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Wildcat Radio Podcast: Arizona’s Pac-12 Media Day and a preview of the Southern California schools

Listen to the latest Wildcat Radio Podcast

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wildcat Radio discusses Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez's comments at Pac-12 Media Days and previews the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins heading into the 2017 college football season.

Listen to the Wildcat Radio Podcast by playing below, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, TuneIn Radio, Google Play, or any other podcast player.

Want to support the podcast? Purchase our 'Completely Uncalled for 2017 Pac-12 Football Preview' which includes:

Our Sleazy, Pac-12 Preview Includes:

— 94 Pages

— 12 full team previews

— USC coaching jokes

— Depth charts

— UCLA coaching jokes

— In-depth 2016 player stats including defensive statistics

— Over/Under Win total predictions

— A breakdown of the assumed breakfast habits of Kyle Whittingham

— All Pac-12 Team

— Regular jabs at bad coaches

— Predicted conference standings

— Lots of frowney faces in the Arizona sections

— A focus on 2017 rather than rehashed 2016 information

Enjoy a glimpse of the UCLA preview below. If you like what you read click here to buy!

UCLA

Alabama recruits without the Alabama results.

Overview

Jim Mora’s inability to make UCLA operate at a high level would be a larger national story if USC wasn’t busy firing head coaches on airport tarmacs and letting them drink in the locker room. Under the Mora regime, UCLA has welcomed the #12, #13, #18, #8, and #13 recruiting classes in the country. They have only finished in the final AP top 25 poll twice. They have never finished in the top ten.

If Mora doesn’t get it together this year, he’s gone. UCLA has too much talent to be spilling its martini all over its nice shoes at this black-tie gala. But quarterbacks are partying in hot tubs (not that there’s anything wrong with that), coaches are throwing dumbbells and yelling at Snoop Dogg (there is definitely something wrong with that), and blue-chip running backs are averaging three yards a carry.

Fortunately, the Bruins have a stellar defense, a talented quarterback, and some interesting pieces on offense. If UCLA can avoid heckling the host (by?) using their bow tie as a “sweet ninja headband,” they could compete for the Pac-12 South

Quarterback

No UCLA football player in recent memory has drawn more attention than quarterback Josh Rosen. He sucks up all the oxygen. Every preview, article, video segment, and radio interview starts and ends with Josh Rosen. He was the top-rated quarterback coming out of high school, he was the number two overall recruit of the 2015 high school class, he made waves at the elite 11 camp, he had a hot tub, he makes political statements, and he has been the sixth most effective quarterback during his time in the Pac-12. So everyone settle down.

Make no mistake, Rosen is very good. He would likely be better if he had an offensive line, a running game, and receivers who could hold onto the football. But he didn’t in 2016 so, shout out to Jake Browning, Sam Darnold, Jared Goff, Cody Koessler, and Luke Falk.

The talent and potential is there. When Rosen has been on the field, he has thrown some incredible passes. He has also made some boneheaded mistakes. He now enters his third year at UCLA and likely has a massive chip on his shoulder. Look for Rosen to prove to everyone why he was the man by showing that he is the man.

For Rosen to fully make his case, he will need help. He needs an offensive line who can protect him and he needs a running game. That’s not a given. Still, UCLA has a great player under center who can lead an offense, even if it is flawed.

Last year, when Rosen was hurt, UCLA collapsed. They simply didn’t develop anyone who could fill the void. Senior Mike Fafaul took the reins and was clearly overwhelmed. He threw nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns and only completed 52% of his passes. If the UCLA coaching staff isn’t careful, they could find themselves in the same situation in 2017. The Bruins are thin at quarterback and Jim Mora refused to burn the red shirts of freshmen Devon Modster and Matt Lynch.

As a result, no UCLA quarterback other than Josh Rosen has thrown a pass in a live college football game. And Mora didn’t do the last backup any favors on the development front. Hopefully UCLA learned its lesson.

Grade: B

@WildcatRadioAZ Projected Depth Chart

Josh Rosen, Junior: 137 completions – 231 pass attempts | 59.3% completion rate | 1,915 passing yards | 8.3 yards per pass | 10 td | 5 int 111 carries – 235 yards | 2.1 yards per carry | 5 rushing td

Devon Modster, Freshman: #7 dual threat quarterback of 2016 class

Matt Lynch, Freshman: #19 pro-style quarterback of 2016 class

Running Back

Centuries from now, the aliens who destroy us will watch UCLA game film and commission a blue-ribbon panel to explain how the Bruins were so incredibly inept at running the football in 2016. The UCLA running game was a train wreck. One that was operated by clowns throwing lit sticks of dynamite at each other and smoking cigarettes near the gas leak.

Nationally, the Bruins received the coveted “not last place” trophy for rushing offense. 127 out of 128 FBS ran more effectively and for more yardage than UCLA. They averaged under three yards per carry, less than 90 yards per game, and ran for 13 total touchdowns.

The problem is coaching. UCLA’s backfield is stacked with talent. Tailbacks Saso Jamabo, Nate Starks, and Brandon Stephens were all top twenty running backs in their high school classes. Even Bolu Olorunfunmi, who was the least heralded, was a top 35 back. All of them return along with bruiser, Jalen Starks, who was used in short yardage situations.

Can the coaching staff develop the talent they have recruited and, more importantly, can they build an offensive line that can place their running backs in a position to succeed? It’s hard to envision any scenario where this unit gets worse. Jim Mora arrived at the same conclusion when he replaced offensive coordinator, Kennedy Polamalu with Jedd Fisch. Look for this unit to bounce back and, at the very least, keep opposing defenses honest.

Grade: C-

@WildcatRadioAZ Projected Depth Chart

Nate Starks, 5’11, 212 lb, Senior: 85 carries – 281 yards | 3.3 yards per carry | 1 td

Saso Jamabo, 6’3, 216 lb, Junior: 82 carries – 321 yards | 3.9 yards per carry | 3 td

16 catches | 197 yards | 12.3 yards per catch | 0 td

Bolu Olorunfunmi, 5’10, 225 lb, Junior: 71 carries | 280 yards | 3.9 yards per carry | 4 td

Jalen Starks, 6’1, 255 lb, Sophomore: 26 carries | 77 yards | 3 yards per carry | 2 td –

Fullback

Brandon Stephens, 6’1, 205 lb, Sophomore: 19 carries | 95 yards | 5 yards per carry | 0 td