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UCLA Football: Colorado Post-Game Roundtable

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The writers and editors of Bruins Nation discuss UCLA’s 27-23 victory over the Buffaloes.

NCAA Football: Colorado at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. Well, for the first time all year, the offense was the unit that struggled for most of the game. Did you see anything that worried you here, or was it just an off night?

Markybcool: I am not worried any more than I have been all year. Our passing game continues to be a strength, and the running game continues to an area of focus. I continue to be impressed with the pass protection the unit has afforded Rosen this year, although this next stretch of games should provide some challenges.

AnteatersandBruins: I’m going to say it was an off night to make myself feel better. Every team has struggles here and there and that’s exactly what I saw. I’m not sure how we looked on TV, but live, the game was sluggish. They seemed to be slowly shaking off the last two losses.

Dimitri Dorlis: I’m only worried in the sense that the team sacrificed some of their offensive efficiency to support the defense and the defense still does not look like a unit that can play at a high-enough level to justify it. Realistically, UCLA should just go hyper-aggressive on both sides of the ball, just to maximize how many times the offense has the ball.

Joe Piechowski: The offensive line appears to have lost some depth. Hopefully, those guys can get healthy and the offense can get back to its high-scoring ways. If they can’t the rest of the season is going to be even tougher than we thought.

2. Josh Rosen leads the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Forget best QB in LA. Is he the best quarterback in college football right now?

Markybcool: I know everybody likes to use advanced analytics for everything nowadays, and I like to look at them too, but I also like to let my eyes tell me what I see. With that being said, Rosen has what I want in a quarterback. When he is on and has time, the way he throws the ball is special. Can he scramble like Darnold or Jackson? No, he can’t but he sure can do everything else. We could quite possibly be watching a special group of Pac-12 quarterbacks right now; Rosen, Browning and Falk...add Darnold to that mix, they are all going to have a chance at the next level.

AnteatersandBruins: Rosen definitely has skill and I think with the right team around him (both players and coaches), he will do well in the NFL. What I question is his leadership abilities. There is so much speculation out there about how the team feels about him that there has to be some truth at the core. No one ever questioned whether or not Hundley was liked by his team. That kid was a leader through and through. I don’t know if it’s arrogance, disappointment at how his college days have panned out, or what, but when the chips are down, I don’t get the feeling that Rosen can rally the troops like Hundley could.

Dimitri Dorlis: I think there is absolutely a case to be made that Rosen is the best quarterback in the country right now, he just won’t get the national attention for how good he’s been because this defense is so bad. The worst thing about this situation will forever be that UCLA is going to end up with 6 years of having fantastic quarterbacks with nothing to show for it.

Joe Piechowski: Yes, he probably is the best QB in college football right now. But, that won’t mean much unless UCLA can win the Pac-12 South and then the Pac-12 Championship Game.

3. Well, this was the best game from the defense by a country mile, as they held Colorado to almost half of what they had previously allowed this season. What changed?

Markybcool: They played a pretty bad offensive team. That’s what changed. They did play slightly better, and holding a team to 10 points in the first half should definitely give our offense a chance to get a margin, but the second half continued to cement my belief that this defense is just not very good, historically bad.

AnteatersandBruins: They didn’t necessarily have to play better defense because the opposing offense wasn’t great. I give them credit for a few trick plays, but if you put our defense against almost any other Pac 12 team on Saturday night, we get blown out.

Dimitri Dorlis: It wasn’t the worst performance, but the Bruin defense was helped by the Colorado offense committing a ton of mistakes. The defense did just enough against bad offense to win, but there were still big problems that haven’t been addressed.

Joe Piechowski: The Colorado offense hasn’t played well for two consecutive weeks. That certainly helped the Bruin defense. The problem we’ve seen throughout the Jim Mora era, however, is an overall lack of consistency. I want to see the defense playing well consistently before I declare our defensive issues solved.

4. It’s the bye week, which means UCLA can’t lose this weekend. What are you hoping the team accomplishes this week?

Markybcool: Get healthy.

AnteatersandBruins: Refocus and patch the bumps and bruises. Getdown to business and take advantage of the breathing room.

Dimitri Dorlis: Really focus on defensive fundamentals. The defense had some interesting wrinkles they showed off in this game, but it looked like they had never truly practiced them before, and it showed, so getting the bye week to practice these concepts can end up being very helpful. I know the defense won’t get to the level it was last year, but even getting up to passable would be a huge boon to the team.

Joe Piechowski: Well, for starters, we will finally go a week without a targeting call! I just don’t see things changing all that much. While it would be nice to have the team refocus, we haven’t seen much change during previous bye weeks under Jim Mora. So, I think the best we can hope for is for guys who are banged up to get healthy.

5. Normally I only focus on the football game itself, but this weekend also saw the first uniform and branded event under Under Armour, with the White Out. How did you think it went?

Markybcool: Couldn’t have gone that well if there was a segment of Bruins Nation that wanted to boycott the event and wear a color other than white.

AnteatersandBruins: Not much white at the Rose Bowl. More than normal and there were white pom poms, but not nearly the white out you’d see at schools that actually care about football.

Dimitri Dorlis: The White Out event itself wasn’t very good, which wasn’t much of a surprise, especially coming off of two disappointing losses. I thought the special uniforms looked nice, though, to the point that I’d almost take those as the permanent road uniforms, sacrilegious as it is.

Joe Piechowski: I refused to wear white to the Rose Bowl in protest of the direction of the program. Others refused to wear white in protest of the fact that they felt that UnderArmour should have provided free shirts like adidas did when they distributed the blue “Champions Made Here” shirts. Of course, there were a lot of fans who were just clueless. The white pom-poms helped cover up the fact that a lot of fans weren’t wearing white. But, again, the “[Insert Color Here] Out” didn’t really work. It’s probably time to stop trying. You know what will get fans to want to do stuff like this: winning. It’s time UCLA focused on that instead of silly apparel stunts.

6. The Extra Point - Sound Off!

Markybcool: I will continue to sit back and enjoy Josh Rosen this year. It’s been very enjoyable watching him QB. That has brought me joy when so much from this team has brought me pain.

AnteatersandBruins: I’d like to take the time to point out that Jedd Fisch seems to have been a solid hire. I don’t find myself complaining about the “same five plays” that we keep running over and over and the play calling has been appropriate about 90% of the time.

Dimitri Dorlis: I got nothing. I’m so thankful for the bye week to be here because I can actually recharge and refocus on everything.

Joe Piechowski: The offense has been the most creative in a very long time and Jedd Fisch gets credit for that. Now, I’d like to see the defense get as creative on that side of the ball as the offense has been on their side of the ball.