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21 UCLA

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The case for

The Bruins have entrusted quarterback Brett Hundley with leading the team's no-huddle scheme. As a freshman last year he set school records for passing yards (3,745) and total yards (4,095). The 6'3", 222-pound Hundley knows a lot of pressure will be on him to lead the attack, which averaged 466.5 yards last season but lost star running back Johnathan Franklin, who graduated. As good as Hundley is, the player coach Jim Mora is touting as a Heisman contender is 6'4", 245-pound senior linebacker Anthony Barr. A running back until 2012, Barr had 13½ sacks and 21½ tackles for loss last year, which ranked second and fourth in the nation, respectively. Having passed on the NFL (and a likely first-round signing bonus) last spring, Barr is back for one more year. And with Hundley possibly also going pro in 2014, this is UCLA's year to make a title run.

The case against

"Replacing a player who broke the school's single-season rushing record and the career rushing mark is not easy to do," Mora says of Franklin. "I think the whole team [needs] to fill that void." The onus is on Jordon James, Malcolm Jones and Paul Perkins to invigorate the ground game and take pressure off Hundley. If they can't, the offense will be a one-man show.

Coach Speak

JIM MORA

• SI

How has it been different to work with your players now that you've had a year to get to know them and they've had a year to play under you?

• JM

[Last year] everything was new. This year they understand the expectations, they know how we like to practice, how we like to do things. But it's still important that we continue to push them. They understand the routine, but we can't allow anything to become routine.

• SI

What impresses you most about quarterback Brett Hundley?

• JM

You're not going to find a guy who is more committed to his team. He doesn't feel like a sophomore to me. He seems like a pro to me. He understands his mistakes, and he doesn't make them again.

• SI

How happy were you when you heard that Anthony Barr was coming back for his senior year?

• JM

I was happy because he's scratched only the surface of what he can be as a linebacker. He can have a tremendous impact nationally. He realized that he needed another year [with linebackers coach] Jeff Ulbrich. I commend him for that.

Player to Watch

Wide receiverDevin Lucienhad 10 catches for 188 yards before breaking his clavicle in late September. Now healthy, the 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore seems likely to earn a starting spot alongside No. 1 receiver Shaq Evans.

PHOTO

LOUIS LOPEZ/CAL SPORT MEDIA (BARR)

Anthony Barr

PHOTO

ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MORA)

CHART

Projected 2013 Stats

BY ROTOWIRE.COM

QB Brett Hundley

Pass: 3,525 yards, 25 TDs

Run: 465 yards, 9 TDs

RB Craig Lee

Run: 560 yards, 7 TDs

Rec.: 115 yards, 0 TDs

WR Devin Fuller

Rec.: 500 yards, 3 TDs

Run: 120 yards, 2 TDs

Schedule Analysis

The Bruins will be tested on the road—again and again and again. A Sept. 14 game at Nebraska will be followed by trips to Stanford (Oct. 19) and Oregon (Oct. 26). And on Nov. 30, UCLA will travel across town to try to do something no Bruins team has done since 1998: defeat USC for a second straight year.

SI Power Ratings

BY ROTOWIRE.COM

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

PERCENTILE

1

50

100

OFFENSE

88

DEFENSE

77

SPECIAL TEAMS

85