With the Utes trying to get back on track and avoid a five-game losing streak, Utah now has to focus on the UCLA Bruins to keep its bowl eligibility hopes alive. Here's what the Los Angeles media have to say about Friday's game.
Comparing and contrasting both quarterbacks
Before breaking down Utah’s offense, Bruins Nation points out how Friday night's matchup against the Utes could be a winnable game because, unlike the Utes, UCLA did defeat the Oregon Ducks before losing to Washington a week later.
As the article breaks down Utah’s offense, and compares Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley to UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. At the same time, there are questions whether Rosen will start Friday night. He sustained a finger injury in his throwing arm last week against the Huskies.
Pin a Rosen on your nose
When it comes to UCLA, all eyes are on Rosen. Despite a disappointing season and the Bruins being 4-4, NFL scouts are raving over the three-year starter. Last week, ESPN analyst and former Husky Brock Huard offered a critique on the NFL prospect:
“But there will be plenty (of questions). When there’s as much on the line as (there is for) Josh Rosen, being the No. 1 quarterback, No. 2 overall pick. What this all looks like, what this all means to all the NFL evaluators that are in the sunshine today trying to figure out just what went wrong today (after Rosen's finger injury) and what this is going to mean for the future of Josh Rosen.”
At Monday's press conference, UCLA coach Jim Mora told the L.A. Times, “I would put very little stock into what Brock Huard has to say about anything that has to do with football. That’ll be controversial, but it’s the truth. I’ve known that kid since he was in college.”
But wait, it gets better.
“I think it’s ludicrous that anyone would question Josh Rosen’s toughness when they don’t know the nature of his injury,” Mora said. “In all fairness to my comment, for a broadcaster who knows zippo about what’s going on down there to question the toughness of Josh Rosen is. I don’t know, I guess it drives ratings. I don’t know."
Say what you want about Rosen, despite a tough year, he still leads the Pac-12 in passing yards (2,713), passing yards per game (339.1) and total offense (333.9 yards per game. Against the Huskies, he threw for only 93 yards and one touchdown.
A Modster week for the freshman quarterback
If Rosen can't play, backup Devon Modster is likely to take over the starting job. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, coaches are confident Modster could hand the Utes their fifth-straight loss.
Last week against Washington, Modster took over at quarterback after Rosen was pulled in the third quarter. The backup quarterback finished the night 7-12 for 77 yards and one touchdown. UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch likes what he sees from the freshman.
“He had great confidence,” Fisch told the L.A. Times. “He showed that during the game and he’s continued to show that this week."
Not only Fisch is confident, but his teammates as well, and will be prepared for him to start if Rosen is unable to go.
“We know Devon can make all the throws,” center Scott Quessenberry said. “We see it out here all the time.”