UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley took his time in the offseason before opting to return to school instead of heading to the NFL. He still had his accuracy and decision making to work on, plus he wanted to lead the Bruins to a national title.
Having lost two games so far, it’s unlikely the Bruins will reach the College Football Playoff, and Hundley admitted after Saturday’s win over No. 12 Arizona that the perceived flaws in his game affected how he has played so far this season. He hadn’t been running the ball as much, but that changed against the Wildcats when he racked up 131 yards on 24 attempts.
“I think at the beginning of the season, there was a lot of thought, and I think it even got to me as far as not to run,” Hundley said, per the Los Angeles Times. “But I think after last week, I really reflected on all this stuff. Everything happens for a reason, and for me, it’s all about winning games now. Focusing on the now. Doing that has gotten me to this point anyway, so why change? At this point, it’s all about winning and doing what I have to do as a quarterback to lead the team to wins.”
Hundley, a redshirt junior, conceded that he “changed his game” in attempts to improve his draft stock. Instead, he said worrying about how he will project at the next level negatively impacted his performance. Additionally, Hundley said friends and family have noticed differences in his body language because he is afraid of getting hurt or making a mistake.
“I think that’s part of it, when you want to go to the next level, you want to show people you can do things,” Hundley said. “Sometimes it changed your game, honestly. People don’t realize how much pressure there is, but at the end of the day, when you think about what got you to this point, you have to stay on your foundation. Even though there’s a future ahead that you want to get to, you cant focus on that, honestly, because it will really throw your game off.”
The win over Arizona improved UCLA’s record to 7-2. Hundley wants to keep the team’s momentum going and the NFL side of things will come with time.
“I know what got me here, and that’s running the football, throwing the football and having a good time. And not focusing on all that other stuff,” Hundley said. “You have to tell yourself that other stuff will come, all that other stuff will take care of itself.”
For more UCLA news, visit BruinSportsReport.com.
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