The UCLA football team is coming off a statement win against Nebraska and is rapidly approaching the most difficult stretch of their season with games against Cal, Stanford, and Oregon. This week against New Mexico State will be nothing more than a warm up week for the Bruins.
The Aggies of New Mexico State are a struggling program to say the least. They are 0-3 this year, losing by an average margin of 31 points, and none of their opponents have been ranked.
With a weak passing game and an even weaker running game, the Bruins should have no problem shutting down the Aggies from the defensive side. This will be a much-needed game for coach Jim Mora to get in more freshmen and get more reps for young defensive starters.
The young secondary will need to focus on making sure they are clear on coverages and schemes for this week in preparation for the top passing team in the country in Cal coming up next week.
The Aggies’ defense has been allowing an average of 47 points in their three games so far, and UCLA will be the most dynamic defense they’ve seen yet by far. Expect offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone to repeat a lot of plays we’ve already seen and perfect the simple stuff in this game. It will almost seem like a practice for the Bruins’ offense.
Like the defense, Mora will probably use this game to work in some young running backs and wide receivers. He will need offensive depth in the next coming weeks. The Bruins won’t risk showing anything too complex and new that they could surprise Oregon or Stanford with.
While there is almost no chance that the Bruins come out so focused on the weeks ahead to lose, it is still key for the Bruins to take this game to seriously prepare for the coming weeks and do what they came to do. Get better and win football games.