Culver City Observer -

UCLA Eyes Chance To Finish The Season Strong


October 29, 2015

By Myke Williams

Sports Reporter

The UCLA football team will need to stay focused the next three weeks if they expect to have any chance of winning the Pac-12 South.

They play teams they are supposed to beat when they host Colorado on Saturday at noon at the Rose Bowl, Oregon State on the road on November 7 and Washington State on November 14 at the Rose Bowl. After those three games they will face two of the better teams in the division on the road when they travel to Utah on November 21 and USC on November 28.

UCLA goes into Saturday's game with a 5-2 overall record and 2-2 in the Pac-12 South. They are one game behind Utah (3-1) in the South Division but they are also tied with USC and Arizona State for second place in the division.

There are no easy games in the Pac-12 Conference so the Bruins will have to play like they did against California last week if they expect to vie for the conference championship in December.

Their victory over California proved two things. Number one, the Bruins can play solid defense after losing several key players. Number two, freshman quarterback Josh Rosen is the real deal. He completed a school 34 passes in 47 attempts for 399 yards and three touchdowns.

"He is very mature," said Bruin head coach Jim Mora after the win over Cal. "He has tremendous poise and he has learned to make better decisions. He prepares well and he has a lot of confidence.

"He is also smart and he trusts his receivers. What's really important is that he is able to let go of what just happened and move on to the next play. We have seen this in spring ball and summer camp. He is a rare kid."

Another player who is having a great year for the Bruins is kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn from Kailua , Hawaii. The 6-0, 190-pound kicker booted at school record 60-yard field goal against Cal.

"Just before I was ready to kick the ball coach Mora gave me the thumbs up sign. I kicked it and it was good. I focused on my technique and followed through."

Mora is also pleased with the play of the offensive line. "They have played well all season." The offensive line has also been hit with injuries but the Bruins have been able to find replacements.

"The offensive line was phenomenal tonight" said Rosen after the Cal game. "They were amazing. They are incredibly tough. They put their bodies on the line for the team. Overall we just want to win football games."


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