clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UCLA vs. Utah: What to watch for on defense

New, 1 comment

The UCLA Bruins face the Utah Utes at home, looking to rebound from their 43-17 loss to Cal. They're favored over Utah, but like any team, they'll need the right gameplan to win.

Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

The UCLA Bruins continue their up-and-down season on Saturday with a home game against the Utah Utes. The Bruins are 8-2 all-time against the Utes, but Utah has won the previous two games in the series by a combined score of 75-12. If UCLA wants to bounce back from their 43-17 loss to Cal, they'll need to limit turnovers on offense and have another big day from Johnathan Franklin, but the defensive game plan is a bit more complicated.

SB Nation's UCLA Blog Bruins Nation has a detailed breakdown of what to expect from the Utah offense and coaching staff, including insight on where their passing game stands:

Last year, Utah jumped at the chance to sign Norm Chow and transformed for a spread offense to a West Coast offense. After one disappointing season, Chow moved on to the University of Hawaii and I doubt many in Salt Lake City are mourning the loss. In his place, Brian Johnson has been promoted from quarterbacks coach and now is one of if not the youngest coordinators in the country. Some of you may remember him playing quarterback for the Utes – it wasn't very long ago. The results thus far have been a mixed bag. Utah is currently 112th in total offense, 117th in rushing offense, 102nd in passing offense, and 89th in scoring offense, but have only turned the ball over seven times despite replacing their starting quarterback.

Utah's rushing game is struggling, with senior running back John White averaging just 60 yards per game. As Bruins Nation points out, the offensive line is the key there:

The Utah offensive line only returns two starters from last year, and lost both starting tackles to graduation. Utah has given up 12 sacks and 33 tackles for loss this year in their five games, and as mentioned above, are really struggling to run the ball this year.

They also break down what you'll see from Utes quarterbacks and in the receiving corps, so head over and check out the full post.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube