#21 UCLA Football 2013 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank: #21
#5 Pac-12

UCLA Team Page#21 UCLA Football 2013 PreviewBuy UCLA Football Tickets

UCLA finished the 2012 season with a few losses. After falling to Stanford at home in the season finale 35-17, they nearly beat the Cardinal less than a week later in the Pac-12 championship game, but lost again 27-24. Instead of staying home and playing in the Rose Bowl, the Bruins went to the Holiday Bowl to face Baylor. The average Bruin defense was no match for the Bears and UCLA lost their third straight to end the season. But Coach Jim Mora did good things for the program and it finally seems like UCLA is headed in the right direction.

2012 Record: 9-5, 6-3
2012 Bowl: Holiday Bowl vs. Baylor (L 26-49)
Coach: Jim Mora (9-5 at UCLA, 9-5 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Noel Mazzone
Defensive Coordinator: Lou Spanos

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Brett Hundley, QB, 355 yards
Passing: Brett Hundley, QB, 3,740 yards
Receiving: Shaquelle Evans, WR, 877 yards
Tackles: Eric Kendricks, LB, 150
Sacks: Anthony Barr, LB, 13.5
Interceptions: Stan McKay, S, 2

Other Key Returnees: RB Jordan James, RB Damien Thigpen, WR Jordan Payton, OL Xavier Su’a-Filo, OL Torian White, LB Jordan Zumwalt, DE Cassius Marsh, DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, S Randall Goforth

Key Losses: RB Jonathan Franklin, WR Joseph Fauria, WR Jerry Johnson, OL Jeff Baca, DE Datone Jones, LB Damien Holmes, LB Dalton Hillard, S Andrew Abbott, CB Aaron Hester, CB Sheldon Price, S Tevin McDonald, P Jeff Locke

Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone worked wonders with quarterback Brett Hundley and the entire Bruins offense. Hundley, as just a redshirt freshman in 2012, threw for 3,740 yards and 29 touchdowns. He set UCLA records for passing yards, total offense and completions. Even more impressively, he completed 66.5 percent of his passes and threw just 11 interceptions. Hundley even rushed for 355 yards and nine scores. He will miss Jerry Johnson and Joseph Fauria, who caught 46 passes for 637 yards and an impressive 12 touchdowns, but there is plenty of talent back out wide. Shaquelle Evans led the team with 60 receptions for 877 yards and Devin Fuller could turn into a superb playmaker. Hundley was sacked 52 times as a freshman, yet that was mostly due to his willingness to scramble and his unwillingness to make bad passes. The offensive line is young, but very talented. Xavier Su’a-Filo has the most experience and the rest will likely be filled by promising underclassmen. On the other side of the ball, the UCLA defense boasts one of the best front sevens in the Pac-12. End Cassius Marsh tallied 8.0 sacks and linebacker Anthony Barr, who totaled 13.5, will be right behind him. With end rushers like Brandon Willis, freshman Eddie Vanderdoes and Owamagbe Odighizuwa, if healthy, the Bruins will be spending plenty of time in the backfield. Junior linebacker Eric Kendricks will be back in the middle after leading the squad with 149 tackles.

With such a deep and talented front seven, the secondary should have an easier time reloading. But it is never that easy. Safety Randall Goforth has the most experience after starting five games as a freshman. Brandon Sermons, a speedy senior, will get the first crack at the other safety spot, but plenty of incoming freshmen, most notably Tahaan Goodman and Tyler Foreman, will be pushing for that starting spot. At corner, Anthony Jefferson will be the experienced choice. Freshmen Priest Willis, Ishmael Adams and Johnny Johnson will have to be ready to produce right away. This is a unit bursting with potential and they could be extremely good by November. Or they may not be all that great for a year or two. The argument can easily be made that Hundley had such a productive season throwing the ball because of running back Johnathan Franklin. Franklin rushed for 1,734 yards and 13 scores and now the offense needs to find somebody else who can at least be a threat to run the ball. Heading into fall camp nobody really looked all that dangerous. Junior Jordon James and freshman Paul Perkins will probably end up getting most of the carries. And it is feasible that the offense will take a huge step back on all levels without Franklin moving the chains.

The Bottom Line:
The schedule is always going to be pretty tough in the Pac-12, but the Bruins have an extremely difficult road slate. They head to Nebraska for non-conference play, a team they did beat last season and they also head to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona and USC. The games against the Cardinal and the Ducks are in back-to-back weeks in the middle of October. The good news when it comes to winning the Pac-12 South is that the South is not nearly as good as the North and the Bruins do not have to play Oregon State, but it is still a tough schedule to navigate and the Bruins will have to win on the road against some very good teams this year.

Projected Bowl: Maaco Bowl

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 190.79 (37th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 275.71 (34, 5)
Total Offense: 466.50 (24, 3)
Scoring Offense: 34.43 (31, 4)
Rushing Defense: 165.36 (66, 7)
Pass Defense: 250.57 (85, 8)
Total Defense: 415.93 (76, 8)
Scoring Defense: 27.57 (58, 8)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (36, 4)
Sacks: 3.21 (8, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 3.71 (118, 10)

Madness 2014 NFL Draft Rankings:
#12 Anthony Barr
#89 Xavier Su'a-Filo
#99 Cassius Marsh
#108 Eric Kendricks

Madness 2013 Recruit Rankings:
#29 Priest Willis
#73 Tahaan Goodman
#76 Kylie Fitts
#92 John Johnson
#109 Isaac Savaiinaea
#113 Asiantii Wouldard
#125 Myles Jack
#160 Deon Hollins
#219 Christian Morris
#221 Eldridge Massington


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