This has been a rough week to be a UCLA Bruin. The news broke this week that star quarterback, Josh Rosen, will be out for the rest of the season with nerve damage in his shoulder. After hearing the news, the sun doesn’t shine as bright, the wind doesn’t blow anymore, and food does not taste the same. What is UCLA to do without their quarterback? Hopefully the same thing as last week, compete. The Bruins travel to Boulder, Colorado to face the No. 15 Running Ralphie's of Colorado.
This Colorado team is unlike we have seen in the past 10 years, they’re actually good. Their defense is one of the best in the nation and their offense has been survivable on a week to week basis. They have been one of the most impressive teams in the entire conference and it’s going to be an uphill battle the entire day for UCLA. To start off with, we are officially in the post Rosen part of the season and it’s a scary. Mike Fafaul has been very up and down and at times showing flashes of brilliance. He broke a UCLA passing record against Utah but in the process threw four interceptions. The four interceptions were a product of throwing the ball 70 times; yes you read that correctly, 70 freaking times. To put that in even more prospective, Fafaul has completed 68 completions on the season. UCLA has abandoned the run game completely. It has been absolutely atrocious all year but throwing away every running play is not a recipe for success. UCLA needs to run the ball successfully against Colorado to have a chance at the upset. Fafaul will also need to stop turning the ball over if the game is to be close. But, traveling to Colorado, on a Thursday night, with a backup quarterback… things might get ugly fast for the Bruins. Especially if the defense lays an egg again.
The UCLA defense got flat out embarrassed in their last game against Utah. Joe Williams exposed the defense and may have given teams a blueprint on how to attack the defense. The most important factor in the game will be the ability to stop the run for the Bruins. Colorado only put up 10 points against Stanford who’s defense is just as good as UCLA’s. Turnovers will have to come for the Bruins to stay in the game but relying on turnovers to keep you in the game is not the best method of playing. The eater of worlds, Takk McKinley, and the defensive line need to clog up the holes and cannot be bullied by Colorado’s line. If they can’t stop the run and don’t force turnovers then Ralphie is going to run all over the Bruins.
My hopes for this game are very low. The roles have been reversed from what I expected this game in the beginning of the year. Colorado is No. 15 and control their own fate in the Pac-12 South. UCLA will try and play spoiler for this game and the rest of their games in the season. Unfortunately, Joe Bruin won’t be raining on any parade today. Colorado will roll to a 28-3 win and we’re going to continue to talk about how poor UCLA has played and potential Jim Mora hot seat talk.