Spaulding Roundup: No (Immediate) Change At QB

After our anemic offensive showing last two games right now lot of folks are wondering whether CRN and Chow will make any changes at the QB position in near future. Here is Kevin Pearson’s report at PE.com:

"Everything he (Kevin Craft – BN Ed.) needs is inside his head, but he gets going too fast and therefore he makes decisions before he needs to make a decision and gets off the timing the game requires," UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said on his Sunday night conference call.

"It's like a Rubik's Cube. He keeps twisting and he hasn't gotten the combination yet. I hope it will come with time."

But how long that takes is becoming an issue. UCLA's offense has not scored a touchdown in two consecutive games and Craft has been unspectacular in both, including an 81-passing yard performance in a 31-10 loss to Arizona on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

Neuheisel said that the competition would remain open this week but at this point, Craft is still ahead of freshman Kevin Prince. Neuheisel said it would still be several weeks before Ben Olson's broken foot heals, meaning Craft will continue to learn on the job.

"He needs to stay in himself and continue to make the plays he is capable of making," Neuheisel said. "We are putting our faith in Kevin. He never makes a mistake. We just hope he will turn the corner."

If CRN is going to make a move at QB, it would obviously be based on discussion with Chow:

So while Neuheisel said "the competition remains open at the position," he added, "unless Norm and I have a conversation, he's still our guy."

As for Chow, from his pov (which syncs with RN’s) our offensive issues are not limited to Craft:

"You see one break down, then you see another guy break down, then you see another guy get called for holding," UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. "It's hard now. It's not easy. But I think our guys are resilient. I think young people are resilient, and I think we have to keep working.

"If we knew it was one guy doing it all the time, we'd change it. But there's not a lot for us to change to."

Well, hopefully Craft will reward the trust coaches are placing in him by rewarding them with a much improved performance next weekend against Fresno State. And there is a glimmer of good news from the injury report wrt to next week:

Tight end Cory Harkey will have an MRI test on his left ankle today. He was injured early in the game but kept playing.

Tackle Micah Kia will have his back examined; he left the game after the first half.

Neuheisel said he expects tailback Kahlil Bell (sprained ankle) and wide receiver Nelson Rosario (strained knee) to return for Saturday's game against Fresno State.

If Bell can return at 100 percent, it could potentially be a nice boost for this offense. If he comes back and contribute at the level he did last season, it could take enough pressure off Kevin Craft, getting him in the mindset of just managing the game, instead of trying to force the action like he did during couple of occasions on Saturday afternoon (like when he flicked the ball towards Graves on third down when he could have probably scrambled for a first).

GO BRUINS.

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