NCAA Football – Week 7
The Utah Utes entered the PAC 12 Conference last year, and they had a solid 8-5 season in 2011. The Utes expected to accomplish bigger things this year, but injuries have slowed them down. UCLA had another disappointing season last year, and they hired Jim Mora Jr. to take the team in a different direction this year. The Bruins are off to a solid 4-2 start to the season. Still, they are just 1-2 in the PAC 12. Can they level their conference record with a home win here?
Jordan Wynn was a big key to the Utah Utes offense. Wynn was a dual-threat quarterback who knew the system extremely well. Wynn has had shoulder problems, and when he injured the same shoulder again this year he decided to call it quits on his football career. Jon Hays is now the starter, but youngster Travis Wilson is pushing him for the starting position at quarterback. Wilson is a highly touted recruit who could be the next big star at Utah. Offensively, Utah has been horrible this year. They are 117th in the nation (out of 124 teams) in total offense.
The defense is still very good for the Utes. Star Lotulelei is the anchor in the middle of the defensive line. The Utes have a terrific front seven, but the secondary has struggled at times this year. USC was able to throw it on the Utes secondary quite a bit last week, but no one else on the Utes schedule will have the kind of receivers that the Trojans have. Utah’s defense is giving up 24.6 points per game.
Coach Mora has brought in a new fast-paced offense for the Bruins, and it has worked very well. UCLA is fortunate to have a new star at the quarterback spot this season. Brett Hundley has been excellent as a freshman quarterback in this system. He did throw four interceptions a week ago, so he’ll need to take better care of the ball this week. Hundley is completing 66% of his passes, and he already has 1,733 passing yards this year. Johnathan Franklin is one of the best running backs in the nation. Franklin is averaging an amazing 7.4 yards per carry so far this season. UCLA is racking up 531 yards of offense per game, which is good for eighth best in the nation.
The Bruins defense has given up a ton of yards, but they have been pretty good at forcing turnovers. Dylan Price leads the team with three interceptions. Cal ripped this defense for 481 yards and 43 points last week, so they’ll need to bounce back this weekend. The Bruins don’t have too much star power on this side of the ball, but they are playing slightly better than a year ago.
Utah just doesn’t have much offensive firepower at all right now. I think this is a great spot for UCLA to bounce back and win comfortably. Look for Hundley to have a big game here.
UCLA 31 Utah 17