UCLA wants quarterback Brett Hundley on the move

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley avoids Oregon linebacker Rodney Hardrick during an Oct. 11 game at the Rose Bowl.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley can certainly hurt opposing teams with his running ability.

That, though, is a delicate balance for the Bruins offense, which is designed for Hundley to work from a pocket. Still, offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has had Hundley roll out on occasion.

“The offense is not really built that way,” Mazzone said. “But that can be like a change-up pitch in our repertoire. It’s like fastball, fastball, fastball, change-up. Brett’s good on the move and he throws well on the move.”


Utah was well aware of that and came at Hundley in a way that robbed him of scrambling lanes. He was sacked 10 times and had minus 24 yards rushing in the Utes’ 30-28 victory.

Having Hundley roll out was less appealing against Utah. The Utes’ defensive ends and outside linebackers were dominating the edge. Rolling Hundley would have been like ringing the dinner bell.

Mazzone tweaked his offense slightly against Oregon last week. UCLA linemen took wider splits, opening up lanes. It was difficult to tell whether the Bruins protected Hundley better. He was officially sacked twice, but scrambled seven times. He was tackled for a loss two times, but UCLA’s stat crew chose to call those runs.

Still, Hundley gained 82 yards in a career-high 22 carries. That included a 16-yard touchdown run on a quarterback draw just before halftime.

“We moved him out of the pocket a little,” Mazzone said. “Brett has done a better job reading some keys and getting outside the pocket.”

Something the Bruins might try again against California this week?

“What, do something again that worked?” Mazzone said, smiling.