Sunday, 10 September 2017 02:28

UCLA's Offense Impressive In Victory

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Theo Howard HawaiiUCLA (2-0) back by a very impressive offensive effort throttle Hawai’i 56-23. Led by a brilliant performance from junior quarterback, Josh Rosen, the Bruins handed the Rainbow Warriors their first defeat in five games, dating back to last season.

Rosen set a career high five touchdown passes to go with his 329 yards. This was the 12th time during Rosen’s UCLA career that he has thrown for 300 yards. He broke the old school record of 11 held by Bruin great Cade McNown. Rosen’s accuracy was incredible, hitting on 22 passes out of 25 attempts.

Sophomore receiver, Theo Howard, also had a career game. His seven catches and his 110 receiving yards are career bests. He also had a career long 26-yard reception that was a touchdown.

Senior wide receiver, Darren Andrews, was extremely productive during the game. He had four receptions, three that were touchdowns and was just short of 100 receiving yards, with 92.

The Bruins started senior Nate Starks at running back and he had a productive night rushing for 42 yards on seven carries, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. He also caught three passes for 68 yards, one of his receptions was on a gadget play that went for 39-yards when he was on the receiving end of a strike from sophomore tight end, Caleb Wilson.

“I’m happy, certainly offensively Josh [Rosen] was seeing the field really well, “ UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. “Our receivers did a good job of getting open and making plays with the ball after the catch. I thought we protected better than last week.”

“Rosen is playing really consistent and seeing things better,” Mora said. “He has worked very hard on this new offense to understand it. Every snap he takes because he is a cerebral guy because it’s important to him because he works hard he is going to improve. And that is what we are seeing. The key is to continue with his approach and the mindset that every snap matters, every practice rep matters and every clip of film he watches matters. He is capable of really good things when he does that.”

The Bruins will be hard to beat if they continue to play offense the way they have since late in the third quarter of the Texas A&M game. UCLA’s offense is running like a finely tuned machine. Case in point, other than a halftime break and taking a knee, the Bruin offense scored 12 touchdowns in a row.

UCLA’s defense played better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Going into the game sophomore defensive lineman Boss Tagaloa didn’t suit up. During the game, the Bruins lost senior linebacker, Kenny Young, senior safety Jaleel Wadood and junior safety Adarius “Pick Six” Pickett.

The defense gave up a total of 281 rushing yards led by senior running back Diocemy Saint Juste and his 165 yards. The Bruins need to address this issue.

“We made some improvements defensively that was probably overshadowed by some of the late runs when we were playing some other guys,” Mora said. “We had three guys unavailable to us[Young, Wadood, and Pickett], but I know that all three of those guys will fight their way back to play at Memphis next week.”

“I still think you have to look at it hard regardless who is in there. Are we doing things schematically correct? Are your players understanding what you’re asking them to do and are you putting your players in the best positions to succeed? Regardless of who is in there, it gives you a chance to evaluate what you’re doing and evaluate all your players.”

“It was great to see some guys get time that we are going to depend on and count on because they are on the depth chart. They are guys that are going to have to play for us. Every rep is a chance to get better and a chance to evaluate ways to get better.”

UCLA will hit the road and play Memphis on Saturday, Sept. 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 AM (PST) and will be nationally televised on ABC/ESPN2.

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