We’ve been waiting for this day since the clock hit triple zero against Cal.
UCLA had its worse season since 2010 and for their fans, their coaches, and their team’s sake they have to improve. The Bruins have the pieces to become a successful team this year but if the pieces do not come together then it could be another rough season for the Bruins. They start the new season with a familiar foe.
The Texas A&M Aggies will make the lengthy travel to Pasadena in the rematch from UCLA’s overtime loss in College Station. Both teams have questions marks coming into the season and both coaches will be excited to see what their teams look like going into the new season.
The Bruins come into the season as a bounce back contender with an improve defense and another year of their controversial star quarterback, Josh Rosen. The two most important elements of success for a football team is a great quarterback and a solid head coach.
Rosen can be that great quarterback if he stays upright. He will be NFL bound after this season and could possibly be the second quarterback taken. This we know, we all fully expect Rosen to be a great but there several unknowns about the offense. The offensive line doesn’t have Myles Garrett to deal with but the Aggies defensive line is no joke.
For those of you who do not know, no quarterback can be effective if he’s flat on his back. Rosen will need time to operate and dissect opposing defenses. We also don’t know what the offense will actually look like. If you did not know, UCLA has hired another offensive coordinator. Jedd Fisch will attempt to take this lackluster offense into one of the best in the nation. Somewhat like what the Texas A&M’s offense coordinator did when he was in Westwood.
Noel Mazzone makes his return back to Pasadena in his second season with the Aggies. He took Trevor Knight, a decent college quarterback, into one of the best in the SEC. Mazzone’s high tempo offense will be an issue for the Bruins, especially with the talent that they have in the skill positions. UCLA lost their best defensive player in Takk McKinley to the NFL draft but he is replaced with five star super prospect, Jaelan Phillips.
Phillips comes in as the highest rated recruit in the past three years. He could slide into McKinley’s role and be a freak on the edge for the Bruins defense. His combination of size and speed is downright scary. We could look up at the end of the year and see Phillips as an All-American.
The Aggies still have a question mark at quarterback and head coach Kevin Sumlin still hasn’t tipped his hand on who is taking the start on Sunday. This Bruins team will look to come out with a hot start to their season to quite the critics early. Rosen has to play well for the scouts and Mora could be coaching for his job.
All this considered, I am predicting a 31-21 UCLA victory in their home opener.