Averaging 39.8 points per game, the UCLA offense is one that opposing defenses loathe facing. The difficulty in preparing for the Bruins’ offense begins with quarterback Brett Hundley’s ability to extend plays and force defensive coordinators to game plan around that ability.
“He’s elusive and faster than you think,” Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said after Tuesday’s practice. “He can make some plays with his feet and extend plays. Whenever a quarterback can do that it’s tough.”
Coming off a loss to Pac-12 foe Stanford, the Bruins enter the road game against Oregon on a sour note. Their offense, which was touted as one of the best in the nation, ran into an angry, stingy Cardinal defense and failed to deliver. Stanford took away the Bruins’ capability to create any momentum in the run game and forced the ball into the hands of their sophomore quarterback. However, Hundley looked uncomfortable and frustrated while constantly evading Stanford’s pass rush.
It doesn’t get any easier for UCLA going up against the 12th-ranked Oregon defense this weekend. While taking away from Stanford’s defensive game plan is something for Aliotti and the Oregon defense to examine, they won’t stray away from their normal scheme.
“We do something similar to Stanford,” Aliotti said. “We do what we do on defense because that allows us to play fast.”
When the Bruins feature a balanced attack, Hundley thrives. In that environment, he becomes the key to a successful offensive day for the Bruins.
“I think Hundley (is the most dangerous part of the UCLA offense),” Aliotti said. “They also have a good running game, and they have good receivers because they have good athletes. They have a lot of weapons.”
UCLA’s high scoring output can also be accredited to their ability to play an uptempo game and catch opposing defenses off guard. Luckily for the Ducks, that fast playing style is something that they’re used to facing on a daily basis in practice.
“Up tempo should not bother us because we practice against it all the time,” Aliotti said. “Hopefully that’s not ever a factor.”
True freshman outside linebacker Torrodney Prevot has been a player that’s been gaining a lot more playing time as the season progresses. The mixture of speed and size that Prevot possesses is the exact skill set needed to get after a quarterback like Hundley this weekend.
“The coaches know my ability, and they try and use it as much as possible,” Prevot said about playing against a mobile quarterback. “He likes to scramble a lot and he’s a great runner.”