2017 Football Preview – Pac-12 – UCLA Bruins
Looking for 2017 UCLA Bruins predictions? The Bruins had one of the uglier seasons they’ve suffered in recent years in 2016. Between injuries and inefficiency, the Bruins struggled to stay afloat. This year, they are hoping things will be different. While the defense had some key losses, a potentially explosive offense returns almost all of its playmakers.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
- 2017-18 College Football Preview – UCLA Bruins
- Head Coach: Jim Mora
- 2017 Record: 4-8
- UCLA Bruins Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: +6600
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With USC looking like the team to beat in the South, can UCLA play spoiler and take that spot for themselves?
2017 UCLA Bruins Predictions: Team Strengths
Josh Rosen Is Healthy: Last season’s issues could’ve been caused by a lot of factors. Most people, though, will say it was the loss of Josh Rosen to a shoulder injury.
While Mike Fafaul came in and did a decent job of filling in, he was NOT Rosen-like, which the offense counts on.
Everyone saw what Rosen could do in 2015 and how high his ceiling is. Coming back 100% with all of his playmakers returning is the best case scenario outside of protection.
In 2015, Rosen threw for 3670 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He completed 60% of his passes and finished with a 134.3 rating. In 2016, rosen played in the team’s first 6 games, tallying 1915 yards, 10 touchdowns, 5 interceptions with a 59.3% completion percentage and a rating of 138.9.
Rosen was a highly touted prospect coming into college. He did not disappoint in 2015 and until his injury, he was primed to outdo that production last season. If he can stay healthy this season, UCLA will look like a completely different beast in the Pac-12 South.
Playmakers: The 3-headed monster in the backfield are back this season as well as the team’s top two receivers from last season.
While there is some criticism of the production last season, Soso Jamabo, Nate Starks and Bolu Olorunfunmi are back and ready to play a bigger role in the offense.
Darren Andrews and Jordan Lasley are back as well. They combined for 96 receptions, 1329 yards and 9 touchdowns. The success of these two position groups as well as Rosen will highly depend on the offensive line.
2017 UCLA Bruins Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Achilles Heel: UCLA’s offensive line seems to be their downfall more often than not. Key injuries caused by lack of protection have plagued this team and last season was no different.
Losing their starting quarterback hurt bad enough, but then not being able to create many opportunities for the running backs halted offensive production even more.
The lone bright spot is David Quessenberry, who was miraculously named to the All-Conference team last season. Outside of him, though, this unit will need to find it within themselves to not be the reason for a collapse this season.
That three headed attack in the backfield combined for just over 950 yards and no 100-point games behind the offensive line that also allowed 25 sacks on Bruin quarterbacks.
The small silver lining in it all is that the offensive line only lost 1 player last season, meaning that even though they didn’t live up to expectations, this unit is coming into this season with quite a bit of experience.
If this line can be anywhere near as good as they were able to protect Rosen in 2015, this offense will have the potential to keep up with the rest of the Pac-12.
UCLA Bruins Prediction: 7-5
One of the tougher schedules in the conference, UCLA is going to have some big opponents on deck.
In fact, outside of starting the season off with Texas A&M, the Bruins will have to play the 3 favored teams to win the Pac-12 in USC, Washington and Stanford. And play all the three on the road.
While anything is possible in the Pac-12, those are some pretty tough hurdles to jump over. Even with a fully healthy Josh Rosen and a line that does their job somewhat decently, the odds are stacked against the Bruins.
If the offensive production increases and the defense stands pat, the Bruins could make it a 2 team race in the south for the division title.
2017 UCLA Bruins Football Schedule
- 9/2/17 7:30 PM ET TAM
- 9/9/17 5:00 PM ET HAW
- 9/16/17 12:00 PM ET @MEM
- 9/23/17 TBD @STAN
- 9/30/17 TBD COLO
- 10/14/17 TBD @ARIZ
- 10/21/17 TBD ORE
- 10/28/17 TBD @WASH
- 11/3/17 TBD @UTAH
- 11/11/17 TBD ASU
- 11/18/17 TBD @USC
- 11/24/17 TBD CAL
What do you think about our 2017 UCLA Bruins predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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