UCLA QB Josh Rosen out-grades Brett Hundley in first game
UCLA head coach Jim Mora came under some scrutiny for selecting true freshman QB Josh Rosen to start in Week 1 against Virginia. That decision can be proclaimed as nothing short of a stroke of genius after Rosen shredded the Cavaliers to the tune of 28-for-35 passing, 351 yards, and three TDs.
Rosen earned a very impressive +4.1 grade for his performance. Just how good is that? Well, it’s higher than any grade last year’s starter (and current Green Bay Packer) Brett Hundley earned in any one game last season.
The true freshman also posted an excellent 82.9 accuracy percentage and displayed a particular effectiveness on downfield throws, connecting on three of his six 20-plus-yard attempts for 97 yards and a touchdown, as well as a drop from one of his receivers.
The FBS’ second-ranked red zone and 22nd total offense returned with every position intact, sans QB Brett Hundley, and Rosen could provide the key to driving this offense. Rosen is a former Elite-11 quarterback who, as was observed by the PFF analysts in attendance, stood out for his intermediate accuracy, as well as his touch on the deep ball.
Questions arose surrounding Rosen’s willingness to be coached, and while one week of performance is not enough to qualm those concerns, the results look very promising. In fact, the 10.0 passing yards per attempt recorded by Rosen against UVA was only achieved by Hundley in two games last season — as a fourth-year junior!
Considering the monster front seven on defense and with expectations for eventual growing pains, Rosen will be surrounded by enough offensive talent to push the Bruins well on their way to a legitimate bid for the Pac-12 title.