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UCLA Football: Arizona State Post-Game Roundtable

The writers and editors of Bruins Nation discuss UCLA’s 31-28 defeat at the hands of the Oregon Ducks.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Initial thoughts on the game?

AnteatersandBruins: We’re still a Jekyll and Hyde team, changing personalities within a game or even within a quarter. You’ll see the offense get moving only to sputter and punt, then the defense will come in tough but give up an easy touchdown in the end.

Andrew Goodman: A rollercoaster ride. Felt like I was on Space Mountain.

Dimitri Dorlis: Definitely more encouraging than previous weeks, but there are still small things that this team struggles with that are holding them back.

2. The UCLA offense had two of its best drives all season, and Wilton Speight looked good running the offense despite a below-average performance from the running game. How confident are you feeling about the offense heading into the rivalry game?

AnteatersandBruins: I’m actually feeling better than many of the other games this season, if only because it’s a rivalry game and these types of games can be so unpredictable. I don’t think either team will get blown out and both are coming in scrappy and suffering.

Andrew Goodman: Wilton Speight did well running the offense, but ASU’s passing defense isn’t all that great. I’m not an optimist if you couldn’t tell by now. However, with the dumpster fire that is Southern Cal, I feel good about UCLA’s chances this week. I think our guys will be revved up and ready to roll.

Dimitri Dorlis: The most encouraging fact was that UCLA’s offense adjusted around the fact that Arizona State was stacking the box against them, and countered with a strong passing game. Speight seems to have gotten very comfortable running the offense and the Bruins have been building positive momentum in recent weeks that should pay off against a struggling Southern Cal defense.

3. The defense did a decent job stopping Arizona State’s passing attack, including getting a Pick-Six. However, 281 rushing yards allowed is not going to get it done. How are you feeling about the defense heading into the game?

AnteatersandBruins: UCLA’s defense has been so up and down this year that it’s hard to say. I feel better knowing it’s a home game, but this is usually a 50/50 game and this year may be worse because the season has been so bad. It was at this point in the season that I was really hoping to see a turnaround, but Southern Cal typically has a good stable of running backs and wide receivers that can get yards after the catch. This is going to look like a typical down and dirty UCLA/Southern Cal game.

Andrew Goodman: ASU RB Eno Benjamin is good at football. It was predictable going into this one that he would run all over the Bruins. No one has been able to stop this guy all season. He’s that good.

Dimitri Dorlis: On the one hand, those 281 yards are right in line with what ASU did against Southern Cal and Utah in its last two games. On the other, good lord, that is a lot of yards to give up. I still don’t know what this unit is supposed to do, since they’re so depleted, but hopefully they figure something out.

4. With two games to go against in-state rivals, what are you expecting to see from the Bruins?

AnteatersandBruins: I’m definitely expecting to see some grit materialize at this point. Speight can get the offense running and, if we can build on some solid play from last week, we should see something good happening in the last two games. However, it’s been proven that what we should see and what materializes on the field doesn’t always match.

Andrew Goodman: We are going to win these next two games. I feel it.

Dimitri Dorlis: I expect to see UCLA start to put everything together into solid performances, especially on offense where things are starting to click as far as scheme and personnel. And, I want the defense to show me something. Do that and UCLA will have a chance to win these games.

5. The Extra Point - Sound off!

AnteatersandBruins: Through an Instagram post, I found out JJ Molson was playing with food poisoning on Saturday. If he had been healthy and made that kick...but there’s no going back and you can’t put the whole game on your kicker. We also went for it on a 4th and 2 and didn’t get it, which we should have, and that could have also turned the tide of the game. We’re still in this and I’d love to knock the Trojans off their stupid horse this weekend.

Andrew Goodman: I hate Southern Cal. That is all.

Dimitri Dorlis: The UCLA Athletic Department is running a campaign for the Southern Cal game urging fans to make it a “Blue Out” which...I don’t know. I feel it does say something that we have to remind our fanbase to wear blue for a game against our main rivals, but maybe that’s a discussion for another day.

Joe Piechowski: I refrained from answering the rest of the questions because my attention span for the ASU game wasn’t what it normally is due to the Woolsey Fire affecting the area where I live. But, there is one thing I have to say as far as an extra point to this goes:

Fuck SC!

Go Bruins!