#10 UCLA Bruins 2015 Preview

Previewing the #10 UCLA Bruins

BYU did it again, sealing another victory in the waning minutes of the game against Boise State. After trailing since early in the first half, the Cougars scored 14 points in the final minute to clinch the W. Tanner Mangum threw another miracle TD on 4th and 7 with :56 seconds remaining to put the Cougars up 4, and then Kai Nacua put the game away with a 50-yd pick six. The Cougars, now dubbed as America’s darlings, head to the Rose Bowl ranked #19 in the country hoping to pull off another upset agains the #10 UCLA Bruins.

UCLA took their first road trip of the season to Las Vegas and were able to come away with a 37-3 victory over the Rebels moving them into the top 10 for the first time this season. During the last three seasons, the Bruins have been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last 3 seasons and have a 1-3 record when ranked in the top 10. The Bruins returned 18 starters from last season’s squad and are led on defense by star LB’s Myles Jack and Kenny Young while they have two talented weapons on offense in QB Josh Rosen and LB Paul Perkins.

UCLA 2014 Record: 10-3

@ Virginia 28-20 W #7

vs Memphis 42-35 W #11

vs Texas 20-17 W #12

@ #15 Arizona St 62-27 W #11

vs Utah 28-30 L #8

vs #12 Oregon 30-42 L #18

@ California 36-34 W

@ Colorado 40-37 W #25

vs #14 Arizona 17-7 W #25

@ Washington 44-30 W #18

vs #24 USC 38-20 W #11

@ Stanford 10-31 L #9

vs #11 Kansas St 40-35 W #14

Bronco Mendenhall vs. Jim Mora

Jim Mora:

Season: 4th

Record: 29-11

Home: 13-6

vs Top 25: 9-6

vs Non-P5: 5-0

Bronco Mendenhall:

Season: 11th

Record: 92-39

Away: 35-23

vs Top 10: 1-6

vs P5: 19-19

vs UCLA: 2-1

@ UCLA: 0-1

BYU vs Boise St: 3-7

      Largest Margin of Victory: 59-0 (’08)

      Largest Margin of Loss: 68-14 (’93)

      Last Game: 59-0

UCLA depth chart


QB: Joseh Rosen/Jerry Neuheisel

RB: Paul Perkins/Nate Starks

FB: Nate Iese/Taylor Lagace

LT: Connor McDermott/Kolton Miller

LG: Kenny Lacy/Zach Bateman

C: Jake Brendel/Alex Redmond

RG: Alex Redmond/Poasi Moala

RT: Caleb Benenoch/Kolton Miller

X: Jordan Payton/Logan Sweet

Z: Kenneth Walker/Mossi Johnson

Slot: Devin Fuller/Eldridge Massington


NT: Eli Ankou/Kenny Clark

DT: Takkarist McKinley/Matt Dickerson

DE: Kenny Clark/Matt Dickerson

LOLB: Aaron Wallace/Cameron Judge

ILB: Myles Jack/Jayon Brown

ILB: Kenny Young/Isaako Savaiinaea

ROLB: Deon Hollins/Cameron Judge

CB: Fabian Moreau/Marcus Rios

SS: Randall Goforth/Tahaan Goodman

FS: Jaleel Wadood/Adarius Pickett

CB: Marcus Rios/John Johnson

Special Teams:

Punter: Matt Mengel

Kicker: Ka’imi Fairbairn

Kick Off: Ka’imi Fairbairn

LS: Cristopher Longo

PR: Ishmael Adams

KR: Ishmael Adams


UCLA runs a spread option offense similar to what BYU ran last year. RB Paul Perkins is the most versatile player on the offensive side of the ball effective in both rushing and catching the ball out of the backfield. UCLA will go extremely fast, against UNLV in Week 2 their offense ran 101 plays. UCLA has a young, talented QB who they believe they can protect and will be able to sit in the pocket and sling the ball around. On the season, UCLA has thrown the ball 88 times and rushed it 81 times.

Josh Rosen is a prototypical gun slinger who’ll sit back in the pocket and sling the ball around. He has a great arm and is able to make every throw in the book. He can put some air under the ball with great touch and zip the ball into tight windows, his abilities have been compared to Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning, but he’s not quite there yet. Rosen struggles in going through his progressions, he will lock onto receivers and eye them down until they become open, then throwing. His timing isn’t there yet, and that’ll come with experience. He was competing for the starting job since arriving on campus in January and split first team reps. If Rosen continues to stare down receivers, Kai Nacua will have a hey-day cutting off routes and coming up with more INTs. Rosen also has yet to face pressure from opposing defenses and BYU has a chance to rattle him with Sione Takitaki, Bronson Kaufusi, and Harvey Langi coming on the blitz.

