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UCLA the team to beat in Pac-12 Southern Division

The UCLA Bruins proved they are for real last weekend in Nebraska with their come from behind win over the Cornhuskers.

The win was an emotional one for the Bruins and it made it clear how talented this team is.

Late in the first half, the Bruins trailed Nebraska by the score of 21-3. The Bruins looked shaken, especially quarterback Brett Hundley. No one at that time could have blamed the team as they were emotionally spent due to the death of Nick Pasquale a wide receiver.

UCLA was able to close the gap to 21-10 before halftime with a late score. Once the players rested for halftime the team came out completely different and went on to score 31 straight points in the second half and 38 straight overall to rout the Cornhuskers 41-21.

Obviously, the Bruins are a talented team and now should be considered the odds on favorite to win the Pac-12 southern division. Just scoring 38 straight points in Nebraska should be enough for odd makers to shorten the odds for a Pac-12 championship.

Hundley is loaded with talent at quarterback and once he was able to settle into his rhythm he was fine. However, in Saturday’s game it took longer due to the emotional issues.

Nevertheless, Hundley finished the game hitting 16 of his 24 pass attempts including three for touchdowns and 294 yards.

The Bruins offensive attack is versatile as Hundley hit 9 different players for at least one pass.

Hundley also offers the Bruins a strong rushing game as he finished with 61 yards against the Cornhuskers.

The skill position players showed their talent, as Shaq Evans had one touchdown catch and 97 yards receiving and is Hundley’s favorite target.

On the ground, Paul Perkins, Malcolm Jones, Steven Manfro and Jordan James combined to rush for 210 yards. Perkins and James featured well and showed how dangerously quick they are.

Defensively the Bruins held a strong Nebraska offense to 331 yards. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez had minus 13 yards rushing.

The Bruins front line was able to sack Martinez twice and pressured him numerous times during the game. UCLA has a strong contingent of linebackers led by Jordan Zumwalt, Anthony Barr and Myles Jack. Jack and Zumwalt showed great energy and were able to fill the holes to stop the Nebraska ground game. Barr had 11 tackles against the Cornhuskers and forced Nebraska to fumble three times.

Barr was given four individual awards as the nation’s top defensive player for the week.

The amount of athleticism UCLA has was on display against Nebraska.

On offense, the Bruins are fifth in the nation in total offense, which will make it hard for any opponent to shut them down.

Defensively the front seven is strong and has depth, but the secondary is still a weak link. Nevertheless, the linebackers are the nation’s best as a group.

UCLA can be optimistic about its future and this team could be battling for a national title in January.

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