UCLA Defense Holds Nation's Fourth-Best Offense in Check
News: The Bruins defensive unit held Arizona - the nation's fourth most productive offense - to 257 yards total yards Saturday as UCLA downed the Wildcats 66-10 at home in Pasadena.
Analysis: Not only did UCLA's defense hold senior starter at quarterback Matt Scott to just 124 yards on 15-of-25 passing before he left the game in the second half with concussion-like symptoms, but also limited Ka'Deem Carey, the 12th best rusher in the nation, to just 54 yards on 16 carries. Expect similar types of numbers next week as the Bruins take on a struggling Washington State Cougars.
News: After UCLA's offense racked up 1,299 yards and 85 points over its first two contests of 2012, the Bruins defensive unit earned its own place in the spotlight in Week Three, holding Houston to just one trip to the end zone and forcing six turnovers in a 37-6 victory at home.
Analysis:UCLA's defense held a generally high-octane Cougars offense to 388 yards Saturday, but it was the Bruins' ball-hawking secondary that was the true star of Week Three's match up, netting five interceptions of Houston quarterback David Piland - three of which were accounted for by cornerback Sheldon Price.
News: UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said that starting free safety Tony Dye's groin injury has no timetable for return. At this point, Dye is going day-to-day and the progress has been slow. Dye is on many preseason awards lists, so having him on the sidelines is definitely a hit for the defense.
Analysis: The Bruins are maintaining that the injury isn't considered "serious," but with every practice he misses, doubts are creeping in. At this point, Alex Mascarenas is running with the first team in Dye's free safety spot.
News: According to a Twitter post by Vanderbilt beat writer Jeff Lockridge, Vandy defensive back Jamie Graham is going to transfer to UCLA to attend grad school. Graham will be eligible immediately and have one year of eligibility left.
Analysis: The rumor has not been confirmed, but Graham is a talented athlete who would help a position that is a bit thin now with the injury to Courtney Viney. Graham would help this unit if the rumor proves true. Keep an eye on this one.
UCLA's D Succeeds Where Other Pac-10 Teams Could Not
News:Analysis: UCLA's defense in Week Ten seemed to transport backwards in time, looking like the same unit that annihilated the Texas Longhorns back on 9/25. The Bruins front seven was outstanding in a 17-14 win at home against Oregon State, holding tailback Jacquizz Rodgers to just 63 yards rushing - his second-lowest total for the season, and worst against a Pac-10 opponent in 2010. Quarterback Ryan Katz, meanwhile, limited mistakes, throwing for 164 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's loss, but was only able to take advantage of tight end Joe Halahuni as a downfield threat (the junior finished with five catches for 60 yards and a score). Marcus Wheaton did manage five receptions for 44 yards, but was more of a threat on the ground, where two carries garnered 26 yards and Oregon State's only other touchdown of the day. Still, the Beavers only manufactured 267 yards of total offense against Rick Neuheisel's defense, with just over 100 yards coming from OSU's vaunted ground attack. That's a pretty impressive feat, especially from a Bruins' defensive unit that two weeks earlier was hammered for 60 points by the Oregon Ducks. An enticing match up against Washington greets UCLA in Week Thirteen, with a possible second against Arizona State a week later. Not always the most dependable unit in the Pac-10, fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief over the span of the Bruins' next two contests, before a heated battle against rival USC closes out the 2010 season on 12/4.
UCLA's Defense Mauled On The Ground, Not The Air In Loss To Cal
News:Analysis: After Washington State's Jeff Tuel manufactured 311 yards of passing offense against UCLA's secondary last week, we thought for sure the Bruins' corners and safeties would be in for a long day this past Saturday matching up against the talented athletes comprising the California Bears' receiving corps. Boy, were we wrong. Cal quarterback Kevin Riley only threw for 83 yards in Week Six's win over UCLA, while freshman Keenan Allen topped all true receivers with just three catches for 19 yards. A problem? Not when the Bears' ground game churned out 304 yards rushing on the day, with lead tailback Shane Vereen leading all ball carriers with 25 carries going for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Cal's effectiveness running the ball stunned plenty of experts this weekend, especially considering that two weeks earlier, the Bruins' methodically shut down the Texas Longhorns on the ground to the tune of 85 total yards rushing for the day. That the Bears succeeded where the Longhorns did not against UCLA is a testament to the planning of Jeff Tedford's coaching staff. Meanwhile, the Bruins face regrouping from a terrible performance Saturday on the road in Berkeley during a bye week before taking to the road once more in what could be a brutal contest in Autzen Stadium against the Oregon Ducks.
Washington State Exposes Some Weaknesses In UCLA Secondary
News:Analysis: On paper, at least, the UCLA Bruins, coming off a huge win on the road in Austin over the University of Texas, looked well-prepared to shutdown completely anything in the way of offense that Washington State might be able manufacture this past weekend at home in Pasadena. How well did it do in achieving that goal? On the ground, very well, where the pair of James Montgomery and Mogwone Mitz combined for just 69 yards rushing for the game. But through the air? Another story. No doubt that Jeff Tuel is maturing as a passer for the Cougars, but the fact that he put up 311 yards and tossed two touchdowns Saturday has to throw up somewhat of a red flag for the Bruins' secondary. Tuel bought plenty of time in the pocket in this weekend's game and spread the ball out well, hitting three separate receivers for 70 yards or better on the day. That type of success throwing the ball allowed WSU to stay in Saturday's contest much longer than anyone could have expected. UCLA will definitely want to take a closer look at the game tape of Week Five's win in order to determine what adjustments need to be made by its safeties and corners, and will need to do so quickly, as the Bruins face off against a potentially deadly passing attack in the form of the California Bears in Week Six.
