This game went about as well as I predicted it would. UCLA went on the road to Utah and lost 44-24. At close to no point was UCLA in the game in any meaningful way, and Utah was clearly the better team from start to end. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers, although we could put just about everyone in the latter category at this point…
Philips was once again the Bruins’ leading receiver on the day with 7 receptions for 86 yards.
The senior was the Bruins’ leading tackler on the day with 7 tackles and 2 assisted tackles.
The defense overall wasn’t good, but the run defense takes the cake. Tavion Thomas controlled the game for the Utes, going for 160 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns. Throw in 60+ yards from Cameron Rising and T.J. Pledger each, and you get a 290-yard day on the ground for Utah. Stopping the Utes on the ground is no easy task, but it’s what you have to do to beat them, and the Bruins were unable to do so.
The Bruins proved once again that against quality opponents, they are unable to execute their preferred formula of running the ball and controlling the line of scrimmage. For the second straight week, UCLA was outrushed by their opponent, this time by over 100 yards.
The defense will get the bulk of the blame here, but make no mistake, UCLA’s offense wasn’t good. They took a 28-10 deficit into halftime and didn’t break it until five minutes left in the third quarter. Once again, UCLA dug a hole early that was too big to crawl out of. The protection was sloppy, and the offense just looked totally out of sync. Ethan Garbers was in over his head, but he also didn’t get much help. Overall, the Bruins were just 4/16 on third down. And even while converting 7/9 4th downs, they were unable to put meaningful points on the board.
The second-year field goal kicker continues to be inconsistent for UCLA. He had his fifth missed field goal of the year in this one, bringing his total to 11/16.
With each succeeding loss, UCLA slips closer and closer into mediocrity. They are now 5-4 and pretty much out of the picture when it comes to the Pac-12. After the Arizona game, I predicted a seven-win season for UCLA, and that looks to be the direction we’re headed in. They’ve failed all three of their big conference tests so far. A win over USC would be nice, but will it be enough to keep Chip Kelly‘s job? Should it?
Up next: a bye week. Considering how the last few weeks have gone, maybe that’s a good thing.