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UCLA Football Oppo Preview: Can the Bruins Offense Stampede the Buffalo D?

Colorado's defense is allowing 38 points per game and has trouble keeping up with their offense. UCLA has had trouble keeping up with expectations. Something's gotta give.

Doug Pensinger

While Colorado's offense has shown steady improvement under Coach MacIntyre, the defense simply has not been able to keep pace.  Colorado switched back to the 4-3 defense, and has shaved some yardage allowed off where they were a couple of years ago, but in reality they have gone from very bad to just bad in some measurements and below average in others, and they still have a ways to go to field a strong defense.

The Buffs have reduced their rushing yards allowed by 30 yards from last season, but it looks like a bit of fools gold at this point.  Colorado still gives up 176 ypg, and opponents are running less per game, and opponents yards per carry has actually increased slightly over last season.  The defensive line is pretty light outside of Josh Tupou (6‐3, 325, So.), who will start at DT next to Juda Parker 6-2, 270, Sr.).  Justin Solis (6-1, 305, Jr.) will see time in the rotation.  At end, the Buffs start Derek McCartney (6-3, 240, Fr.) and Jimmie Gilbert (6-4, 230, So.), who have shown some ability to get to the quarterback with 5 sacks between them, but they are both undersized in the running game.

Despite having a small line, Colorado starts three very light linebackers in MLB Addison Gillam (6-3, 225, So.), WLB Kenneth Olugbode (6-0, 210, So.), and SLB Woodson Greer (6-3, 215, Sr.).  Gillam is the most productive of the group with 47 tackles including 6 tackles for loss.

In the secondary, Colorado returns corners Greg Henderson (5‐11, 185, Sr.) and Kenneth Crawley (6'1, 170, Jr.), who have both started their entire careers at Colorado. They have also moved nickel corner Chidobe Awuzie (6-0, 190, So.) to free safety, and return Tedric Thompson (6-0, 200, So.) who played in all 12 games last year at SS.  Needless to say, they have plenty of experience in the secondary, and they have quite a few experienced backups who will see the field as well.  However, that experience has not translated to on field results.  Colorado is giving up 259 yards passing per game, the exact same number as last season, and they've already nearly matched their touchdown passes allowed total from last year (22 thus far in 2014 vs. 24 in 2013).

Overall, the Buffs defense isn't quite as bad as Berkeley's, but they allow roughly the same amount of points.  They're weaker against the run, but better against the pass.  Overall, I would expect Mazzone to call a similar game, and barring multiple turnovers, we should be able to put up points against the Buffalo defense.

That concludes the preview of Colorado's defense. Feel free to add your thoughts and comments.

Go Bruin