UCLA Football: 5 Startling Statistics from Bruins' 2013 Campaign
The No. 11 UCLA Bruins (4-0) are off to an interesting start to the season from a statistical standpoint.
Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has got to be pleased with the overall effectiveness of his offense. The Bruins rank toward the top both nationally and in the Pac-12 for the majority of the significant offensive stats.
The secondary has done a nice job against the pass. Opponents trying to convert on third down also haven't had much success against UCLA's defense.
With that said, there are a few categories in which the Bruins need to improve.
Let's take a look at five startling statistics thus far from UCLA's 2013 season.
*Individual statistics can be found here.
As mentioned in the opening slide, the UCLA offense through four games has been firing on all cylinders.
A balance in regard to both the ground game and through the air has existed thus far in 2013. The Bruins rank in the top 25 nationally in both categories.
UCLA ranks 14th in the country in average rush yards per game (259.8). The Bruins' pass attack led by Brett Hundley is 21st nationally. UCLA throws for an average of 302.0 yards per game. The Bruins are also converting 75 percent of the time on fourth-down conversion attempts.
From a conference standpoint, UCLA ranks in the top three for total offense, fourth-down conversion percentage, rushing offense and points per game.
Penalties Per Game
UCLA's primary bugaboo early in the season has been its propensity to commit penalties at an extremely high rate.
The Bruins are No. 125 in penalties per game (10.8). The 10.8 penalties per game result in an average of 89 penalty yards. The Bruins rank at the bottom in both categories of all the Pac-12 teams. Against Utah this past weekend, UCLA committed an astounding 13 penalties for 100 yards.
Things just haven't gotten better for the team since last season. In 2012, UCLA ranked last in penalties and penalty yardage per game.
Jim Mora needs to figure out a way to eradicate this scary trend. If UCLA is to reach its full potential as a football team, the amount of self-inflicted wounds need to be cut back on considerably.
3rd-Down Conversions on Offense and Defense
Another example of how strong UCLA's offense has been can be traced back its prowess on third-down conversions.
UCLA is No. 3 nationally in this capacity, converting at a 58.3 percent clip. This statistic ties the Bruins with Washington as having the most effective third-down conversion rate in the conference.
UCLA also ranks third in defending on third-down conversion attempts by the opposition. Opponents are only converting 24.1 percent of the time in these situations.
Unlike the penalty situation, these are two trends that Mora would love to have continue. UCLA will continue to win ballgames with success in these two areas.
Defense on 4th Down and in the Red Zone
While the Bruins have defended quite well on third-down chances, fourth-down attempts haven't been as kind.
The Bruins rank 99th in stopping the opposition from converting on fourth down. Teams are successful against Lou Spanos' defense 66.67 percent of the time. That pits UCLA at the bottom of the conference in this said statistic.
In terms of red-zone defense, the Bruins rank 101st nationally. The opposition has had 10 possessions inside UCLA's red zone and has scored a field goal or a touchdown on nine of those chances.
Brett Hundley's Statistics
Quarterback Brett Hundley's overall play is a big reason as to why UCLA's offense has been so potent in 2013.
The signal-caller from Chandler, Ariz., has thrown for 1,059 yards and nine touchdowns through four games. He's also completing passes at a 65.5 percent clip. His completion percentage ranks third in the conference, behind Sean Mannion and Keith Price.
Hundley has also improved immensely running the football. In 2012, he ran for a paltry 2.2 yards-per-carry average. This season, he's running with more effectiveness. He's rushing for 4.7 yards per carry in 2013.
There's no question that UCLA's undefeated record correlates with the effectiveness of Hundley. As the redshirt sophomore continues to mature as a quarterback, expect the Bruins offense to be more potent in the future.