2009 UCLA Bruins Football Preview
2009 UCLA Bruins season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official UCLA Bruins football preview as well as the 2009 UCLA Bruins Football Schedule. Haven't had much luck beating your bookie? This season up your chances and order Maddux's winning college football picks.
Coach: Rick Neuheisel (2nd year at UCLA)
Team Name: Bruins
2008 Overall Record: 4-8
Returning Starters: 16
The question about this year’s UCLA Bruins (4- 8 overall, 3- 6 Pac-10) is which team will show up? Is it the Bruins that some say are geared up to finish second or third in the Pac-10 or is it the Bruins who will move up a few notches from their 2008 eighth place finish to fifth or sixth? In 2008, UCLA had a disappointing year, missing the post-season after appearing in five straight bowls from 2003 through 2007.
The club scored only 17.7 PPG (109th) last season. UCLA’s passing game was ranked 73rd while the ground attack earned a 116th ranking. Overall, the offense gained a total of 283.3 YPG, which got them a rating of 111th. The biggest concern for this year’s offense is its line, which last season performed terribly and this seasons welcomes mainly freshmen and sophomores to its ranks. Last year’s rushing attack gained a feeble 2.6 yards per rush. This season, senior FB Chase Moline (30 ATT, 118 YDs, 2 TDs) and junior TB Christian Ramirez, who was academically ineligible to play last season, will try to ensure that the running game has some punch. Redshirted freshman Kevin Prince is untested in the fray, but he possesses a strong arm and good football smarts. He’ll get the start. At wideout, senior Terrence Austin (53 REC, 460 YDs, 1 TD) and sophomore Taylor Embree (40 REC, 531 YDs, 0 TD) should prove to be fine targets.
Last season, the UCLA defense gave up too many points—29.0 PPG. They were tough versus the pass, holding opponents to 167.7 YPG (8th nationally). The Bruins still have a veteran presence in the secondary along with a new group. Sophomore free safety Rahim Moore (60 TKLs, 3 INTs) and senior corner back Alterraun Verner (73 TKLs, 2 INTs) will anchor the unit. They will be joined by redshirt freshman Aaron Hester at corner and sophomore Glenn Love at safety. Senior MLB Reggie Carter (83 TKLs, 4.5 TFL) will be the cornerstone of the linebacking group. Upfront, junior DT Brian Price (35 TKLs, 4.5 SKs, 9.5 TFL, 1 INT) and senior RE Korey Bosworth (55 TKLs, 7.5 SKs, 3.5 TFL) return to stuff the run and pressure quarterbacks.
The return game is the purview of Austin who averaged 24.1 YP kick return and 9.5 YP punt return. Austin gained a total of 1,328 yards on returns. The field goal and extra point attempts will be taken by junior Kai Forbath (21- 22 Extra Pts, 19- 22 FG). Forbath, who hit a 53-yard try in 2008, is as accurate as they come. Freshman Jeff Locke will punt, attempting to fill the accurate, long-distance shoe of Aaron Perez (79 Punts, 45.2 AVG, 22 In20).
Head coach Rick Neuheisel (4- 8 in one year with UCLA) is in the second year of his rebuilding efforts. The good news is that the Bruins have a favorable schedule and should be improved on both sides of the ball. Last season, after beating Tennessee in their home opener 27- 24 on September 1, they lost to BYU, Arizona and Fresno State. They then beat Washington State and on October 11 lost to Oregon 24- 31. This season, they meet Oregon on October 10. That contest could define the Bruins’ 2009 season. UCLA will finish fifth and earn an invite to a low tier bowl.
UCLA Bruins Football Schedule
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For more info on the 2009 UCLA Bruins football program, view the Bruins football site or you can read about other Pac-10 teams below.