Mo Osling led UCLA in tackles against Oregon, but that’s not a good sign

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LOS ANGELES — Quarterback Mo Osling III and the UCLA football team are ready to move on after a 45-30 loss against Oregon in what was called the Pac-12 Conference matchup between a pair of top-10 teams.

Osling had 17 tackles, including 12 in the first half to tie a career high, but that’s not what he celebrated.

“For me, I don’t care about tackles,” Osling said. “I care about winning. After the game, my family was happy for me, but we still lost, so I didn’t do anything to help us win.”

The Bruins were back with a full lineup on Tuesday, and the quarterbacks were again seen working through drills while watching the media, which they’ve done before.

Osling was one of three backs to lead the Bruins in tackles along with Stephon Blaylock and cornerback John Humphrey, who each recorded eight tackles.

While Osling puts a lot of value into the win, the sixth-year player isn’t allowing himself to dwell on last Saturday’s results.

“It’s just a loss,” he said. “You can’t put too much into it and you can’t dwell on it. You have to move on to next week, so I feel like the love and energy in the team is going to fight through everything we’ve been through.”

Osling has had ups and downs as a Bruin (6-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-12), including an 0-5 start to the 2018 season. He’s also gone through several coaching changes, playing for two different head coaches and three defensive coordinators.

UCLA’s defense hasn’t drawn criticism in a 6-0 start like it has in previous seasons.

That all changed this weekend, as college football pundits and fans alike began to voice their concerns on social media about the defense’s performance.

“There were breakdowns at all three levels (of the defense) at some point,” coach Chip Kelly said. “It wasn’t just one thing that stood out.”

Osling and midfielder Beau Calvert said communication on the field is something that can be improved to prevent a similar outcome in the future.

“I would say our communication wasn’t the best,” Osling said. “We have to communicate much better as a team. … I put the loss on myself. I didn’t go there and I didn’t do performances. I didn’t communicate with my teammates and I didn’t take any losses.”

Calvert told reporters Tuesday what the team can do to move forward and learn from its first loss.

“That’s the good thing about football,” Calvert said. “You can fix those things and one game doesn’t define you. To allow yourself to realize your strengths and what you can improve on and work on it every day, instead of hanging your head thinking it’s over.”

The Bruins realize they have a lot to play for with five conference games remaining on their schedule, including this week’s home game against Stanford.

Stanford lost its first four conference games this season before winning two of its last three games by four points.

Despite Stanford’s lack of success, experienced Bruins like Osling and Calvert aren’t trying to underestimate the Cardinal, who won 11 straight games against UCLA before the streak was snapped in 2019.

“Stanford is a very good team and they’re on a two-game winning streak,” Osling said. “We cannot overlook them.”

CONTINUING THE TREND

Running back Zach Charbonnet had another quality performance as he rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries against Oregon.

The Bruins have won 11 straight games with Charbonnet rushing for more than 100 yards, but that magic number wasn’t enough to help his team overcome an early deficit.

The Ducks were able to convert on all four fourth down attempts to extend drives and keep the Bruins’ offense down the field.

When UCLA was able to move the ball against Oregon’s defense, the Bruins were forced to settle for field goal attempts on three of their eight offensive drives.

Kicker Nicholas Bar-Mira was successful on all three attempts, kicking field goals of 47, 44 and 33 yards. He was responsible for 12 of the team’s 30 points and was one game shy of his career best of four in a single game.

Bar-Mira ranks 18th among FBS players in the nation with 65 points this season.

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