October 9, 2013 by Ell and Mike Sports
Head Coach: Jim Mora Jr
Key Players (Offense): QB Brett Hundley (SO), WR Shaquelle Evans (SR)
Last season UCLA had a great breakthrough season. New head coach Jim Mora bought a new defensive attitude to the team. Freshman QB Brett Hundley brought his versatile play to the offense and the offense was vastly improved. With 7 starters the Bruins still have a chance to be potent. I believe when they play the solid teams like Oregon, Stanford and USC, they will struggle on the ground, because they lost their leading rusher in Johnathan Franklin. He rushed for over 1700 yards last season. So replacing him will be key, but i think JR running back Jordan James is up to the task. I look for more big plays through the air, so we should here Shaquelle Evans name a lot this year.
Key Players (Defensive): ILB Eric Kendricks (JR), OLB Anthony Barr (SR)
With only 5 starters returning on defense I think the defense will have more holes in it this year, but still make big plays. Why? Well they return their top tackler, Eric Kendricks. He totaled 150 tackles and was the true leader of the bruins defense. He was all over the field only as a sophomore. So with another year under his belt he will be much improved. They also bring back their sack leader in Anthony Barr. Barr is a OLB, but plays more like a DE. He is excellent at getting to the QB. He had 13.5 sacks last year so QBs will have to gameplan for him.
Prediction: 9-3 (2nd in South)
Brett Hundley will continue to open eyes this season as he goes through his sophomore campaign. He will put up similar numbers to his freshman numbers, but the Bruins defense won’t be as good as it was last season and this will keep them from reaching their full potential. This will really show when the Bruins go one the road in back to back games; Oct 19 at Stanford, Oct 26 at Oregon. I believe both of these teams will score over 40 against the Bruins. Bruins are poised for another solid season under Jim Mora Jr. He is truly building something special.