NCF Nation: OL Jake Brendel
August, 13, 2014
By Kyle Bonagura | ESPN.com
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Previewing the 2014 season for the UCLA Bruins.
2013 record: 10-3, 6-3 in Pac-12; Beat Virginia Tech 42-12 in Hyundai Sun Bowl.
Final grade for 2013: B-plus. UCLA finished ranked No. 16 in the country and won five of its last six games, including a second-straight win against USC to build momentum into this year.
Key returnees: QB Brett Hundley, LB/RB Myles Jack, LB Eric Kendricks, OL Jake Brendel, WR Devin Fuller, DL Ellis McCarthy, DB Fabian Moreau, OL Alex Redmond, DL Eddie Vanderdoes, DB Randall Goforth.
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesBrett Hundley passed for 3,071 yards and rushed for another 748 with 35 combined TDs last season.
Key losses: OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, LB Anthony Barr, LB Jordan Zumwalt, DL Cassius Marsh, WR Shaq Evans.
Instant impact newcomer: LB Kenny Young, RB Adarius Pickett.
Projected winning percentage (ESPN Stats & Information): .734
Chances to win the conference (ESPN Stats & Information): 20.2 percent
Best-case scenario: 15-0
Worst-case scenario: 8-5
Over-under win total (Bovada): 9.5
Biggest question mark: Running back. It was a patchwork effort to replace Jonathan Franklin last season with Jack, Paul Perkins and Jordon James all mixing in. This year, UCLA will aim for more certainty at the position.
Most important game: Oct. 11 versus Oregon. The Bruins get the Ducks at home in what could be a preview of the Pac-12 title game later in the year at Levi's Stadium.
Upset special: ASU fans might not call it an upset if the Sun Devils beat the Bruins in Tempe on Sept. 25, but everyone else would. If there's a chance UCLA could trip up before Oregon, that's the best bet.
They said it: "I never was going to leave UCLA. [Athletic director] Dan Guerrero went out on a limb when he hired me. Let's not kid anybody. I wasn't the most popular hire in the history of college sports, I can promise you that." -- UCLA coach Jim Mora