Thursday, October 20, 2011
Grades: UCLA at Arizona
By Peter Yoon
Kevin Prince passed for 289 yards, his most since 2009, and did not have a pass intercepted. He was good at times, but also missed badly on some passes. Receiver Josh Smith got loose a few times and Nelson Rosario had four catches, but the receiving corps also had a couple of bad drops.
That UCLA had only 37 yards rushing had more to do with the large early deficit than ineffectiveness of the running game, but the Bruins were still only able to average 1.5 yards per carry. Quarterback Kevin Prince tied for the rushing lead with 13 yards, so that indicates a problem. Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman, averaging a combined 139 yards per game, had a total of 24 yards in 11 carries.
IN THE TRENCHES
The offensive line gave up two sacks against a team that didn't had only one sack all season against an FBS opponent. There also weren't many holes for the UCLA running backs. The defensive line reverted to it's ways of missing tackles and allowing an Arizona team that ranked No. 119 in the nation with only 71.8 yards rushing to gain 254 yards on the ground.
The game got out of hand early because UCLA simply could not stop Arizona. You expect the Wildcats to pass, and giving up 319 yards through the air when Nick Foles is at quarterback, but to allow him to pick apart the defense with dink and dunk passes when you know that's coming is inexcusable. That's not to mention the missed tackles and blown assignments that allowed the putrid Wildcats running game to flourish.
A great day for punter Jeff Locke, who averaged 50 yards on punts and put two inside the 20. He also induced touchbacks on all three of his kickoffs. Kicker Tyler Gonzalez made his first career field goal, but missed a 39-yard attempt. Josh Smith had a nice night of returning kicks, too, averaging 29.4 yards on five returns.
The game plan on defense proved inept and the offense was unprepared to keep pace or come back from such a deficit, but the failure here was the lack of discipline on the sideline and on the field. The Bruins were penalized 11 times for 105 yards and showed a total lack of composure by engaging in a bench-clearing brawl at the end of the first half.