The UCLA Bruins were able to hang onto a victory against the Virginia Cavaliers but were outplayed for a majority of the game. The offense struggled to move the ball and faced constant pressure due to difficulties on the offensive line. The defense created some big plays, but were on the field for long periods of time and couldn’t sustain the energy. But the Bruins did what was needed and got the win, and can still be considered contenders for postseason play.
The Bruins’ biggest struggle was on the offensive line, where they were thoroughly dominated by the Cavaliers’ defensive front. The unit often looked lost and was unable to protect star quarterback Brett Hundley and open up holes for the running backs. However, they were missing two key starters and should continue to get better despite the poor showing. Hundley did not have his best game either, often looking panicked in the pocket, but came alive late in the game and will only get better as the season progresses.
The defense was a dominant unit, and will be relied on to come up with big plays all season. They forced three turnovers and scored three touchdowns, displaying speed and athleticism at every level. Their front seven will be terrific, as they have many outstanding players who should compete for postseason honors. Their secondary made some crucial plays late in the game and possess enough talent to match up with the strong offenses that they will face later on.
Even though the Bruins didn’t put forth their best performance, they did enough to come away with the victory. Their offense had a poor game, but will improve and show that they are an exciting, high-scoring unit with a Heisman candidate leading the way. Their defense is terrifying, and will only get better as their younger players continue to get more experience. The team will definitely need to improve on today’s game, but they can still be considered championship contenders.