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UCLA Football: Arizona Post-Game Roundtable

The writers and editors of Bruins Nation discuss UCLA’s 20-17 loss to Arizona.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

1. General thoughts on the game?

AnteatersandBruins: It should not have come down to a field goal. I definitely expected DTR to regress some form last week, but the receivers were doing him no favors. The defense, while holding Arizona to 20 points, still gave up to many bombs downfield. It was disappointing to see how the team that rallied last week absolutely fell flat this week.

Joe Piechowski: As I wrote the other day, there was no one reason why UCLA lost this game. Instead, there were a whole host of reasons. The biggest one is that the pass defense continues to be awful. UCLA won’t be very good while that continues.

Dimitri Dorlis: It’s amazing how quickly the Chip Kelly era has resembled the three previous eras of UCLA football.

2. The offense was not nearly as crisp as it was at the end of the Washington State game. What stood out to you the most as an issue?

AnteatersandBruins: Dropped balls. There were so many that were right on the numbers that ended up on the ground. Additionally, the absences of Demetric Felton and Chase Cota was suspect.

Joe Piechowski: The absences of Felton and Cota were felt for sure, but the vanilla playcalling is also a big problem.

Dimitri Dorlis: A lot of issues come to mind, but I want to specifically point out that the offensive line has been bad for the vast majority of this year. The one time where they looked good was during the comeback against Washington State; every other quarter has featured a shaky-at-best line that has made it difficult on Dorian Thompson-Robinson and the rest of the offense.

3. The defense was...ok? They still made a true freshman backup look really good, and could not make stops when it counted late. How would you rate their performance?

AnteatersandBruins: I give them a C, if only because Arizona wasn’t able to totally run up the score. We just have this knack for making backup QBs look like Heisman candidates. Why on earth are we still giving receivers so much of a cushion??? I only wonder if the defensive plan changed at all with the absence of Khalil Tate.

Joe Piechowski; Correction. The run defense was solid. The pass defense was an abysmal failure again.

Dimitri Dorlis: Honestly, the Bruin defense was lucky that Tate was out of this game, because he would have carved UCLA’s defense up. Grant Gunnell looked shaky at times but it didn’t really matter because he still had large windows to throw into. That said, it’s hard to blame the players here, as it really does appear to be UCLA’s game plan to give up huge cushions on the outside and plenty of time for opposing quarterbacks to scan the field and make the right reads.

4. With Oregon State coming to town, what changes, big or small, would you like to see the Bruins implement?

AnteatersandBruins: I’d like to see the secondary play tighter, but we all know that won’t happen. Playing ten yards off seems to be the plan and that’s not changing. The personnel placement is absolutely ridiculous on defense at times. Why is a linebacker covering a receiver??? I’d like to see us get our heads back in the game and play to the level we are actually capable of.

Joe Piechowski: I’d like to see the UCLA Bruins have a Guaranteed Win Night promotion since this could be the only home game the Bruins have a chance of winning. If UCLA doesn’t win, anyone in attendance gets free tickets to next home game.

Dimitri Dorlis: At some point I’d like to see UCLA turn in a complete performance. Barring that, I’d love to see the coaching staff actually make smart changes instead of implement a game plan that is at odds with their opponent.

The Extra Point - Sound off!

AnteatersandBruins: If Molson needs a new placeholder, GET HIM ONE. This kid is too good to leave him hanging like that. He was money the last two seasons, so if there’s something he needs, Chip needs to make it happen.

Joe Piechowski: I haven’t said this yet this year. So, now seems like a good time. I’m tired of losing!!!!

Dimitri Dorlis: This is weird to say, but the Oregon State game may be an inflection point on Chip Kelly’s tenure. It’s as close to a must-win as there will be this year, especially if Chip Kelly wants to prove to fans that there is any reason to hope this year.

Go Bruins.