Nov 21, 2020; Eugene, Oregon, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa (92) sacks Oregon Ducks quarterback Tyler Shough (12) during the first half at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks won 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

UCLA to unleash improved defense vs. Arizona

If there are signs of life for UCLA in its third season under Chip Kelly, it’s because of an attacking defense.

The Bruins (1-2, 1-2 Pac-12) aren’t far away from a much shinier record, having lost by six points at Colorado in their opener and by a field goal last weekend at Oregon. UCLA gave up 38 points to the then-No. 11 Ducks but had 10 tackles for loss, including four sacks.

On Saturday in Pasadena, the Bruins will try to hound visiting Arizona (0-2, 0-2), which went scoreless for three quarters at Washington last Saturday before scoring four fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 44-27 loss.

Using a new 4-2-5 scheme, UCLA is tied for eighth nationally in tackles for loss at 8.5 per game. Against the Ducks, outside linebacker Mitchell Agude posted 2.5 tackles for loss, while lineman Osa Odighizuwa and linebacker Carl Jones each came up with 1.5 sacks.

“Part of our plan was to kind of let those guys and the Osas of the world pin their ears back and let them play and really capitalize on their athleticism,” said coach Chip Kelly, whose team also held Oregon to 88 rushing yards.

“I was really proud of them. And to come up short the way we did, it’s hard, but if they continue to play hard, we’re going to have a shot.”

UCLA was missing several players last week, including starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, due to COVID-19 positive tests and contact tracing. His status for this week’s game at the Rose Bowl was unknown early in the week.

He was replaced last week by 5-foot-11 redshirt freshman Chase Griffin, who went 19 of 31 for 195 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, including a pick-six. He also lost a fumble.

UCLA — which went 7-17 in Kelly’s first two seasons — has committed four turnovers in each of its losses. Question is: Will that be an issue this week? The Arizona defense is still looking for its first takeaway of the season.

Moreover, Arizona has merely one sack in two games.

The Wildcats beat UCLA 20-17 last season as part of a 4-1 start, but they have since lost a school-record nine consecutive games. Third-year coach Kevin Sumlin said Monday it’s unfair to put the burden of all that losing on his current team.

“There’s a lot of guys that played Saturday night that have lost (just) two games. It’s a different football team,” he said.

“The losing streak, for me, is different. I’m the common denominator in there. There’s a hell of a lot of players who were playing Saturday night that had nothing to do with last year. I mean, a lot. You (can) just lump that on me, because in the end my name is on it.”

Quarterback Grant Gunnell is 0-5 as a starter, including three games as an injury replacement last season, but the sophomore is considered one of the team’s bright spots. He has completed 51 of 75 passes for 545 yards, six touchdowns and one interception this season.

He has been sacked nine times, another area that doesn’t seem to bode well this week against an aggressive UCLA front. Sumlin suggested he might revamp his offensive line this week.

“It’s not the best five individual players, it’s the best five that play together, that communicate,” he said. “(Former Purdue coach) Joe Tiller was a line coach and he used to say, ‘You’re not looking for five pennies, you’re looking for a nickel.'”

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Vanderbilt +1 -107

Hawaii -1 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Duquesne

Florida State

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Florida A&M

North Carolina

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Wyoming +8.5 -110

Illinois -8.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nebraska -10.5 -107

Northwestern +10.5 -107

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

UCONN +29.5 -110

Utah State (24) -29.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Nevada -16.5 -110

New Mexico State +16.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Austin Peay

WKU

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

Charlotte +5.5 -110

Florida Atlantic -5.5 -110

@

Aug 27th, 3:33 PM

North Texas -4 -107

UTEP +4 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Northern Arizona

Arizona State

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Central Michigan +19 -110

Oklahoma State (7) -19 -110

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

West Virginia +7.5 -107

Pittsburgh (13) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

VMI

Wake Forest (15)

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

New Mexico State +37.5 -107

Minnesota -37.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Penn State -3.5 -107

Purdue +3.5 -107

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Cal Poly

Fresno State

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

St. Francis-PA

Akron

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

South Carolina State

UCF

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Bryant

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 1st, 3:33 PM

Alabama A&M

UAB

@

Sep 1st, 7:00 PM

Ball State +27.5 -110

Tennessee -27.5 -110

@

Sep 1st, 8:00 PM

LA Tech +16 -107

Missouri -16 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

TCU -9 -107

Colorado +9 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Temple +6.5 -107

Duke -6.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Virginia Tech -7.5 -107

Old Dominion +7.5 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Illinois +3.5 +103

Indiana -3.5 +103

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Western Michigan +20 -107

Michigan State (9) -20 -107

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

William & Mary

Charlotte

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee Tech

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (22) +16.5 -107

Georgia (1) -16.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Utah State (24) +31.5 -107

Alabama (2) -31.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Cincinnati (4) +7.5 -107

Arkansas (21) -7.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Mercer

Auburn

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Utah (12) +1.5 -107

Florida -1.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Miami-OH +20 -110

Kentucky (18) -20 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Memphis +11.5 -107

Mississippi State -11.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Troy +21.5 -110

Ole Miss (11) -21.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Georgia State +11 -110

South Carolina -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Sam Houston State

Texas A&M

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Elon

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Arizona +10 -110

San Diego State (25) -10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

UC Davis

California

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Boise State +2.5 -110

Oregon State -2.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Colgate

Stanford

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Bowling Green +3 -110

UCLA -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Rice +33.5 -107

USC -33.5 -107

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Kent State +23.5 -110

Washington -23.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Idaho

Washington State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Southeast Missouri State

Iowa State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

South Dakota

Kansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

UTEP +39 -110

Oklahoma (10) -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Albany-NY

Baylor (5)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +39 -110

Texas -39 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Murray State

Texas Tech

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Rutgers +9 -110

Boston College -9 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Bethune-Cookman

Miami-FL

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

NC State (20) -10 -110

East Carolina +10 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

North Carolina -4 -110

Appalachian State +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Louisville -2.5 -110

Syracuse +2.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Richmond

Virginia

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

South Dakota State

Iowa (23)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Buffalo +20.5 -110

Maryland -20.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Colorado State +30 -110

Michigan (3) -30 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

North Dakota

Nebraska

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Illinois State

Wisconsin

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Houston (17) -6.5 -110

UTSA +6.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Central Connecticut State

UCONN

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Massachusetts +31.5 -110

Tulane -31.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Army +3 -110

Coastal Carolina -3 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Northern Iowa

Air Force

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Maine

New Mexico

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Tulsa -2 -110

Wyoming +2 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

WKU -7 -105

Hawaii +7 -105

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Texas State +11 -110

Nevada -11 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Portland State

San Jose State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Idaho State

UNLV

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Delaware

Navy

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

SMU -7.5 -110

North Texas +7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

BYU (19) -13 -110

USF +13 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Liberty -4 -110

Southern Miss +4 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Middle Tennessee +4.5 -110

James Madison -4.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Morgan State

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Grambling State

Arkansas State

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Florida Atlantic -1 -110

Ohio +1 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Nicholls State

South Alabama

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Eastern Illinois

NIU

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

LIU

Toledo

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Southeastern Louisiana

Louisiana-Lafayette (16)

@

Sep 3rd, 3:33 PM

Norfolk State

Marshall

@

Sep 3rd, 7:30 PM

Notre Dame (8) +13.5 -107

Ohio State (6) -13.5 -107

@