UCLA's Big Receivers Aid The Passing Game
September 10, 2015
By Myke Williams
If Josh Rosen first game as the UCLA starting quarterback is any indication, the freshman signal caller may be headed in a direction that we have never seen at UCLA. He looked better than former Bruin and Super Bowl champion quarterback Troy Aikman.
Last Saturday at the Rose Bowl Rosen completed 28 out of 35 passes for 351 yards for three touchdowns with no interceptions. From his first pass to the last every one of his passes appeared to be right on target like Aikman use to do when he was in Westwood.
Bruin head coach Jim Mora realizes this is only one game but he also understood he was watching something special. “He was very in the moment but it is only going to get harder for him,” said Mora after the 34-16 victory over Virginia. “He has good pocket presents and he understands what we are trying to do.”
The 6-4, 210 pound Rosen has the size to see over defenders and he is operating behind a veteran offensive line. Another thing that Rosen has going for him is the size of UCLA’s receivers. All of his receivers are over six feet tall.
“We have big receivers and his ball placement was good,” said Mora. Eleven different players caught at least one pass from Rosen.
All of the news was not good news for the Bruins. Eddie Vanderdoes, who is one of the best defensive linemen in the nation, suffered a season ending knee injury against Virginia. The Bruins are hoping Eli Ankou and Matt Dickerson can step in and help fill the void.
UCLA’s Paul Perkins, the Pac-12’s leading returning rusher, was also impressed by Rosen. “He takes a lot of pressure off the running backs,” said Perkins. “All of us need to keep playing hard and stay consistent.”
Rosen, who was the number one-rated high school quarterback in the nation last year, seemed to be enjoying the moment. “Regardless of what happens we want to come out with a win,” said Rosen. “The offensive line did a great job keeping me up right. It was a great start to hopefully a successful season.”
The Bruins’ next game is Saturday night at 7:30 against UNLV in Las Vegas.