Tuesday, August 24, 2010
PAC 10 2010-UCLA Bruins
2009 Record: 7-6 (3-6)
Head Coach: Rick Neuheisel (3rd season, 11-14...77-44 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Norm Chow (3rd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Chuck Bullough (2nd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Eagle Bank Bowl, defeated Temple 30-21
Offense: There will be a major change in philosophy in 2010, as the Bruins have basically run some sort of "west coast offense/pro set" offense since the 80s. The Bruins will attempt to emulate Nevada's Pistol offense in a version called the revolver. The hopes are that the revolver won't end up being one of a revolving number of sets that the Bruins run until they find something that works. The Bruins have not had a quality offense since Jim Sveboda was run out on a rail by Karl Dorrell. QB Kevin Prince returns at QB for his sophomore season, and he must be a better passer, and must stay healthy for the new offense to gain traction. He has already had injury issues in camp, and backup Richard Brehaut is getting better. Jonathon Franklin also returns at TB, but will be pushed hard for playing time by freshman AA Malcolm Jones, who rushed for 2477 yards in his senior year of high school. Derrick Coleman also returns as the smash back in short yardage situations. Also expect to see freshman Jordan James getting some work. Transfer Josh Smith is expected to see plenty of time in the passing game at WR, but Taylor Embree and Nelson Rosario will start. Rosario can be quite spectacular at times. There are several other receivers that will see time. 4 starters were to return to the line, but center Kai Maiava is a huge question mark due to injury.
Defense: Datone Jones was slated to be the lone returning starter on the line at DE, but then he broke his foot in the opening days of camp and now could miss up to 10 weeks after surgery. Former TE Nate Chandler will try to fill the void left by the early departure of DT Brian Price. Akeem Ayers is a star at LB and will be a pre season AA, but gone are Korey Bosworth and Reggie Carter. Steve Sloan and special teams star Sean Westgate will look to fill the void. The secondary is deep, especiallat safety where Rahim Moore, another pre season AA, led the nation in picks with 10. Tony Dye will also be back at safety, whit Sheldon Price coming back to start at CB.
Special Teams: Kai Forbath is the best PK in the country, and will be kicking on Sundays next season. Jeff Locke continues a long line of first rate UCLA Punters.
Wins: 9/4 @ Kansas State, 10/2 Washington State, 11/26 Arizona State
Toss Up Games: 9/11 Stanford, 9/18 Houston, 10/9 @ California, 10/30 Arizona, 11/6 Oregon State, 11/13 @ Washington, 12/4 USC
Losses: 9/25 @ Texas, 10/21 @ Oregon
This is a very difficult schedule, and the Bruins need to be much improved over last season to able to handle it. If they are, than this slate could lend 8 wins or so. If they are not any better, than they may win 4 or 5 , and Rick Neuheisel will be feeling some heat on his tail.
Outlook: The Revolver had better take, as UCLA needs to find an offensive spark seen maybe 3 times since Troy Aikman left. The rushing game is key, but Kevin Prince has to develop into the QB that Chow and Neuheisel think that he can be. The defense, which has been a mainstay for years, looked lost in space at times last season, and must get back to good in 2010 for the Bruins new offense to stand a chance. The Bruins must turn a corner this season. There are really no more excuses.