UCLA Football Vs. Arizona State: Bruins Aim For Second Half Statement

Stephen Dunn

UCLA writers from Go Joe Bruin and Punting Is Winning talk about the second half of the season.

Looking at the second half of the season, what would the Bruins have to accomplish for the season to be considered a success?

Carlos Sandoval, Go Joe Bruin: UCLA needs to win three more games for this season to be a rousing success. Wins at ASU, at Washington State and at home against either Stanford or Arizona isn't asking for too much. Of course, the SC game needs to be competitive as hell -- and that looks doable now more than it did at the beginning of the season -- while the team can't be blown out against anyone like they were against the Bears.

On an in-game level: I want to see the offensive line dominate at least four of the five remaining games so there's some optimism heading into next season and so the offense can actually do it's thing. Meanwhile, I want to see some of the youngsters Mora has hidden in the secondary, because defensive backs Sheldon Price and Aaron Hester are awful, and it's good to start developing talent; if Hester and Price are just going to alternate getting burned, you'd rather have someone young learning on the job.

And finally, I want to see UCLA cut their penalties by half. The Bruins are the fifth-most penalized team in the nation at 8.6 penalties per game, and that's a huge jump from last year's ranking of 36th most penalized. Maybe it's because the defense's front seven is more aggressive than it's been under Rick, but that's not much of an excuse.

Punting Is Winning: I would take a 3-2 record in the last 5 games leading to a 8-4 season, and I would definitely consider that a success. A win versus one of the Arizona schools, Washington State, and Stanford (I think we match up with Stanford very well) is the likely scenario in my head in which UCLA ends up with a record of 8-4 by the season?s end. If we had to go 2-3 rest of the way then one of those wins must be against SC otherwise this season becomes a wash. If we actually go 1-4 or possibly 0-5 then I go into a full Patrick Bateman mode where I start inviting my SC friends over to sit on my plastic covered couch while we listen to Huey Lewis and the News.
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