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  • UCLA Football: A Situational Education

    UCLA's Pauley Pavilion behind Spaulding Field

    Scott Robinson

    It was a down day for the Bruin quarterbacks as interceptions came often during 11-on-11 scrimmaging.

    At the onset of the day was Coach Mora slinging the old pigskin to QB Brett Hundley. As mentioned by other sources following practice, this pigskin is not old.

    In fact, the new ball being used appears slightly different. As they had catch, QB Hundley could be heard saying to Mora: “The laces feel slippery.”

    Mora responded, “Yeah, they feel a little high.”

    Whatever the problem might be with the football, the QB’s showed they did not have a solid grip on it today. Between QB’s Kevin Prince, Richard Brehaut, Jerry Neuheisel and Brett Hundley, there were at least three INT’s.

    But even with the dismal display of quarterbacking, this team is learning and continues to work.

    Starter Who?

    If one QB had a good showing during Day Eight, it would be Prince. Today, he exhibited less of an attachment to his receiving corps—on at least three different instances, Prince shook off his primary and turned his head to opposite field.

    One pass, Prince hit WR Tyler Scott specifically because of his shake off—He looked down WR Devin Lucien, pulling DS McKay off the top, allowing WR Scott a one-on-one and a subsequent completion in stride.

    Prince’s throws seemed crisper and displayed less “happy feet” despite being pushed out of the pocket a couple times. On another throw, Prince plopped a 30-yard pass right into WR Lucien’s hands along the sideline—It was quite a pretty toss.

    Brehaut, meanwhile, had one of his worst practices. In addition to throwing a ball up for grabs, he fumbled a snap and often had trouble during the 11-on-11's; at least one throw was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

    Of the younger QB’s, TJ Millweard showed one particular toss that was very impressive. Looking downfield to a covered WR Roosevelt Davis, Millweard delivered it where only his receiver could catch it—And if the WR did not reel it in, there was no chance anyone else could. Davis, leaning back to his right shoulder, dipped down and snagged the ball, even with three defenders around.

    At this point I would say Millweard might have the most upside.

    Play Smart First, Then Play Fast

    On what should have been an up day for the defensive backs, another teaching moment seemed to root out the positives.

    DC Aaron Hester, who was ever-present locking up receivers, picked off both Hundley and Brehaut.

    Additionally, the secondary delivered a good level of physicality, bringing with them some nice would-be hits during varied blitz packages.

    However, the most significant moment relating to DB's occurred later during the scrimmages.

    To preface the scenario, I should explain a good amount of the 11-on-11’s is situational; In that, the linesmen (judge) and ref’s will adhere to the situation called out by the coaching staff (i.e. “3rd and 3”).

    Per Mora: “We’re going to emphasize, here as we go, situational football… It’s always been my philosophy to emphasize situational football.”

    This particular situation was a 4th and 20.

    After DS Anthony Thompson came down with an interception, he attempted to sprint up field.

    Mora was not pleased, to say the least.

    When Thompson came down with the ball, he then made for the end zone, and in doing so, he slammed into a few players culminating in an awkward pile up to end the play.

    Coach Mora, clearly pissed at the situation, ran into the group and interjected quickly:

    “Now that wouldn’t have happened if you fell down like you’re supposed to when it’s 4th and 20 to end the game.”

    Mora was in Thompson’s ear for five or six steps afterward to ensure the point was received.

    When asked about the incident, the Coach responded:

    “Just making a coaching point… It was a situation that we had talked about in a meeting. That I had spent about five minutes on it in the meeting and he didn’t comprehend it.”

    I think Thompson might now have gotten the memo.

    However, even with the Coach’s outburst, the players seem to be moving along.

    “We’re throwing a lot at these guys but they’re responding very well. I’m excited about the direction we’re moving.”

    Practice Notes
    Remember to ask for players or coaches to report on! Tweet us who you'd like us to cover at @BruinsBall!

    -Aaron Wallace: One of the faster LB’s and will be quite helpful against the outside run. LB’s Patrick Larimore and Keenan Graham were beat a couple times on swing and flat passing—Wallace might be able to better corral an East-West rushing attack.

    -Aramide Olaniyan: Shined in practice today. Had at least two sacks, one on Neuheisel and if the QB’s could be hit. During 1-on-1’s with the RB’s, Olaniyan beat out both Melvin Emesibe and Dalton Hilliard. As highly regarded as he was out of high school, it looks like he’s beginning to live up to that assessment.

    -Aaron Hester: Had a couple picks in practice. A good season is required from Hester and Price as behind them there is not much available depth with experience. One particular focus with the DB’s has been spacing off the line, so expect the secondary (or at least the DC’s) to line up closer to their offensive counterpart.

    -Marcus Rios: Got some work with the 1’s today. Had a few nice tackles and continues to show the range recruiting pundits salivated about. Despite his smaller size, he has a chance to break the starting rotation with the problems of Secondary depth.

    -Joe Roberts: It took the place-kicker three times to finally nail a FG. First one was shanked as a line drive; The second missed far right and the third finally split the uprights. There is a good amount of work left to be done and the spot appears wide open come summer.

    CORRECTION: UCLA’s next practice, including some scrimmaging, is this Saturday, April 21st at 12:00PM.

    Follow Spring Practice here on and Twitter: @BruinsBall
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    Is this site now dead or what?

    Zack LaVine committed to UCLA!

    Sydbruin 06-21-2012, 11:49 AM Go to last post
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    Zack LaVine committed to UCLA!

    Thread Starter: Sydbruin

    Is this site now dead or what?

    06-21-2012, 11:49 AM by Sydbruin Go to last post

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