Paul Perkins may be the best running back that BYU will face this season. He is extremely versatile with abilities to run between the tackles, outside, and catch the ball in the open field. He is a true weapon that BYU will have to game plan for, he led the Pac-12 in rushing yds last season with 1575 yds and 9 TDs on 251 carries, good for an avg of 6.3 YPC. So far this year, he has 32 carries for 210 yds and TDs, and 7 catches for 82 yds. He shredded UNLV going for 151 yds on the ground. UCLA will also use Myles Jack in goal line situations, he burst onto the scene as a freshman that was a two-way star for the Bruins, his offensive duties have been relinquished, but he did rush for a TD against Virginia in Week 1. UCLA will also use Sotonye Jamabo and Nate Starks in the back field to relieve Perkins, but it will be sparingly.

UCLA return 7/8 of their leading receivers from the 2014 season. Jordan Payton had 67 rec for 954 yds and 7 TDs last year and has 8 rec for 124 yds and 1 TD so far this season. Devin Fuller and Paul Perkins have also shown up well with 7 receptions a piece. No one has really separated themselves as the #1 receiver but Rosen will sling the ball around and spread the ball. BYU’s secondary will have to be on top of their game in order to stop the Bruins’ pass attack.

UCLA’s offensive line hasn’t faced much of a challenge yet this year, as a unit they have 131 career starts combined (#1 FBS) and the 5 anticipated starters have 102 under their belt. Granted, this team did give up 40 sacks last season. The Bruins are anchored by 2nd team Pac-12 C Jake Brendel (41 career starts) who has been hampered this week with a foot injury. He sat out the second half against UNLV and has practiced sparingly but is expected to play against BYU. So far in 2015, they’ve only given up 1 sack, but as noted above haven’t faced a team that can create pressure in the backfield like BYU. It should be an interesting matchup to see how Takitaki, Kaufusi, and Langi will be able to get in the backfield.

2014 Team Stats:

Points Scored Per Game: 33.5

Rushing Yardage: 2724

      Returning for 2015: 1821 (66.8%)

Receiving Yardage: 3358

      Returning for 2015: 3007 (89.5%)

Passing Yardage: 3358

      Returning for 2015: 203 (6.0%)

Total Offense: 9440

      Returning for 2015: 5031 (53.3%)

Fumbles: 22

      Recovered: 12

      Lost: 10

Interceptions: 6

      Returning for 2015: 1

Sacks Allowed: 40 (-225 yds)

First Downs: 304

        Rushing: 144

        Passing: 142

        Penalty: 18

Third Down Conversion: 87/202 (43.1%)

Fourth Down Conversion: 9/16 (56.3%)

Penalties: 104 (-979 yds)

Red Zone Efficiency: 48/51 (94.1%)

Red Zone TDs: 32/51 (62.7%)

PAT Attempts: 47/48 (97.9%)

Individual Stats:

2015 Season

QB Josh Rosen: 50/77 for 574 yds, 4 TDs and 1 INT, 4 carries for 1 yd; QB Jerry Neuheisel: 2/11 for 30 yds, 2 INTs; RB Paul Perkins: 32 carries for 210 yds and 2 TDs, 7 receptions for 82 yds; RB Bolu Olorunfunmi: 14 carries for 95 yds, 1 reception for 13 yds; RB Soso Jamabo: 13 carries for 88 yds; RB Nate Starks: 6 carries for 35 yds; RB Myles Jack: 2 carries for 7 yds, 1 TD WR Jordan Payton: 8 receptions for 124 yds, 1 TD; WR Devin Fuller: 7 receptions for 46 yds, 1 TD; WR Thomas Duarte: 5 receptions for 75 yds, 1 TD; FB Nate Iese5 receptions for 73 yds

2014 Season

QB Jerry Neuheisel: 26/39 for 194 yds, 2 TDs and 1 INT; RB Paul Perkins: 251 carries for 1575 yds, 9 TDs, 26 catches for 201 yds and 2 TDs; RB Nate Starks: 32 carries for 139 yds and 2 TDs; WR Jordan Payton: 67 receptions for 954 yds and 7 TDs; WR Thomas Duarte: 28 receptions for 540 yds and 4 TDs; WR Devin Duller 59 receptions for 447 yds and 1 TD; WR Eldridge Massington: 25 receptions for 367 yds and 3 TDs; FB Nate Iese: 12 receptions for 70 yds and 2 TD


UCLA plays a kind of hybrid 3-4-4/4-3-4 defense, ROLB Deon Hollins will be seen rushing with his hand in the dirt and playing from a 2-point stance. The UCLA defense is strong up the middle but is missing the heart of their defense with Eddie Vanderdoes being lost for the season, they still have young LBs Kenny Young and Myles Jack who have NFL talent and will cause some havoc for the Cougars

UCLA has a very young defensive front with the three starters coming into the season all listed as JRs, star DL Eddie Vanderdoes is out for the season with a knee injury, Kenny Clark will move over to fill in for him, and he’ll be replaced in turn by Eli Ankou. BYU faced tougher DL’s the previous two weeks against Boise State and Nebraska and the offensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage pretty well against those two teams.

