Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Pac-12 Sports
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

» E-mail Kurt Kragthorpe

» E-mail Kyle Goon

» Subscribe (RSS)




UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (17) passes the ball against Utah in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Pac-12: Expectations sky-high for Brett Hundley, UCLA

It gets easier, sure. UCLA has maybe the most difficult schedule in the country this year.

But there may be no time like the present for Jim Mora and the Bruins to fulfill some hefty expecations. Conference championship? Seems reasonable. College Football Playoff? Why not?

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Here's the evidence: There's a strong corps of linebackers, including last year's freshman sensation Myles Jack. The secondary returns almost all of its starters. They've got talent and experinece on the offensive line, weapons at the skill positions, and maybe the next Heisman winner under center.

"We've got a difficult schedule, an exciting schedule," Mora said at Pac-12 media days. "A very challenging schedule that we're going to embrace fully. Lot of expectations out there as I've read for our team, but none of that matters. What matters are our expectations for ourselves."

Of course, for themselves, that expectation is high. That happens when you win 19 games in two seasons, and bring in three straight top-20 ranked recruiting classes.

Maybe no one UCLA player embodies the potential for UCLA quite like returning quarterback Brett Hundley, who is preparing for his third starting season in an offensive system that has made him a star. Big, athletic, and blessed with a strong arm, Hundley has thrown for more than 6,800 yards with 53 touchdowns during his career.

Some thought he might leave for the NFL last year, but he came back to help guide UCLA to a Pac-12 championship, which so far has escaped Mora's Bruins. They also wouldn't mind a win over Stanford after going 0-3 against the Cardinal in the last three years.

There's question marks for this team, especially in a defensive front that is looking to replace its pass rushing presence from last year. But UCLA is on a mission. Hundley didn't want to leave yet to fulfill that mission, and Mora certainly isn't going anywhere anytime soon, he said.

"I'm staying there until they kick me out," he said. "That might be tomorrow, who knows. I've been kicked out before. But I'm staying until they kick me out."

***

2013 IN REVIEW • 10-3, 6-3 in Pac-12, beat Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl

RETURNING STARTERS • 13 total (7 offense, 5 defense, 1 specialist)

TOP RETURNING PLAYER • No point dancing around it: Brett Hundley is the leader of the offense, a dynamic player who makes things happen with his arm but is also hard to bring down in the backfield or when he cuts to run. A Heisman candidate, Hundley shoulders much of the Bruins' hopes of making the College Football Playoff this year.

BIGGEST QUESTION MARK • Can the Bruins stop the run? Replacing four of your front seven is never an easy task, especially when one of those players is Anthony Barr. While it helps UCLA to have Myles Jack playing linebacker full time now, the issue remains a pressing one. Even with Barr, the Bruins were No. 71 in run defense last year - not

SCHEDULE OUTLOOK • This one starts out with winnable games against Virginia and Memphis that aren't exactly cakewalks. Things really get interesting in Week 3, with a date in Texas, followed immediately by a grudge match with Arizona State that could well end up determining the South Division champ. One huge plus for UCLA is its biggest games are all in Pasadena: Oregon, USC and Stanford all have to play in the Rose Bowl this year. UCLA has some incredibly tough games to play, but the stage is set for the team to take its next step under Jim Mora: winning the conference.

Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats gear up for Cal
» UA football: Former SDSU QB commits to Arizona
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Pueblo turns to ex-UA standouts for coaching help
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Confident Mike Bercovici takes over as ASU's starting QB
» Boivin: Move a good sign for ASU athletics
» ASU QB Kelly expected to miss 1-2 games
» Is ambiguity over injury disservice to fans?

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Oakland Soldiers set tone for college basketball recruiting in Bay Area
» Cal-Colorado game set for 1 p.m. kickoff
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion
» Colorado holds heads high after 38-24 loss to No. 16 Arizona State

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Oregon Ducks release 2014-2015 men's basketball schedule
» Walter Thurmond, New York Giants CB, out for season with torn pectoral muscle
» Marcus Mariota takes a golf break, then starts preparing for Washington State Cougars (video)

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara
» Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Marcus Peters back with Huskies after sitting out one game
» Washington begins Pac-12 play at California
» Video: UW's Chris Petersen on Marcus Peters, Cyler Miles, Georgia State and more
» UW quarterback Cyler Miles was 'honored' to be named team captain against Illinois

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» WSU men's basketball schedule revealed
» Video: Cyrus Coen, Dom Williams and Toni Pole
» Video: Mike Leach during Monday press conference
» Cougars must make the most of every opportunity



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
 
Jobs
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.