12 September 2008

Quick UCLA post

My laptop's AC adaptor died two nights ago (third one in four years), so I've been computer-less since then. Posting will be sporadic until I get a replacement.

UCLA is scary. While my readers seem to disagree (see poll), here are the two main reasons I feel this way.

1. UCLA's strength, their defense, is perfectly suited to stop BYU's strength, its offense.

2. Their weakness, the passing game, is perfectly suited to take advantage of BYU's weakness, the secondary.

UCLA displayed the ability to shut down Hall, Unga and co. in the Vegas Bowl last year. Their defensive line was very impressive against Tennessee, getting pressure on the quarterback and stopping run plays without blitz support.

If the Bruins' d-linemen can blow up Unga in the backfield (see: Vegas Bowl) and put Hall on his back 10 or 12 times this game, the Cougars are in deep trouble.

And if Kevin Craft can get the kind of time to find receivers that Locker did last Saturday, he'll look a lot more like the Craft from the second half of the Tennessee game than the Craft from the first half of that same game.

My recommendations for BYU:

1. Blitz Craft. Bring linebackers early and often. Rattle him, get the crowd excited so they can get loud and confuse him. If the Cougars play "bend-not-break" defense the majority of the game, UCLA will score a lot.

2. Use screen plays on offense. UCLA's defense will be bringing it full speed ahead. The best way to counter that are by screens, draws and misdirection. I have faith in our offensive line, but this is the best defensive front BYU will face all year, and it'll take more than talent to score on them enough to win.

In short, I see this game being a low-scoring affair. If there was ever a game where BYU's defense needs to create a couple turnovers, this is it.

Prediction: BYU 14, UCLA 10


Josh said...

No Bruce Davis. But still. You remember SDSU, 2006 right? Craft got picked off when he ran out of the pocket. But UCLA is better. We need to get the crowd into the game

I'll be as loud as I can

LaPaube said...

Goes to show how unpredictable the game can be.

Herbstreit picked against BYU, I can definitely see he has something against them. After the 59-0 today, it will be interesting to see if it comes up during his commentary of the USC game.