UCLA Football Season Prediction 2022, Preview, Awards, Bowl Game 2022

UCLA is home to one of the most popular NCAA football teams. They are gearing up for another fun season.

UCLA football hasn’t had the most successful season in recent years, but they’ve certainly made a name for themselves. Corresponding College Choice, they place 22nd from the top 25 best colleges for college football.

Head coach Chip Kelly appears to be guiding the team on the right track and was recently signed to a four-year deal extending until 2025. Kelly first came to UCLA in 2017 and led the Bruins to an 8-4 season in 2021. This was their first winning season since 2015.

Although the Bruins haven’t had the greatest success in the past, their run with Kelly seems promising and with his extension, they appear to have a solid shot at another winning season.

Rank #37 in the FanSided Preseason Top 50 Ranking are the UCLA Bruins!

UCLA Football Season 2021 in Recap

UCLA undoubtedly fought hard for a successful season. Their biggest three-win streak came in their last three games, where it seemed to matter the most for the Bruins. They were supposed to be playing the Holiday Bowl, but unfortunately that got cancelled due to a UCLA football COVID-19 outbreak.

2021 appeared to be a breakthrough season for the Bruins that could potentially continue in 2022. UCLA hasn’t won a bowl game since 2015, and 2021 seemed like their chance to break the losing streak.

UCLA Bruins offense preview for the 2022 season

  • Returners (9): QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, RB Zach Charbonnet, WR Kam Brown, WR Kazmeir Allen, TE Michael Ezeike, LG Antonio Mafi, OC Duke Clemens, RG Jon Gaines II, RT Josh Carlin
  • Notable newcomers: WR Jake Bobo (Duke), LT Raiqwon O’Neal (Rutgers), WR Jadyn Marshall (St Mary’s), WR Titus Mokiao-Antimalala (UCF)
  • striker: Zach Charbonnet

Zach Charbonnet is virtually unstoppable as a running back. In the 2021 season, he received 1,137 rush yards, 202 rushing attempts and 13 rushing touchdowns. His influence is clearly evident in UCLA’s success, and he’s likely to help the team to many more wins in 2022.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson is also a great player who deserves credit. Though he struggles with consistency, he’s getting more comfortable at quarterback every year.

teammate Jon Gaines II said of Thompson-Robinson (via The Athletic), “He is the perfect example of how the whole team had to grow. You kind of get thrown into the fire, learn the ropes a bit and then you start performing. I think for him it means understanding and building that confidence and then that confidence goes to the whole team.

The two are likely to have the biggest impact on the Bruins’ success in 2022.

UCLA Bruins defense preview for the 2022 season

  • Returners (7): DT Jay Toia, LB Kain Medrano, LB Damian Sellers, CB Devin Kirkwood, CB John Humphrey, S Mo Osling III, S Stephan Blaylock
  • Notable newcomers: DE Gabriel Murphy (UNT), DT Jacob Sykes (Harvard), LB Darius Muasau, NB Azizi Hearn (Wyoming)
  • striker: Azizi Hearn

Azizi Hearn has yet to play for UCLA but is expected to make a big impact. In 2021, he produced 22 solo tackles and eight assist tackles. The Bruins defense has faced several changes this season, most notably from leader Qwuantrezz Knight, who left the team after being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers.

Overall, the defense is a bit unpredictable at the moment. There have been big changes but every defender is expected to play well together.

UCLA football player awards watch for 2022 season

Nine UCLA players were placed on the preseason watchlist for various awards.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet, Maxwell/Davey O’Brien/Doak Walker

Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet were both placed on the Maxwell Award preseason watch list. That is Thompson’s third time joining the list and Charbonnet’s first time. The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the top college football player, as determined by a panel of sportscasters, sportswriters and NCAA head coaches.

The Davey O’Brien Award is given to the best collegiate quarterback each season, and the Doak Walker Award is given to the best running back. Thompson-Robinson was included in the Davey O’Brien Award watch list, and Charbonnet was included in the Doak Walker.

In 2021, Thompson-Robinson had 176 completions, 283 passes, 62.2 percent completions, 21 touchdowns and 2,409 yards.

Corresponding Everything Bruins“Thompson-Robinson is within reach of breaking some of UCLA’s all-time records considering he’s just 15 touchdowns from surpassing Brett Hundley and 3,168 yards from surpassing Cade McNown.”

Both are big factors in the Bruins’ success last season.

