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UCLA Football: Washington Post-Game Roundtable

The writers and editors of Bruins Nation discuss UCLA’s 44-23 loss to the Huskies.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Let’s assume Josh Rosen is out for a game or two. Did Devon Modster do enough in this game to show he can run the offense effectively enough to win going forward?

Markybcool: There was definitely not enough for me to answer that question. 7/12 for 77 yards is just not enough. I did think the TD throw to Andrews was a nice pass. With that being said, We could have Aaron Rodgers coming in to back-up Rosen, and I do not think it would be enough to compensate for our defense at this point.

AnteatersandBruins: I don’t think so. I think it’s enough to give us hope for the future, but historically, we don’t do much to coach up talented players. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve already seen everything Modster’s got only because players don’t blossom a whole lot at UCLA.

Dimitri Dorlis: There are a few ways to look at this. From a macro, long-term health of the program outlook, I think Modster showed that he could step up next year and be, at the very least, a competent quarterbacking option, especially because getting meaningful snaps against a defense of Washington’s caliber is great experience. If you’re looking at this year, no, Modster isn’t at a level to help the team win, but that’s because you literally need a Herculean effort from the quarterback position to compensate for this defense, and I don’t believe Devon is at that level of skill required at this moment.

Joe Piechowski: This is the price UCLA will now pay for starting Mike Fafaul last year in Rosen’s place. Would the elite coaches in college football like Saban and Meyer have done what Mora did last year? I doubt it.

2. The offense did not have a good game in part thanks to Washington’s defense. What did you see from the Huskies that you would like to see UCLA emulate (besides everything)?

Markybcool: Everything

AnteatersandBruins: Blocking, running routes, playing defense. Basically everything we suck at.

Dimitri Dorlis: Washington has some NFL-level talent at multiple positions, but unlike UCLA the past few years, they consistently run an aggressive defensive scheme that lets said talent make plays constantly. Maybe at some point, Jim Mora will figure out that the way the Huskies play defense is how you win at the college level, and will stop with his conservative, NFL defense.

Joe Piechowski: There isn’t much else to add here.

3. Washington threw a total of 12 passes in this game, which is the same amount Modster threw in the second half by himself. At what point do you think the Bruin defense just gets shamed into playing better?

Markybcool: I’ve said it for a few weeks, there is no way that they can be forced to do anything that their talent does not allow them to do. The talent on that side of the ball is just not there this year at the level that it needs to be, and the talent that we do have on D is too young. There is no way week after week our defensive unit performs the way it does without a lack of talent. It’s literally impossible, coaching aside. Washington lined up, and said we we are running the ball, and you cannot stop it, and we couldn’t. That is not to say that scheme and coaching does not play a part in the equation as well because it most definitely does.

AnteatersandBruins: I don’t think they need shaming. Having met so many of the kids on this team, they really do care and want to play well. They can’t be blamed for coaching that isn’t helping them get any better. I think there’s a lot of disappointment on both sides of the ball, and it’s clear that their leader has checked out. And I don’t mean Mora.

Dimitri Dorlis: It comes down to accountability, and the fact that there is 0 accountability on the defensive side of the ball. Guys miss tackles, are constantly out of position, and look lost, yet remain in the game, which is the sign of a coaching staff that has no idea what they’re doing. Jedd Fisch is showing how you can take average talent and have success, which is only serving to throw an even-brighter spotlight on how poor of a job the defensive coaching staff has done.

Joe Piechowski: Unfortunately, I think it goes much deeper than that. We’ve reverted back to a defense like we had two years ago that is incapable of stopping the run and it’s up to Tom Bradley and, ultimately, Jim Mora to fix it.

4. True or False: Josh Rosen should sit out the rest of the year to protect himself from further injury.

Markybcool: It’s easy for me to sit here and say that he should play, and I will say that I think that he should play if he is healthy. Rosen does have an obligation to his teammates and the university that has given him a scholarship to play out the season. With that being said, I would also understand any decision that he makes with the guidance of the people that he trusts, in terms of a decision that he feels is in his best interest beyond UCLA. So I am good either way.

AnteatersandBruins: At this point, the season is a bust, so give Modster some playing time in a “worst case scenario” situation. Next year, when the defense is better and the offensive line can actually block because we have a new head coach that has reviewed these fundamentals, he’ll have experience and will build on it to be successful.

Dimitri Dorlis: Honestly, at this point, it should be up to Rosen. There isn’t much he has to prove at this point to the NFL, and with how bad the offensive line can be at any moment, you’d have to consider sitting out to, at the very least, be a legitimate option for Josh to consider. There’s no need to risk future NFL earnings at this point.

Joe Piechowski: If Rosen isn’t playing, there’s a damn good reason why. Because that’s the kind of guy he is. He will be back when he’s healthy enough to play. He’s just not the kind of guy to sit out to avoid injury.

5. The Extra Point - Sound off!

Markybcool: I am just glad that my UCLA attention can now be slightly diverted with a basketball team that is looking like it will be an athletic and fun group to watch.

AnteatersandBruins: I’m just going to the Rose Bowl for the tailgates at this point. Shout out to my crew!

Dimitri Dorlis: If you want to be an optimist, you could point out that all four teams that UCLA has lost to ended up in the initial College Football Playoffs ranking, so at least those were “good” losses. But only one of those losses was competitive, and the Bruins have yet to win on the road. This Friday’s game against Utah presents a potential lifeline for Jim Mora - a win would allow his supporters to continue the narrative that the team has only lost to good teams, but a loss to a Utah team that has only won 1 conference game would be another in a long list of downward trends.

But on a positive note, my large Hungarian son G.G. Goloman is starting in UCLA’s exhibition tonight, which is nice.

Joe Piechowski: I’m hearing that there will be a pregame flyover on November 11th and I’m not talking about the cool military planes either.