Countdown to College Football: Day 81 -

                

The weekend ends, and so Monday begins.  Our week starts with the team from Westwood.

The Vitals:

School: UCLA

Mascot: Bruins

Fight Song: The Mighty Bruins

 

Head Coach: Jim Mora Jr. (41-24)

Best Place to Eat on Campus:

There is, without question, a bevy of quality places to eat in Westwood and the general L.A. area. We will embrace TLT Food, a food truck turned restaurant. Braised pork belly nachos. That’s all there is to say.

Greatest Program Moment:

UCLA’s program has never reached the top of the mountain in college football.  They have won multiple Rose Bowls especially under the great Terry Donahue.  However, the greatest moment in UCLA football predates Donahue by a year.  In 1975 Dick Vermeil was in his second year with the Bruins.  In the Rose Bowl they would face Woody Hayes’ undefeated and untied Ohio State Buckeyes. Vermeil, ever the shrewd tactician, dispatched Ohio State 23-10.  Hayes crossed the field before the end of the game to shake Vermeil’s hand for his coaching performance and UCLA was Rose Bowl Champions.

 

Current State of The Program:

When Jim Mora arrived in UCLA he quickly pulled the program out of the mediocrity it had been mired in for almost a decade.  He switched UCLA from the Pistol to the Spread and took advantage of the considerable talent Rick Neuheisel had acquired, but not used.  UCLA won 28 games in three years and played for the Pac 12 Championship in 2014.  With talented quarterback Josh Rosen taking over in 2015, it was assumed that UCLA would rise to the top of the conference.  Instead the defense faltered at the back end of the season and UCLA was embarrassed by a mediocre Nebraska team in the Foster Farms Bowl. In 2016, Mora scrapped the spread and adopted a power running pro style offense.  Unfortunately Mora didn’t realize that you have to coach technique as well as pound your chest and scream about toughness.  UCLA’s offense, coupled with a season ending injury to Josh Rosen, consisted of repeated runs into the middle of the line, with limited success.  UCLA should recover from their four win 2016 season, but it is becoming questionable that Mora and his histrionic personality will take UCLA back to competing for Rose Bowl’s.

Prediction:  7-5

Sept. 2 vs. Texas A&M - L

Sept. 9 vs. Hawaii - W

Sept. 16 at Memphis - W

Sept. 23 at Stanford - L

Sept. 30 vs. Colorado - W

Oct. 7 BYE

Oct. 14 at Arizona - W

Oct. 21 vs. Oregon - W

Oct. 28 at Washington - L

Nov. 3 at Utah - L

Nov. 11 vs. Arizona State - W

Nov. 18 at USC - L

Nov. 24 vs. California - W