Going against a high powered offense like UCLA is never easy, but here is why I think some of the Utes have a chance to make a real name for themselves!
Moss is the key to the Utah offense, and he has been helping the offense click on all cylinders. Last week he had 25 carries for 136 yards, which allowed the offense to roll against USC. UCLA doesn’t exactly boast a top-tier defense. Moss should be able to dominate the UCLA defense the way he has dominated the last few weeks.
UCLA’s leading tackler is in the secondary, which means that the front seven doesn’t do a lot to stop opposing offenses. If Moss can put up 100 yards, which he no doubt can, Utah should have very little trouble moving the ball against UCLA.
Hansen has the hardest job on the Utah defense. There may not be anyone in college football better at confusing defenders from a scheme standpoint than the UCLA Head Coach. Chip Kelly is an offensive mastermind, and he does that by attacking the linebackers. Expect UCLA to use a lot of jet sweeps and counters to confuse the Utah linebackers. If Hansen isn’t disciplined this week, he will be out of position on almost every play. If Hansen can’t see through what Chip Kelly is trying to do to him, he more than likely will struggle with play recognition in the NFL.
Anae can do the most to ruin Chip Kelly’s game plan. Jet Sweeps, Counters, and play actions are all good for offenses, but they require the defensive line to be out of position. If Anae can do his job, and not try to do too much, then he can go a long way in shutting down the UCLA offense.
UCLA is currently in the process of rebuilding the roster, which means they don’t really have the offensive line talent to stop Anae with one guy. They will have to scheme him out of the game, which means that the rest of the defense will have their chances.
Blackmon is going to have his work cut out for him. The whole UCLA offense is predicated on getting the ball to play makers in space. Blackmon has proven that he can make tackles, but he will be forced to make tackles one on one with no help this week. That’s a tall task for any corner, and against UCLA’s weapons he will have to be on top of his game, or he will be on someone’s highlight reel.