Again, this week, the strength of the defense is in the linebacker core, particularly up the middle. Myles Jack and Kenny Young, both burst onto the national scene as true freshman and Myles Jack is the #2 rated LB for the 2016 draft. BYU will need to account for these two playmakers in able to be successful on the offensive side of the ball. Deon Hollins will play a hybrid position between DE and LB and had 9 sacks last season, he’ll be another challenge for BYU’s tackles this week.

UCLA’s secondary struggled in their game against Virginia. QB Matt Johns was able to find gaps in the zone and move the ball. DB Fabian Moreau is projected to be a 3-4 round pick and will provide good size on the outside for the Bruins and challenge BYU’s receivers. BYU has plenty of opportunity to spread out the ball with different receivers stepping up over the last two games.

2014 Team Stats:

Points Allowed Per Game: 28.1

Turnover Ratio: 16:16

Forced Fumbles: 12

      Returning for 2015: 6

    Fumbles Recovered: 5

      Returning for 2015: 4

Interceptions: 11

      Returning for 2015: 8

Sacks: 29 (-200 yds)

      Returning for 2015: 16 (-100 yds)

TFL: 80 (-312 yds)

      Returning for 2015: 50 (-185 yds)

QBH: 16

      Returning for 2015: 15

PBU: 45

      Returning for 2015: 30

INTs: 11 (-231 yds)

      Returning for 2015: 7 (-173 yds)

TDs allowed: 45

        Rushing: 19

        Passing: 22

First Downs Allowed: 295

        Rushing: 111

        Passing: 151

        Penalty: 33

Third Down Conversion: 83/208 (39.9%)

Fourth Down Conversion: 15/22 (68.2%)

Red Zone Efficiency: 38/45 (84.4%)

Red Zone TDs: 27/45 (60%)

PAT Attempts: 40/41 (97.6%)

Key Defensive Players:

2015 Season

MLB Kenny Young: 10 tackles, 1 INT; MLB Myles Jack: 9 tackles; DL Kenny Clark: 9 tackles, .5 TFL; DL Eddie Vanderdoes: 8 tackles, 2 TFL; CB Fabian Moreau: 8 tackles; DL Eli Ankou: 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FR; LB Deon Hollins: 6 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack (5 yds); Jacob Tuioti-Mariner: 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU; DL Takkarist McKinley: 4 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 BK CB Adarius Pickett: 4 tackles, 1 INT

2014 Season

MLB Myles Jack: 88 tackles, 8 TFL, 7 PBU, 1 INT, 2 QBH; FS Jaleel Wadood: 59 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 2 QBH; DL Kenny Clark: 58 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 5 PBU, 1 QBH; CB Fabian Moreau: 53 tackles, 3 TFL, 8 PBU, 1 INT; DL Eddie Vanderdoes: 50 tackles, 2 sacks, 3.5 TFL; SS Tahaan Goodman: 46 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 PBU, 1 INT; CB Ishmael Adam: 41 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 PBU, 2 INT; OLB Deon Hollins: 31 tackles, 9 sacks, 10 TFL, 2 PBU, 4 QBH; CB Priest Willis: 22 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBU

Special Teams:

UCLA returns their primary kick returner and punt returner in Ishmael Adams. Adams had 21 punt returns last season with a long of 45 yds, on kick return he had 26 returns for 591 yds and 1 TD of 100 yds.

The Bruins also return their starting punter and kicker from last season, Punters Matt Mengel and Adam Searl combined for 27 punts downed inside the 20. Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn was 18/22 on FG for a long of 47 yds and also converted on 47/48 FG


Ka’imi Fairbairn: 47/48 PAT, 18/22 FG (1-29: 8/8, 30-39: 6/7, 40+: 4/7), lng 47 yds


Ka’imi Fairbairn: 80 KO, 5143 yds, 64.3 avg, 50 TB


Matt Mengel: 59 punts, 2372 yds, 40.2 avg, 20 inside 20

Adam Searl: 20 punts, 430 yds, 39.1 avg, 7 inside 20

Kick Returns:

Ishmael Adams: 26 returns, 591 yds, 22.7 avg, 1 TD, 100 long

Punt Returns:

Ishmael Adams: 21 returns: 193 yds, 9.2 avg, 45 long


10 Most Viewed

To Top