Jim Mora has changed the culture of the UCLA Bruins, but guiding then to a 9-5 and a 10-3 season in his first 2 years, after they had losing seasons in 4 of their previous 5 years. This year he has 17 starters back including a Heisman contending QB and is ready to possibly make a run at a national title. Preview & schedule below.
QB Brett Hundley liked the look of this team heading into this year and turn down being a sure fire 1st round NFL draft pick to stay at UCLA for his senior season. Last year he threw for 3071 yards, with 24 TDs and just 9 INTs, while also leading the team in rushing, with 748 yards and another 11 TDs. Along with Hundley, the Bruins have a RB by committee approach and the next 3 rushers all return, with the 3 combining for 18 TDs, which includes getting 7 rushing TDs from LB Myles Jack. The OL is very solid for this team and ranks 31st in the nation with 88 career starts returning. This unit is also deep. The WR corps does lose Shaq Evans, but tyheir is plenty of talent that is ready to step up, including Devin Fuller, who had 43 receptions for 471 yards and 4 TDs last year. The defense improved in each of Mora’s first two years here and this one may be even better, with 23 letterman, including 8 starters back on this side of the ball, plus a solid incoming crop. Replacing Anthony Barr (20 TFL LY) will not be easy, but this LB corps will still be very good and are led by Myles Jack, who was both defensive and offensive rookie of the year last year. Last year Jack had 7 TFL, 11 PBUs and 2 INTs. The LB corps rates as the 13th best in the nation. The secondary rates the 6th best in the nation, as it has all 4 starters back and loads of depth to go along with it. Last year the Bruins were in the top 10 in special teams play and with both kickers back, along with both kick returners, they rate in the top 5 this year.
The Bruins are loaded and have a great coach in Jim Mora to lead them, to go along with a Heisman candidate QB in Brett Hundley, a wealth of solid skill players, plus a defense that may be the 2nd best in the league. The schedule looks fairly easy, with two of their road games being vs Cal and Colorado, while they also get Arizona, Oregon, USC and Stanford at home. The Bruins will win the South and most likely go 11-1 or 10-2 on the year, but I’ll also call for them to lose to Oregon in the Pac-12 Title game. KEY TREND: 4-12-1 ATS last 17 home games vs Stanford.
2014 UCLA Bruins Football Schedule
Sat, Aug 30th, 2014 at Virginia
Sat, Sep 6th, 2014 Memphis
Sat, Sep 13th, 2014 at Texas
Thu, Sep 25th, 2014 at Arizona State
Sat, Oct 4th, 2014 Utah
Sat, Oct 11th, 2014 Oregon
Sat, Oct 18th, 2014 at California
Sat, Oct 25th, 2014 at Colorado
Sat, Nov 1st, 2014 Arizona
Sat, Nov 8th, 2014 at Washington
Sat, Nov 22nd, 2014 USC
Fri, Nov 28th, 2014 Stanford
Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports
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Golden Nugget Games Of The Year
Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com takes a look at some the games of the year that have been released by the Golden Nugget, along with some tips for handicapping them.