No. 7 UCLA sees need for improvement, not excitement
It is not 26, as in the margin of victory in the Bruins' throttling of Arizona to open Pac-12 play.
It is not seven, as in UCLA's ranking in the latest AP poll.
And it is certainly not four, as many pundits have UCLA in their four-team College Football Playoff projections.
No, it is the 21 missed tackles against the Wildcats that still had Young angry, frustrated and disappointed.
''We had 21 missed tackles. We're supposed to be one of the top defenses and we're missing 21 tackles, and I missed too many tackles,'' Young said. ''I felt horrible about the win.''
Those missed tackles allowed Arizona to pile up 353 net yards rushing, but Young pointed with disgust to the raw total of 403 yards rushing before negative plays were deducted.
''Look how many yards we gave up,'' Young said. ''That's embarrassing. That's embarrassing for me and it's embarrassing to put on TV. I got to work on better tackling. I got to practice with more urgency. I need to do everything right. Every little thing I need to do better and that's the part I'm going to take forward, and if I see another guy not performing at his best I'm going to hop on him too, because I'm not very happy. We won, but I'm not very happy at all.''
UCLA did quite a bit right on defense against Arizona, forcing three takeaways that the offense turned into three touchdowns. They limited quarterbacks Anu Solomon and Jerrard Randall to 8-of-26 passing for 100 yards. Much of the Wildcats' production was empty yards after the Bruins had already built up a huge lead.
Young didn't take much solace. Instead, he pointed to the 128 yards Randall rushed for after Solomon left the game with a head injury, and failing to adjust to the change in offensive philosophy after the quarterback change.
That might have had the exact result UCLA coach Jim Mora was hoping for when he railed against his run defense after the win.
The loss of linebacker Myles Jack and defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes to season-ending injuries will test the defensive front seven throughout conference play, and UCLA's next opponent, Arizona State, is more than capable of taking advantage.
Running the ball was about the only thing the Sun Devils did well in their 42-14 flop against USC, with Demario Richard rushing for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Bruising sophomore Kalen Ballage made his season debut against the Trojans after missing the first three games because of illness, and versatile D.J. Foster is the only player in Pac-12 history to tally both 2,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards, giving Arizona State a variety of ways to attack UCLA on Saturday.
Young knows a stout run defense will be the key to shutting down a desperate opponent and avoiding a letdown, and he will be pushing his teammates to be focused on making sure those 21 missed tackles do not happen again.
''It's a mindset that you have to come with as a group, not just individually,'' Young said. ''If you get everybody on the same page and knowing that what we did Saturday doesn't satisfy us ... if everybody can see that vision and that goal we'll be a pretty solid football team.''
AP College Football site: www.collegefootball.ap.org