UCLA's Red Zone Offense

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

One thing that is really important to an offense's success is how well they convert in the Red Zone. UCLA is currently ranked 80th in the nation, converting on 80% of its trips to the red zone. However, unlike last year, UCLA's touchdown to field goal ratio is 3:1 (the nation's leader is ECU with a 4:1 ratio). 

UCLA has some very strange habits when it gets down to the red zone. In my opinion, the faster, the better when you get down into the Red Zone:

Oregon runs one of the most fast paced, diverse red zone offenses in the nation, it is just their lack of execution in terms of penalties and decisions that has cost them the statistic edge.

But, a more traditional power look, like Stanford's red zone offense can work as well. Pre-Autzen, Stanford was perfect inside of the red-zone. 

Stanford uses their personnel better than anyone around; watch the big offensive lineman in the Maryland I. As you can see, the mixup in exchanges really cost the Cardinal in crunch time.

Keep those templates in mind: Speed and proper use of personnel. UCLA's analysis after the jump...

Here are UCLA's whopping 7 trips to the Red Zone from last Saturday, with a bit of analysis after each one.


  1. TE Right, Quick Hitch to Randall Carroll
  2. Pony Formation w/ Wing-Back Right, Power Veer Left (TD)

On this trip, UCLA used the alignment of the defense, and a little bit of muscle to get into the End Zone... no complaints.


  1. F-Back Wing Left, Power Right to the 9.
  2. F-Back Wing Left, Power Left to the 1.
  3. F-Back Wing Left, Triple Option Motion, Dive Right (TD)

This trip was all about muscle. No change of personnel, just hard nosed running. No complaints, yet again, with positive yards on every play.


This drive was cut off due to FSN's technical difficulties, but it ended up with a field goal to make the score 17-7


  1. Tight End Right, Pop Pass to Embree- Incomplete
  2. Tight End Right, Horn Right (TD negated by Holding)
  3. Tight End Left-F-Back Wing Left, Zone Left, 2 yard gain

As you can see, penalties cost UCLA 7 points, and gave Washington State enough momentum to make a comeback in this game. Focus, UCLA...



  1. False Start
  2. Tight End Right- F-Back Wing Right, Fly motion from Right to Left, Pass Complete on the Post-Hitch down to the 2
  3. Horn Right, down to the 1
  4. Pony Left, F-Back Wing Right, Triple Option Motion right, Bootleg Right.....?
  5. 1x3 Tight End Right, Roll Right, Incomplete Corner Route to Embree. 

Alright, this is where I had some questions for Norm. The Pony Formation is basically a Flexbone from the Pistol, so why go with Bootleg? Did Brehaut run that wrong? Maybe Eddie just missed his key block? I don't know, it was a head scratcher. As for the pass, Coleman just missed his block, Brehaut had Embree wide open (see 1:58 on the clock) and Brehaut's arm was dragged back.
Aside from all this execution problems, CRN wasted a time out on the goal line. Wasted in terms of strategy. Allowing the defense to change personnel, strategize, and rest is something that cannot happen on the goal line. UCLA cannot afford to give the defense any advantages; see Oregon @ UCLA last year

  1. Tight End Right, F-Back Wing Right Veer Right, gain of 1
  2. 1x3 Tight End right, Draw down to the 7 yard line.
  3. Pony Formation, Tight End/Wing Left, Zone Read (Not Veer) down to the 1
  4. Pony Formation, Tight End/Wing Right, Dive Left (No gain)/Touchdown??
  5. Ace Formation, 1x3 Tight End Right, Pop Pass to Embree for 2 points

Hard fought battle to tie things up.


  1. Tight end left, kick out motion from left to right, zone dive left to the 3.
  2. Pony Formation, Tight End/Wing Right, Zone Read Left, crashed in, gain of 2.
  3. Tight End Wing Right, Veer Left, Keep (TD)

This is another anti-Richard Brehaut thing- he has no experience with the flow and essence of the read game in both the veer and zone plays. He'll figure it out eventually, but KP is the best QB for the system right now. I liked the play-calling here, no complaints other than Brehaut giving the ball to the RB on the crashed read play. 


  1. Tight End/Wing Right, Fly motion from left to right, Power Right, down to the 5
  2. Tight End/Wing Left, Counter Motion from left to right, with a jab on the hash, counter/trap left, stuffed
  3. 1x3 Tight End Right, Kick-out motion from right to left Zone Dive, TD


One problem here, stay away from the coutners/traps, keep to the straight-forward power and zone plays. I like that, much, much better.

Final Thoughts
UCLA has uniquely predictable play calling when they get down to the goal line. UCLA's ability to use the veer, power, dive, and zone concepts will be great as the team continues to develop. But, some kinks in execution, both in the penalty and the blocking departments cost UCLA 14 points, which essentially, would have buried the Cougars in a 28-7 hole. I really, really hope this doesn't continue, but it definitely was a step up from the display at Texas, which left more than 14 points on the board in Austin. Should this happen again in Berkley, or Autzen, things could get ugly, quick.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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