By Brendan Patel on August 19, 2014
The UCLA Bruins are heading into the upcoming season with high expectations, as they find themselves ranked in the top 10 in several polls. The team is loaded with talent, but still must navigate through the Pac-12 to have a shot at a post-season berth. Here are five questions entering the 2014 season.
The offensive line has had their fair share of struggles in the past couple of years, but they now have the experience to put it all together. Playing multiple underclassmen in the past should pay dividends for the team heading forward, as this may be the best offensive line that UCLA has had in years.
Brett Hundley is an early candidate for the Heisman Trophy as well as being a top pick in next year’s draft. He has a great arm, is intelligent in the pocket, and can make plays with his legs. A big season from their star quarterback could mean a big year for the Bruins.
Anthony Barr, Cassius Marsh and Jordan Zumwalt all graduated, and players will need to step up to fill the void. Luckily, the team is extremely deep in the front seven and should have enough talent to be an elite defense. The secondary might be the best group in the conference, and many of them received extensive playing time as underclassmen.
The Bruins lost arguably their three biggest games last season to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State with a bid to the conference championship game on the line. This year they have a difficult schedule, but do get Oregon, Stanford and USC at home. They must win their big games in order to have a shot at the postseason.
If UCLA wants to become an elite program, than this is the year to make a statement. They get their toughest games at home, have a Heisman candidate at quarterback, and are loaded with talent on defense. Mora has done an excellent job of changing the culture at UCLA, and seems ready to take the program to a new level.
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