Going Back And Forth @ Spaulding

Photo Credit: Scotucla03. From Scot's notes on this particular play, "Brian Price (Arm outstretched in blue jersey) BLEW by Jeff Baca who recovered JUST quick enough to barely push him out of a tackle-for-loss."

In my Saturday's roundup I noted how the young UCLA OL had some good moments against the usually effective DL on Friday. It was somewhat of a rare occurrence (in the context of recent history at Spaulding) as the DL who is used to dominating their offensive counterparts got a taste of physicality from the Bruin OL. Well Brian Price felt challenged and said this after Friday's practice:

"We'll come out tomorrow with a vengeance."

Well look what happened the next day. Here is how the Saturday morning practice went out in Spaulding per Erik Bohl of the Daily News:

Price, Jerzy Siewierski, Datone Jones, Korey Bosworth, Reggie Carter, Akeem Ayers and the rest of the defense made things tough on a developing offensive line, collapsing the pocket on quarterback Kevin Prince or forcing the redshirt freshman to throw on the run on several occasions.

And most of the passes Prince completed were screens to running backs or short underneath routes to receivers Taylor Embree, Terrence Austin and Gavin Ketchum.

In the last two 10-minute offensive series in the controlled scrimmage, Aaron Ware and Sean Westgate intercepted tipped passes and Brandon Sermons recovered a fumble.

And regardless of whether it was Christian Ramirez or Johnathan Franklin there wasn't much room for the tailbacks to run against the first-string unit.

"If you let teams run on you, you can't win," said Carter, a fifth-year senior linebacker who is on the preseason watch list for the Lott Trophy. "It's disrespect as a man if someone lines up in front of you and runs all over you. We have to stop the run first."

Coach Neuheisel was more than happy about the defensive pressure Price and co. put on the Bruin offense:

"it's all part of the ebs and flows of the offense and defense," Neuheisel said. "The defense has dominated around here for a long time, but in order for us to develop offensive consistency we can't have the defense start taking days off to give the offense a false confidence."

There is also another aspect of practices out in Spaulding CRN seems to be enjoying from first week of camp.

It sounds like he is enjoying the intensity and competition during these practices:

UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has emphasized he wants more intensity at practices.

Having center Jake Dean and defensive tackle Justin Mann rolling around in a heated wrestling match might not have been exactly what he had in mind, however. The first of two practice sessions Saturday ended with the players having to be separated.

Gotta say he sounds little more upbeat than the practices last year when he often sounded downright disgusted and disappointed with the intensity he was getting from his players.

We haven't heard coaches talking about this kind of back and forth between our offense and defense at practices in last 2-3 years as the defense has been overwhelmingly dominating our offense shutting it down on all facets of the game. It will be interesting to see how the offensive guys respond this coming week after tasting a little bit of success against Price and co. They have certainly gotten their attention and now it will be offense's turn to show whether it can come back and respond to the defense's stand out performance from the weekend.


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