." - Coach
Amen to that!
Odysseus: It's great to have football back, I just wish we didn't have to wait another two weeks for another Bruin game!
Ajax: The impressive thing about this game was that we dominated while putting very little on film for future opponents. Looking forward to Lincoln!
AHMB: Football, oh how I've missed you.
gbruin: Saturday was a very good start, especially that second half. Getting to play against a very good running QB in Cody Fajardo was a perfect test for our next game. Can the team carry that second half performance and mindset over to Lincoln and keep it going? I'll be there doing my best to help them do it.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your own thoughts and responses.