Upon reviewing the season I find myself at peace with how our team has been progressing. Frankly, If this had been an easy season for bruins, than expectations would be higher than the reality of where our football team is actually at. I believe these losses will be the statement that if UCLA football hits bottom, (no bowl game) there's nowhere to go but up.
On that note i have spent a good amount of my time reviewing our quarterbacks. And i really think that with the last few games we have left, We should really be focusing on a (S)light (C)hange. Let me expound.
Everyone knows our O-line is depleted. Its depth wouldn't even make it completely 6 feet under, Its more like 2 feet without a coffin. And while I have seen improvement on Kevin Craft's part, I think he is consistently lacking focus. I keep reading about how Craft is having a difficult time settling in first half's. He has also thrown a total of 11 interceptions spanning over the last 8 games. Including 2 games where he threw 4 in each (Tennessee) and now (Cal).
I believe Craft is the better of the quarterbacks. Given the opportunity I believe he can settle in the pocket and nail the target he needs to IF he has enough time. Well our schedule isn't going to be any easier, and from what we have all seen, the pocket that he needs, isn't a pocket at all. Its a porous, permeable membrane that isn't giving our QB's the time they need.
With all this in mind I'm sure you're wondering why I'm going on about this. Well I believe that in order to prepare for U(S)(C) we ought to be making Slight Changes to our game plan. I think that Craft needs the time especially at the beginning of games to collect himself, maybe reflect. I believe its time for Chris Forcier to take a few more snaps during games. The reasoning behind this belief is that Forcier has been able to demonstrate some hope in the idea of a moving offense. In other words, The kid can run.
Take for instance December 2nd 2006. Pat Cowan, taking over for Ben Olson at the Helm finished the game with 114 yards passing, and 55 yards rushing. I remember being at this great game where I noticed that USC's defense was so preoccupied with containing our receivers, leaving Cowan opportunities to run the ball. Now I certainly do not believe that we should consistently be doing Running QB plays, or that they should be anything like the automatic qb runs we were doing a few games back. BUT I sternly believe we need to be showing the opposing Defense that we have the option. Even if they see a glimpse of hope that Forcier could run it in for a first down, you're going to be causing some confusion where at least the safeties can second guess themselves. THUS giving us an opportunity to find open receivers.
Now I'm not saying I want to see Forcier start each and every game. However, We need to stop relying on a crippled offensive line, and institute more play actions, and even options where the quarterback is potentially going to take off but decides not to, If people remember watching Joe Montana, he would scan all his options while rolling out of the pocket. This is something I have seen glimpses of from both our quarterbacks, but not enough.
I will finish with this thought. Kevin Craft has shown he can be somewhat of a mobile quarterback. He finished the Fresno St. game with 46 yards rushing when given the opportunity throwing off defenders and bring the game to a close 31-36 loss. Anyway, I just wanted to post an idea as these next few weeks conclude and I know our coaching staff will be working several possibilities out over the bye week. Go Bruins!