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UCLA's Jeff Ulbrich says his defensive line is tired — again

UCLA's Jeff Ulbrich says his defensive line is tired — again
Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici scrambles under pressure from UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins on Saturday. (Matt York / Associated Press)

For the second time in two weeks, defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said that he needs to do a better job of keeping his defensive line fresh.

The first time was against Arizona State, when the Bruins gave up 38 first downs and 626 yards to the Sun Devil offense. The second was last week, when UCLA was beaten on a last-minute field goal after Utah went on a 10-play, 63-yard drive. Every play was a run. The Bruin defense couldn't do anything to stop it.

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According to Ulbrich, part of the issue is that his players are tired.

"In this conference, with all these spread teams and tempo teams, I just have to be better," Ulbrich said. "I think we all have to be better as a defensive staff, as far as rolling guys a little bit more. That tempo can destroy your pass rush in a heartbeat."

By Ulbrich's count, the Bruins had nine opportunities for sacks against Utah. They  recorded just three, though, and looked weary on that last Ute drive.

The defensive coordinator specifically pointed to the play of sophomore linebacker Deon Hollins — who had one of his rougher games of the season against Utah — although in reality, he could have been talking about any of his defensive lineman.

"With Deon, I think the fresher we can keep him, the more we can get out of him," Ulbrich said.

For more Bruin observations, follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook

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