Coming into the meeting with the Golden Bears, UCLA's offense was ranked No. 4 in the nation, with close to 560 yards per game. Many thought the Bruins would perform well against a Cal run defense that ranked last in the conference.
But to the dismay of many Bruin faithful that made the trek to the Bay, the offense of the past five games was nowhere to be found, due in part to the Bears' defensive dominance.
UCLA was held to 382 yards of total offense, including a pedestrian 129 yards on the ground. The only bright spot for the Bruins offensively was senior RB Johnathan Franklin, who continued to impress with his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season. "Jet Ski" rumbled for 103 yards on 15 touches, for a healthy average of 6.9 yards per carry. But his scoring drought continues, as he failed to find the end zone for a fourth-consecutive game.
Other than Franklin, UCLA was completely ineffective in the ground game. Redshirt sophomore Jordan James, the Bruins' only other double-digit rusher, tallied 14 yards on four attempts.
In the passing game, UCLA had a little more success, but the effort was marred by Hundley's four interceptions and a lost fumble on a backwards pass to freshman Devin Fuller.
Fuller is a superb athlete out of New Jersey, originally scheduled to take a redshirt year in 2012. But injuries and inconsistency at the wideout position prompted Jim Mora to reconsider, and Fuller saw his first college action against Cal. Unfortunately, the showing wasn't quite what Mora & Co. were expecting, as Fuller failed to record a statistic.
The rest of the receiving corps had a pretty solid night, combining for 253 yards and two TDs (though one of those scores belongs to DE Cassius Marsh). Sophomore standout Shaq Evans was the Bruins' leading receiver with seven receptions for 68 yards, but his most memorable play was far from a highlight.
With less than three minutes in the first half, and UCLA trailing 16-7, the Bruins had managed to drive down into the red zone and were poised to snatch back momentum in the game. But when Hundley lofted a high fade towards Evans' corner of the end zone, only Cal's Kameron Jackson was there to make a play on the ball (which was good for the first of his three picks on the night).
So where was Shaq? He was about 10 yards away from the action, standing still, watching the ball fly over his head and into the hands of the cornerback. It's unclear whether there was a route miscommunication, or whether Evans simply thought the ball was heading far out of play, but it doesn't really matter at this point. Those kind of mental errors are deadly on a young team, and the Bruins can ill afford any more of them.
If UCLA is to have any sort of consistency moving the rock, the offensive skill players will need to be focused and ready to go every week. They didn't show up in Berkeley, and the deflating result is proof of that.