Ranked for the first time since 2007, UCLA heads to Houston looking to prove that their new era is for real with a dominant win over the Cougars. SB Nation's UCLA blog Bruins Nation has an in-depth look at the Cougar offense and defense, highlighting keys to the game for the Bruins.
On offense, they highlight Houston's potential for explosive offense:
Losing the NCAA's all-time passing leader in [Case] Keenum is a big loss, but So. Dave Piland (6'3 192 lbs.) should be just fine. He played as a true freshman after Keenum and then back-up Cotton Turner suffered injuries, throwing for roughly 330 ypg including 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He redshirted last season, watching Keenum break records in the process. This year, Piland has taken all the snaps, and has 791 passing yards with 5 touchdowns and only 1 interception.
Check out the full offensive breakdown for much much more. With Houston's defense, they highlight the linebacking corps:
Overall, it's a small, quick unit that relies on speed over power. While the numbers have not been great this year, this is a unit with good physical ability and lateral quickness. The leader of the unit is Sr. Phillip Steward (6'2 220 lbs.), who will play on the strongside. Steward is second on the team with 26 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. He's good in coverage too, as evidenced by last year's 6 interceptions to go along with his 77 tackles. On the weakside, So. Derrick Matthews (6'0 207 lbs.) starts and is backed up by Jr. George Bamfo (5'11 211 lbs.). Matthews leads the team in tackles with 27, and also has 7 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.
The defensive line, secondary, and special teams are all discussed in the full post.