In a 38-13 win, the Bruins dominated Stanford on both sides of the ball. It was too easy for the offense as Zach Charbonnet totaled his highest yardage this year with 259 yards from scrimmage. The Bruins travel to face Arizona State next week, let’s break down some notes from the win.
Dorian Thompson Robinson
This was an interesting outing for Thompson as he didn’t look like the stellar quarterback but he wasn’t terrible either. He finished the game with 199 passing yards and rushed for 50 yards and a score. He had some issues throwing with anticipation and at times tried to force it to receivers in tight coverage. If DTR was on rhythm the entire night, they could have easily put up 3+ more scores. His biggest flaw this game was his ability to throw off platform as Stanford was pressuring him all night. He relied on his arm talent a bit too much at times and made his receivers highpoint most of his throws which led to some drops. It didn’t look great when he had lots of time in the pocket and still couldn’t make a good play.
Tanner McKee QB Stanford
McKee didn’t exactly have the best night, but did everything he could to try and get the offense going. He’s a quick decision maker, as UCLA defenders were in his face all night. He wasn’t very flashy, but made all the throws that were asked of him. He could definitely run a west coast offense well. The biggest strength I noticed was his accuracy, he was able to make some off script throws well. He was solid under pressure and was also able to use his legs to extend plays.
McKee has a pretty good sense of space in the pocket and has a good idea of where defenders are. His interception came on a bad read where the defender made a good play on the ball. My first impression of him was that he could end up being a Gardner Minshew type player, very accurate and conservative without making huge plays.
Blaylock had a solid game with 4 total tackles and a sack. He’s involved in all levels of the defense and is used a lot in UCLA’s scheme showing his athleticism and versatility. Blaylock is an interesting player as it seems that he’s either making highlight level tackles or is nowhere near where he needs to be. He could definitely work on his play recognition as he’s susceptible to letting good route runners get by him. Another area of improvement is penalties, he can get a little handsy and was ejected in a game earlier this year. I think he could do well in a nickel back role and if he improves his tackling ability could go at a similar spot to his former teammate Quentin Lake.
A transfer from Washington, Latu has been on a tear this season for the Bruins. With now 7.5 sacks on the year, his ability to pressure the quarterback has brought the UCLA defense to another level. His biggest impact has been the ability to get into the backfield and get a tackle for loss. He’s more of a speed than power rusher and could use some more strength to push off defenders. He does use his hands well to push off defenders but could get locked up if he faces a lineman that’s bigger than him. Latu has impressive length but needs to use it to blow past defenders and play with better leverage. The only reason I couldn’t see a team drafting him is due to his injury history.
Allen hasn’t been very involved in the offense this year, but exploded for a 72 yard touchdown run against Stanford. Allen is used all over the field as a receiver, in motion, and as a returner. He’s very much a big play receiver and Kelly likes to use him on a lot of jet sweeps due to his breakaway speed. I think if they give him more opportunities as a deep ball receiver he could thrive. His speed is his biggest strength, but the main knock is his ability to make those deep ball catches similar to Marquez Valdes Scantling.
Muasau had a solid game with an interception on McKee early on and tied for the team lead in tackles. He’s below average sized for a linebacker and doesn’t let that impact his play. He’s got great play recognition and mentioned in the postgame presser “I saw that on film, on the bus ride here I was watching the film, and they ran that against ASU in their previous game, and I was waiting for it. I saw that they ran it a couple of times, they run a little power and get the linebackers to bite on the run and do a little pop
pass, but I was waiting for it”. Muasau uses speed off the line of scrimmage and aggressive hands to win around the edge. He’s a good run defender who can track down the ball carrier. He reminded me a lot of Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill.