2016-17 Football Previews – (Pac-12) – Bruins
Looking for 2016 UCLA Bruins predictions? The UCLA Bruins went 8-5 during the 2015 season while going 5-4 in the Pac-12 South. That was good enough for third in the division and the sixth-best record in the conference. This year, UCLA enters as the No. 24 team in the country, per the Coaches Poll. Four Pac-12 teams rank above them — the Oregon Ducks (22), the Washington Huskies (18), the USC Trojans (17) and the Stanford Cardinal (7).
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2016-17 College Football Preview – UCLA Bruins
Head Coach: Jim Mora
2015 Record: 8–5 (5–4 Pac-12)
UCLA Bruins Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: 60/1
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2016 UCLA Bruins Predictions: Team Strengths
UCLA had the unfortunate task of playing the 2016 campaign without its top three defenders most of the year. This season, the team returns nine starters on that side of the football, which will be an immensely important factor when it comes to both immediate and late-season success.
In particular, the secondary will be a strong suit for this group.
On offense, the team doesn’t have the luxury of bringing back more than half of its lineup. It does, however, have the 2015 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in Josh Rosen (he also earned Freshman All-American honors).
On the year, Rosen completed 3,670 yards and 23 touchdowns. He tossed 11 interceptions, completed 60 percent of his passes and has a chance to be known as one of the nation’s most gifted players at his position with a strong season.
2016 UCLA Bruins Predictions: Team Weaknesses
UCLA’s secondary was strong last year, but this group needs to see more production in terms of run defense. The team was 35th in 2015 in terms of defensive efficiency and 39th in passing yards allowed, but the run defense was just 88th in the nation, allowing 2,254 yards on the year.
As a whole, the Bruins ranked 58th in total yards allowed — a ranking that would have been stronger had it not been for a poor run defense.
On offense, the team is looking to replace a slew of starters. Among those who are gone is leading rusher Paul Perkins. The tailback handled the ball on the ground 237 times (the second-leading rusher carried it just 66 times) for a total of 1,343 yards (5.7 AVG) and 14 touchdowns. He also caught 30 receptions for 242 yards and one score.
The offensive line is going seeing some turnover, returning just two starters from last year’s roster. Expect the Bruins to utilize the pass more this season with all of the replacements getting set in the rotation both in the backfield and on the line.
UCLA Bruins 2016 Prediction: (9-3)
If UCLA can put it all together, this could be a 10-win team. That said, the offensive turnover isn’t going to make life easy on Rosen, which is why we can expect a few shaky moments for all involved throughout the year.
In terms of schedule, this team has a favorable one. However, it opens up the year against a Texas A&M team that has one of the top edge rushers in the country, which will put all of the aforementioned positions with new starters in a tough situation.
Overall, nine wins is a safe guess for this group. It would be disappointing for this team if it loses more than three contests; it would be an especially strong — but not entirely unexpected — showing if it can hit 10 wins.
2016 UCLA Bruins Football Schedule
- Saturday, Sept. 3 @ Texas A&M – 3:30 PM ET
- Saturday, Sept. 10 vs. UNLV – 8:00 PM ET
- Saturday, Sept. 17 @ BYU – 10:15 PM ET
- Saturday, Sept. 24 vs. Stanford – TBD
- Saturday, Oct. 1 vs. Arizona – TBD
- Saturday, Oct. 8 @ Arizona State – TBD
- Saturday, Oct. 15 @ Washington St. – TBD
- Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Utah – TBD
- Thursday, Nov. 3 @ Colorado – 9:00 PM ET
- Saturday, Nov. 12 vs. Oregon State – TBD
- Saturday, Nov. 19 vs. USC – TBD
- Saturday, Nov. 26 @ California – TBD
What do you think about our 2016 UCLA Bruins predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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