Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grading the No. 21 'Dogs (3-1) at UCLA (1-3)

Quarterbacks: A-
Watching game film shows just how much game control and confidence Brandstater had while enduring big hit after big hit; after slow start (including batted pass that was intercepted) he was unstoppable.

Running Backs: A
Against possibly the best defensive front the 'Dogs have faced, Mathews rips UCLA for 166 yards and adds a 25-yard TD catch highlighted by his hurdle of an ex-Edison High player.

Receivers: A
How can you give 'em anything else the way they stepped up with injuries to Wylie, Crawley and now Moore? West looked better than he ever has with 5 catches for 69 yards and a TD, Ajirotutu had 5 for 67 and Bear Pascoe 5 for 33 and a TD. But the biggest catch of the day was true freshman Evans for a first down on 3rd and 4.

Offensive Line: B
Too many false starts and holds, but outmanned UCLA in the running game (team averaged 5.2 per carry). Though he took some hits, Brandstater was able to stay in the pocket most of the game.

Defensive Line: C
Monga's absence hurt, but Harrell showed great growth and Stuart and Lewis both had their best games as Bulldogs.Rebounded after poor first quarter, but was only good in spurts. Lost containment too many times in fourth quarter and allowed far too many rushing yards by the opposing QB Craft. Roughing the passer call on Banks was mighty questionable.

Linebackers: C+
Carter is officially a stud at the position and led the team with 10 tackles. He is aggressive, fast and all over the field. Jacobs had a surprisingly quiet game and got tangled up by a pulling guard on a key play or two.

Defensive Backs: A
Made Bruins wideouts work hard for catches and held the passing game at bay for the most part. Haynes saw increased playing time and stood out again. Replays showed Harding might very well have been robbed of an interception, and Owens' interception was negated by an iffy roughing penalty on Banks.

Special Teams: D
Kick/punt coverage was so bad the unit can't get higher than a D. Plus Jefferson botched his only return opportunity. Moore provided the biggest highlight with a 63-yard TD return on UCLA's first punt less than a minute into the game.

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