Saturday, September 10, 2011
Grades: UCLA 27, San Jose State 17
By Peter Yoon
The Bruins hit a couple of long passes down the field, but didn't do nearly enough against a defense that was stacking the box trying to take away the run. Richard Brehaut completed 12 of 23 passes for 145 yards, but got away with some poorly thrown balls and certainly did not seize the opportunity to take the starting quarterback job with Kevin Prince (shoulder) out.
It's tough not to give an A after a 272-yard performance, but it took two quarters to get things going. UCLA had only 51 yards rushing at halftime, including four in the second quarter. Derrick Coleman took over, however, gaining all 135 of his yards in the second half, and proved his power running game is a valuable compliment to Johnathan Franklin's finesse game.
IN THE TRENCHES
The offensive line, buoyed by the return of Jeff Baca, earned it's keep in this game by wearing down the San Jose State defensive front and opening holes that helped secure the victory. The defensive linemen, however, were unable to get much pressure on San Jose State's quarterbacks and even when they did, they let several sure sacks get away.
A slight improvement over last week, but not by much. The Bruins gave up 202 yards rushing to a San Jose State team that was 119th in rushing offense last season and had 27 yards in 32 carries against Stanford last week. UCLA's defense did get two interceptions and clamped down in the fourth quarter, when San Jose State got only 20 total yards.
Kip Smith shook of his woes from last week and converted field goals of 38 and 20 yards, marking his first career field goals. He also looked solid on his three extra point attempts. The normally reliable Jeff Locke, however, sputtered a bit on kickoffs and punts. He averaged only 33.5 yards on punts and these were not coffin corner kicks, and none of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.
They did what they needed in terms of sniffing out the schemes that would help them win, so give them credit for that, but the failure here was allowing the team to look past San Jose State. The team came out flat and appeared as if it needed only to walk on the field in order to win. Clearly that wasn't the case and that is on the coaching staff.