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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Statistical Review: UCLA #35

No team in college football was penalized more than UCLA. No team was tackled more often behind the line of scrimmage than UCLA. Only one team was sacked more often than UCLA. Brett Hundley was sacked 15% of the time on passing downs. A team that was strong along the defensive line and prevented big plays, say Stanford for example, was a terrible matchup for the Bruins . . . both times they played. If it weren't for the very good average starting field position, the UCLA offense could have been in serious trouble.

Brett Hundley's numbers were inflated by the sheer quantity of opportunities. Outside of a fairly good completion percentage, the rest of his game was pedestrian. He completed 66.5% of his pass attempts but averaged 11.8 yards per completion and completed only 54.3% on 3rd and long (thought that may have been a product of Hundley being sacked more than any other quarterback in college football). He was 51st in passing efficiency and 65th in rushing efficiency among quarterbacks. He's on track to be a very good college quarterback but he definitely has not yet arrived.

The UCLA defense was almost the mirror image of the offense. It forced turnovers, was solid on 3rd down and got after the quarterback; the Bruins were 7th nationally in sacks per pass on passing downs.

Before playing Stanford twice and Baylor in the bowl game, UCLA had a shockingly soft schedule for the Pac-12, especially considering they played Nebraska OOC, before the Stanford doubleheader. They were 9-2 but, according to the CFBTN power rankings, they had not yet faced a team in the top 10 and only one team in the top 20 (Oregon State). Outside of a miserable performance against Cal, UCLA did what it needed to do to get to 9-2, but there wasn't enough there to get over the hump when the road got rougher.

The offensive line should get better, which will help with the negative plays, and hopefully the coaches are talking to the players about avoiding penalties. The big question, then, is if Hundley can improve enough to compensate for losing Johnathon Franklin and a regression in forced turnovers. Franklin was a moderately efficient runner but the rest of the UCLA backfield, as a whole, was bordering on atrocious. My gut tells me Bruin nation is in for a disappointing Mora encore.
The Statistical Review breaks down teams along a number of performance categories, everything from red zone scoring to field goal percentage, and compares that performance against the rest of the FBS. All 124 teams will be reviewed from 124 to 1 by the hybrid rankings. You can find short descriptions of the stats used in the table below.

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