2014 UCLA Bruins Team Preview
Head Coach: Jim Mora
2013-14 Record: 10-3, 6-3 Pac-12 Conference
2013-14 Bowl Result: 42-12 win over Virginia Tech in Sun Bowl
Odds to Win National Championship: +1792
Offense: 9, Defense: 8
UCLA will be led by Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley, who ranks third in school history with 7,914 yards of total offense and 53 touchdowns.
The Bruins have some capable weapons surrounding Hundley, with the main one being running back Jordan James—coming off a 534-yard season and scoring five touchdowns.
A school-record 26 players caught a pass last season, but look for junior Devin Fuller and senior Jordan Payton to see a majority of the passes in what will be a balanced offensive attack.
All eyes will be on Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and Offensive Freshman of the Year Myles Jack, who will likely spend most of his time at linebacker this season—leading a group on a stop unit that welcomes back seven starters.
The Bruins have a lot of talent on this side of the ball joining Jack, including fellow linebacker Eric Kendricks, who tallied a team-high 105 tackles in 2013—forming one of the best tandems in the conference at that particular position.
The quartet of Ishmael Adams, Randall Goforth, Anthony Jefferson and Fabian Moreau, who will be tested in a Pac-12 that has some of the best returning signal-callers in the country.
Third-year head coach Jim Mora needs to make sure that the roster doesn’t look past its opener on the road against Virginia, considering the team heads back home to host Memphis before taking on Texas in a high-profile contest at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
UCLA will ravel 7,920 miles in its two non-conference away games this season, but it’ll get an opportunity to rest up after that three-game stretch by having a bye before taking on the Arizona State Sun Devils in its Pac-12 opener on Sept. 25.
The Bruins have an opportunity to land one of four spots in the inaugural college football playoff, but those hopes could be dashed in finishing out the season at home against the USC Trojans and Stanford Cardinal.
Hundley’s expected to be a first round selection in the 2015 NFL draft, but he’ll need the offensive line to take a step forward after young players were thrown in the fire a season ago at that critical position.
The Bruins are worthy favorites to win the Pac-12 South Division in the college football odds, especially since the Trojans are in the process of building up depth in their program after enduring NCAA sanctions over the last few years.
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