#43 UCLA Football 2012 Preview


UCLA Bruins

2012 Overall Rank: #43
#6 Pac-12
UCLA College Football 2012 Team Preview
UCLA Team Page

 

UCLA, once the pinnacle of the Pac 10, now the Pac 12, has not been ranked in the AP poll since 2008 and has not finished a season ranked in the AP since 2005. During that span the Bruins have seen five different head coaches who coached at least one game. They hired the well decorated at the highest level of coaching, Jim Mora to help end their drought. And he has his work cut out for him heading into the 2012 campaign and beyond.  

2011 Record: (6-8 Overall, 5-5 Conference)
2011 Bowl: Fighter Hunger Bowl vs Illinois (L 14- 20)
Coach: Jim Mora (0-0 at UCLA, 0-0 Overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Noel Mazzone
Defensive Coordinator: Lou Spanos

Returning Leaders:
Rushing:  Johnathan Franklin, RB, 1,003 yards
Passing:  Kevin Prince, QB, 1,828 yards
Receiving:  Joseph Fauria, WR, 481 yards
Tackles:  Patrick Larimore, LB, 50
Sacks: Datone Jone, DL, 3  
Interceptions: Andrew Abbott, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees: DB Tevin McDonald, WR Shaquelle Evans, TE Joseph Fauria, OL Greg Capella, DL Cassius Marsh, LB Damien Holmes, DB Sheldon Price

Key Losses: RB Derrick Coleman, WR Nelson Rosario


Strengths:
UCLA struggled through much of their 2011 season, but their potent rushing attack stood out as a talented unit. They used the dual threat ability of quarterback Kevin Prince to keep defenses on their heels and make their rushing attack all the more deadly. Prince, a redshirt senior, is the supplemental threat to another redshirt senior, running back Johnathan Franklin who is their workhorse. They will once again rely on this ground and pound game to lead them to victories on Saturdays. Their aerial assault should be improved with another year of experience under Prince‚Äôs belt, but losing Nelson Rosario will not make life easy. They will rely heavily on Joseph Fauria to provide a spark in the passing game. This offense has the capability to be a well-balanced unit and move the ball up and down the field while keeping defenses guessing.  

Weaknesses:
The Bruins struggled in virtually every aspect of the game a season ago. Their biggest cause of concern was their defense in general. They are returning many starters from last year who will hope to leverage their experience into a better unit. They struggled mightily in stopping opponents running games and keeping points off the scoreboard. They allowed over 190 yards per game on the ground and surrendered an overwhelming 31 points per contest. Opponents were able to score at will against the Bruins, which cost them a chance to have a memorable season. This entire unit will need to see improvement in order for UCLA to be a competitive team in the Pac-12.

The Bottom Line:
UCLA has been the whipping boy of the Pac-12 elite for several seasons and that trend will likely continue in 2012. Jim Mora will begin the process of returning this team to one of the elite teams, not only in their conference, but also the nation. Although their future looks bright, the present is still respectable, as they are returning many key players from a team that won six games a season ago. They should be improved in all areas of the game. But do not expect this team to be trading blows with the heavyweights in the Pac-12 this season.  

Projected Bowl: Maaco Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense:  178.36 (37th in the nation, 3rd in conference)
Passing Offense: 198.29 (81, 11)
Total Offense: 376.64 (72, 9)
Scoring Offense: 23.07 (88, 10)
Rushing Defense: 190.57 (96, 11)
Pass Defense: 226.57 (64, 3)
Total Defense: 417.14 (89, 8)
Scoring Defense: 31.36 (92, 8)
Turnover Margin: -.36 (90, 10)   
Sacks:  1.00 (112, 11)   
Sacks Allowed: 2.07 (67, 5)    

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#22 Ellis McCarthy
#43 Devin Fuller
#133 Ishmael Adams
#135 Jordan Payton
#244 Javon Williams
#248 Lacy Westbrook

 

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