Darius Muasau and Carl Jones, Butkus

Darius Muasau and Carl Jones were recently added to the preseason watchlist for the Butkus Award. The Butkus Award is presented to the top linebacker in the country each season.

Muasau has yet to play for UCLA, but is expected to step up to the top inside linebacker position for the 2022 season. In 2021, he had 108 tackles (65 solo and 43 assists), seven sacks, five forced fumbles and one interception.

Jones has played for UCLA for several years and is getting better every year. In 2021, he had 18 tackles (nine solo and nine assists), 0.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

Jake Bobo, Biletnikov

Jake Bobo was named to the Biletnikoff Award watchlist, which recognizes the best college recipient each year. Bobo will begin his first season at UCLA in 2022.

UCLA hasn’t had any players on the Biletnikoff Award watch list since 2017, so Bobo’s impact will be significant.

In 2021, Bobo had 74 receptions, 794 yards, averaging 10.7 yards per reception and one touchdown. According to AllBruinsno UCLA player has ever won a Biletnikoff Award.

Michael Ezeike, Mackey

Michael Ezeike has been included in the Mackey Award Watchlist. The Mackey Award recognizes the best college tight end annually.

Ezeike might not be the best player, but he’s consistently improved every season. In 2021, he had three receptions, 45 yards, 15 yards per reception and one touchdown.

Kazmeir Allen, Hornung

Kazmeir Allen was the seventh bruin to be on a preseason watch list. He is on the watch list for the Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player.

No UCLA player has won the Hornung Award, but a few have made the watchlist in the past.

Allen has played in a variety of positions at UCLA, most recently becoming a wide receiver in 2021. In 2021, he made eight rushing attempts, 93 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.

Chase Griffin, Wuerffel Trophy

Chase Griffin was named to the preseason watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors players for community service.

According to UCLA“His numerous community service endeavors include experiences with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Boost Mobile Holiday Event, LA After School All-Stars, Be the Match Marrow Donor Registry and LA Unified Schools.”

Griffin is a great leader and has had a positive impact on UCLA.

Jack Landherr IV, Mannelly Prize

Jack Landherr IV was included in the Mannelly Award Watchlist, which recognizes the best College FBS Long Snapper.

Landherr has been a major influence at UCLA and for several years according to UCLAhe has successfully snapped for all of the team’s place kicks and punts in the last 28 games.

UCLA’s biggest soccer game on schedule for 2022

UCLA meets Utah on Oct. 8 in what could be the biggest game of the season. It could potentially build on their success for the Pac-12 title game, according to College Football News.

Utah had great success last season, going 10-4. They beat UCLA 44-24 in a home game. UCLA could have an advantage this year by hosting Utah, but they’ll have to do their best to beat the Utes.

The Utes have won 25 conference championships and the Bruins have won 17. UCLA has also won a national championship, so they have the potential to win as long as they do their best.

UCLA football best case scenario

A best-case scenario for UCLA this season would be to make it to the conference championships. With their great returnees and several new players who have achieved a lot in their collegiate careers, they have a legitimate chance to go far if they fulfill their potential.

Although they probably won’t win a national championship because their defense isn’t as developed as other teams, they could probably be on an upward trend after their past unsuccessful seasons.

With the number of close games they had last season, they could probably win 10 in the 2022 season.

Worst case scenario of UCLA football

It’s likely the defense hasn’t been able to improve given how unpredictable they are at the moment. Their best defensive player isn’t returning and while they are expected to have new talent, it’s not clear how the defense will play together.

In this situation, it would be difficult to win the championship and they could probably have another unsuccessful season. This would be tough given the breakthrough they had last season.

UCLA Season Prediction 2022

Anything could happen to UCLA this season, but their defensive lineup seems to have enough potential that a best-case scenario is more likely than a worst-case scenario.

With several factors including the return of Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet, the extension of Kelly and several new defensive players with plenty of talent, UCLA is likely to continue last season’s successful finish and do even better this season.

UCLA seems to be going through a lot of growth and development, with upgrades happening where they’re badly needed. The team’s biggest concerns will be addressed and they are likely to have a great season.

UCLA Football 2022 Bowl Match Prediction

College Football News has expected the Bruins to stay close to home in the postseason as work will see them facing Boise State on Dec. 17 at the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.

Next: No. 36: Florida State Seminoles

Other articles in this series:

https://fansided.com/2022/08/05/ucla-football-prediction-bowl-game-2022/ UCLA Football Season Prediction 2022, Preview, Awards, Bowl Game 2022

John Verrall

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