1. Richard Brehaut, who did the yeoman's share of the work in the Bruins' unfortunate loss to Arizona State, slinging the ball 321 yards and racking up three touchdown passes against the Sun Devils. Bruins Nation thinks there may finally be light at the end of the Pistol barrel:
I can finally see the emergence of a dynamic offense at UCLA that can both pass and run. I think this must have been the plan all along, but I didn't see any signs of it until the Arizona and Oregon St. games, but the Arizona St. game is a big jump in offensive performance from those games. The offense was the biggest problem with this team, and there wasn't any indication that it was going to get fixed any time soon. And maybe there is some luck involved in the emergence of Richard Brehaut as a result of injury. But I don't think it is unrealistic to think that this is the offense of our future that we should see with consistency next year.
2. UCLA's receivers. Brehaut had to have help rolling those yards up, and he hasn't always gotten it this season.
3. Robert Woods. USC's freshman receiver recorded a team-high 81 yards' worth of catches Saturday; they're obviously still unused to each other, but Woods' ability to make plays with Mitch Mustain bodes well for next week's rivalry game against the Bruins. Speaking of which:
4. Mitch Mustain? After the rust came off, the kid looked serviceable. He's not going to be the next Matt Cassel, but his 20/37, 177-yard performance should avert disaster against UCLA, particularly given the way the Bruins have been mis-scheming on defense this season.
5. USC's defense. All of it. The depth chart on this side of the ball is riddled with holes and inexperience, and the Trojans are still in year one of a new defensive installation. But at one point, by a fast count, Notre Dame was fielding five replacement skill players on offense, including a freshman quarterback. They ought to have been dismal, but heading into halftime, the Fighting Irish offense managed a 62-yard drive in 37 seconds.
6. USC's offensive capitalization. The Trojans could make takeaways happen, but couldn't make anything of them. Four Notre Dame turnovers led to the following scoreboard windfalls: field goal, field goal, touchdown (that was helped by the recoverer being downed at the 2-yard line), field goal.
7. USC's playcalling. Conquest Chronicles is perturbed:
Why not run the ball? What is he so afraid of in these games? Why does he hamstring this team with his conservative play calling? Kiffin is making it difficult for us to support him when he constantly mismanages the clock and his personnel.
8. UCLA's pass defense. "Trending down" isn't even the term for it, not when Brock Osweiler threw four touchdowns and recorded almost 400 yards.
9. UCLA's run defense. Not to belabor this point for the umpteenth week in a row, but 147 yards of the Sun Devils' ground game Saturday came from one single back named Cameron Mitchell.
10. Chuck Bullough's job prospects. Bruins Nation, not surprisingly, has about had it with their DC:
Bullough needs to be canned: fundamentally flawed scheming, poor to no in game adjustments, Dorellian mismanagement of talent and developing talent, conservatism.