The Pac 12 is an up and coming conference right now. UCLA, Stanford, USC, Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona, and maybe Washington are all going to be tough in 2014.
The winner of this conference has it’s work cut out for them and UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora has yet to beat the strengths of the Northern Division, Stanford and Oregon.
But, this could be the year and the general public got a chance last Saturday to see a little of what is coming next season.
UCLA star Brett Hundley played very little in this scrimmage. He did look ready to start the season in what little action he did receive.
Asiantii Woulard played QB with the second team and Jerry Neuheisel came in third. Mike Fafaul came in fourth. I figured Woulard would be the back up, but Neuheisel was the most impressive other than a couple of mistakes. Honestly, I expected not to like Neuheisel, but he changed my opinion of him pretty easily. He may be the starter for the Bruins in 2015. Fafaul looks to be his biggest rival at this point because Woulard has a long way to go to be ready.
UCLA had Offensive Line issues last season. Mostly, they had problems with injuries. At one point in the season, they had mostly freshmen playing up front which is rarely a good thing. The one good thing about it is that these guys are back and they have a year of playing experience under their belts.
Caleb Benenoch played at Right Tackle and he was a true freshman out of Texas. He has moved over to the left side and this guy could be an All American before he is done. Beside him is Scott Quessenberry who also played as a true freshman.
Jake Brendel returns as an experienced junior at Center. Alex Redmond started at Right Guard and Miami transfer Malcolm Bunche started at Right Tackle.
Like several other teams, the Bruins worked on the passing game mostly and pretty much ignored the run. The first team Offensive Line did give up a few sacks, but it’s really hard to tell anything with no hits allowed on the QBs.
Eldridge Massington will be a big time receiver for the Bruins before he is done.
The defense is going to miss a few stars from last season, no doubt. A player like Anthony Barr is hard to replace, obviously. Cassius Marsh and Jordan Zumwalt will also be missed.
But, the Bruin defense will be fine and they have some young stars like Myles Jack, Eddie Vanderdoes and Kenny Clark.
Defenders that stood out were Ishmael Adams, true freshman and early enrollee Adarius Pickett and Deon Hollins. Hard to really tell much about the Defensive Line and the LBs when every play is a pass other than how well they rush the passer and even that is messed up by no hitting on the QB.
Myles Jack will be one of the best players in the country over the next 2 years and then he leaves early for the NFL.
Apparently, UCLA has decided to get really serious about football. They have one of the nicest campuses in America and now they are improving their football facilities like so many schools across the country. The Stub Hub Center is a really nice practice field with enough seating to house thousands of fans.
They are all over the USA in recruiting trying to upgrade the talent and it’s working. They are hitting the home front really hard and all over the South and the state of Texas. Head Coach Jim Mora seems happy at UCLA and appears to be the guy that puts them back on the college football map.