Sunday, August 24, 2008

UCLA Football Preview

The homecoming of new head coach Rick Neuheisel has created a higher level of energy and excitement for the Bruin faithful. But significant questions at QB, offensive line and overall experience across the board could make for a disappointing debut. Dream coordinator Norm Chow will run the offense. His starting QB Pat Cowan tore his knee in the spring and back up Ben Olson then broke his foot on the same day. Olson will be ready for the fall but Cowan is done for the year. The OL only has one starter back after taking a big hit when OT Aleksey Lanis retired due to chronic knee pain. In total, eight of the Bruin's top ten offensive linemen did not take a snap last fall. The top two tailbacks in Kahlil Bell and Raymond Carter are coming off reconstructive knee surgery. The WRs have some talent led by fifth-year senior Marcus Everett but the list is not very deep or experienced. It's easy to see why the new staff will have their hands full. The defense has to overcome some heavy losses as well, which includes departing All-American DE Bruce Davis. The inside is strong up the gut as evident in their solid play last season while finishing 14th nationally against the run. Outside of this group, the rest of the defense is suspect. The secondary only returns one starter. Expectations in Los Angeles will have to be kept to a mid-level bowl at the highest end...a regular familiarity with the previous coaching staff. The Labor Day match up with Tennessee might not have been the right choice for Neuheisel's grand opening. The following September games also include upstart BYU, Arizona and Fresno State. If UCLA can win two or three of these outings, you have to figure this new coaching staff is more than capable of building a better future.

1 comment:

kyle smith said...

Nice article. Helpful about the football. Thanks for sharing!

free picks | free sports picks