Jim Mora started off the week yesterday with a quick review of the coaches’ Sunday film study of the Stanford game. As Mora often does, he discussed the film study with the media in terms of the three facets of the game: offense, defense and special teams, but he started off talking about the fourth facet, coaching, and how the coaches reflected on Saturday’s game. Mora questioned whether the coaches are emphasizing the right things and putting guys in the right place. “We start with ourselves,” said Mora. Well based on the results of Saturday’s game against Stanford, that is definitely a good place to start.
Mora moved on to the only facet of the team that superlatives could be attached to, the offense. Mora highlighted the obvious, which is the way the offense has been moving the ball and the amount of points they’re putting up. However, Mora was critical of the offense and the fact that they need to do better with turnovers and not turn the ball over, and on the flip-side, capitalize on the turnovers they receive. As Mora pointed out that the Bruins have only scored 10 points on six turnovers.
Mora commented on how impressed he’s been with the offensive line over the last two games. According to Mora, the unit has only allowed two sacks in 116 pass attempts. He added that 48 true run plays have resulted in an average rush per attempt right under seven yards. True run plays meaning that they take away the minus rushing yards attached to a QB sack (a strange NCAA statistical rule in my opinion). I think we can all agree, that for the most part, the one area of the team that many of us were most concerned about, the offensive line and their ability to protect Rosen, has done a serviceable job so far this year protecting the quarterback. As for opening up consistent running lanes for the backs, that’s still a work in progress in my opinion.
Next, Mora shared his thoughts on the defense. The part of the team that through the first four games, has proven to be one of the worst defenses in all of college football. Mora highlighted three overarching areas of the defense, areas of focus: tackling, details, and effort.
Lastly, Mora talked about an area of the team that I feel has not bee very good this year, our kickoff team and the kickoff return team.
Coach Mora then took questions from the media around a number of topics.
Coach Bradley: A Long Time Ago
So one would think that as long as Coach Bradley has been around football that he’s seen everything, even a team that’s given up 2,099 yards in four games. If you thought that, you would be correct. According to Bradley, he endured a defense similar to this UCLA defense “a long time ago”. Bradley shared that the key to grow and get better is just get back to the basics and fundamentals.
That might be the understatement of the year, as basics discipline and fundamentals have been lacking components of this Bruins defense through the first four games.
Jordan Lasley is Growing Up
Jordan Lasley is coming off a monstrous game against Stanford on Saturday in which he hauled in 11 receptions for 158 yards and 1 TD. Lasley talked to the media today about growing up and getting better mentally, and he shared his thoughts on the Colorado DB’s that he’ll face this coming up Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl.
Biletnikoff Award Watch List
Two UCLA standouts were added to to a special list for receivers. Wide receiver Darren Andrews and tight end Caleb Wilson were added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. Each year this award recognizes the top receiver in college football at any position.
Andrews is tied for the NCAA lead in receiving touchdowns with seven. After four games he is tied for the team lead in receptions with 32 for 457 yards. His 114.25 receiving yards per game is tops for the Bruins.
Caleb Wilson is who Andrews is tied with for the team lead in receptions. Wilson’s 32 receptions have netted him 425 yards and 1 TD.
Congratulations to both Andrews and Wilson for this honor.
Colorado Buffaloes Up Next
The Colorado Buffaloes are 3-1 on the season after losing to the 6th-ranked Washington Huskies 37-10, this past Saturday. Colorado started out quick, taking a 7-0 lead, but could not do much after jumping out to that lead. The Buffaloes were out-gained by a 414-313 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 3-1 margin.