News:Analysis: We thought UCLA's defensive showing in Week Three against Houston was simply a fluke. Boy, were we wrong! Saturday, in a 34-12 win on the road against the No. 7 Texas Longhorns, the Bruins defense was stunning, holding a generally solid Texas running attack to just 85 yards rushing and forcing five total turnovers (four fumbles, one interception) through four quarters of play. UT quarterback Garrett Gilbert tried his best to take matters into his own hands through the air and did so admirably, completing 30-of-45 passing for 264 yards and touchdown, but simply could not do enough to get the Longhorns' offense back on track after falling behind 27-6 heading into the final quarter of play. The Bruins head home to the Rose Bowl in Week Five against Washington State and, given its play over the last two weeks, should be a phenomenal fantasy play against the Cougars. Only fear here: that UCLA doesn't end up simply playing to the level of its competition and find itself in the midst of a meltdown after nullifying two of the nation's most impressive collegiate offenses in Weeks Three and Four.
Don't Be Fooled By UCLA's Defensive Showing In Win Over Houston
News:Analysis: We're going to keep this update short-and-sweet. Looking at the score coming out of this weekend's 31-13 win by UCLA over the Houston Cougars, it would be easy to conclude that head coach Rick Neuheisel's defense had finally seemed to turn the corner after being absolutely plastered by Kansas State and Stanford in Weeks One and Two. Don't be fooled, however. The Bruins looked good statistically because of one major fact - injuries sustained to starting quarterback Case Keenum and back-up Cotton Turner. With Keenum sustaining a torn ACL and Turner a shoulder injury, Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin had little choice but to turn to inexperienced freshman Terrance Broadway under center. But look at Broadway's number on the night - five of eight passing for 84 yards and a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter. UCLA was playing against a third-string passer with no creditable collegiate experience. Yes, the Bruins do deserve all the credit in the world for stopping a Houston running attack that just a week earlier posted 308 yards against UTEP - and even more so when considering that the Bruins surrendered 524 yards against Kansas State and Stanford in its two previous games. Still, had Keenum not gone down with injury in the second quarter of Saturday night's game, this very likely would have been a much-different outcome for UCLA. Expect a return to typical defensive play from the Bruins next week in a strangling non-conference game on the road against the Texas Longhorns.
News:Analysis: UCLA's defense surrendered 362 total offensive yards to Stanford Saturday night in a 35-0 shut out at home in the Rose Bowl, and allowed quarterback Andrew Luck to throw for 151 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The Cardinal's running game also saw a more significant presence in Week Two than it did in Week One, with Stefan Taylor, Luck and five other ball carriers producing 211 yards on the ground. While the Bruins ended Saturday's contest with four total turnovers on offense - two fumbles, two interceptions - its defensive unit failed to manufacture anything similar, while also giving up a new set of downs on nine-of-16 attempts by Stanford. Overall, Saturday represented a very poor performance from a squad already reeling after giving up far too many big plays a week earlier against Kansas State. That doesn't bode well for UCLA in Week Three, either, as the Bruins will host offensive juggernaut, the Houston Cougars.
UCLA Defense Gives Up Big Play in Closing Moments of Loss to K-State
News:Analysis: UCLA and its opponent accounted for three touchdowns in the last 123 seconds of Saturday's contest, with Kansas State coming out on top with two - including a last second run for a score by star tailback Daniel Thomas. In all, the Bruins defense gave up 235 yards to Thomas in what ended a career-high day in terms of both yardage and carries, while also surrendering an additional 72 yards on six carries to back-up William Powell. That's not a good sign for a team that plays in a conference featuring such outstanding runners at LaMichael James of Oregon and Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State. The Bruins did do a decent job in preventing Chase Coffman from connecting much when passing (11-of-16 for 66 yards) and sacked the Wildcats quarterback five times for the game. Don't expect similar numbers next week against Andrew Luck of Stanford, however, and start UCLA's defense only if you must.
News: Defensive end Datone Jones (foot) is expected to miss 10-to-12 weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Analysis: Despite that prognosis, UCLA hasn't guaranteed that Jones will play this season, which leads us to believe that it might be more like a 12-to-16 week injury. Jones was UCLA's best defensive linemen and his absence forces us to downgrade the Bruins in our rankings.
News: UCLA defensive end Datone Jones broke his foot Tuesday and is out indefinitely, ESPN reports.
Analysis: Jones is expected to be out until at least October. This is really bad news for UCLA, as he was the team's best returning defensive lineman. He totaled 11 tackles for loss and four sacks last year.
News: The UCLA defense allowed 387 yards of offense against Washington on Saturday, but the Bruins managed to shutout the Huskies in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Analysis: UCLA's defense has been middle of the road this season, but they could be a sneaky option in Week 11 against a Washington St. team that is averaging less than 270 total yards per game.
UCLA Defense Gives Up Big Yardage in Loss to Oregon St.
News: The UCLA defense allowed 463 yards of offense in their loss to Oregon St. on Saturday.
Analysis: The Bruins did not force any turnovers in the game either. They will take on Washington in Week 10.