Spaulding Roundup: Defense Ahead, Riley Stars, Backup Reporters Flub & Other UCLA Notes

Let's mark this Sunday with a huge note of thanks to Scotucla03 with a double dose of practice notes from first two-a-day here and here. Reading the tradmed clips (which I will get to after the flip) and then comparing them to Scot's practice notes and comments from coaches' makes you realize how utterly lazy and worthless most of these beat reporters are when it comes to covering UCLA. So thank you Scot and hope there will be more posts like that in the coming days (until practice gets closed) so that we don't have to solely depend on the garbage from local tradmed.

Bruins ended their Saturday scrimmage with a pre-planned scrimmage of about 25 plays. The offense apparently got off to good start with solid runs from Derrick Coleman, before getting stalled with some mistakes and tough play from D. Not really a surprise given we were going with backup QBs and at this point training camp, defense stays ahead of the offense. Coach Rick Neuheisel wasn't all that concerned about it after practice when he talked to elementary school students reporters huddled around Spaulding:

As CRN noted the effort was there but what the guys, especially on offense needs to work on cleaning up mistakes at this point of training camp. It is something they will be working on through this week leading up to first full scrimmage. I imagine the results will be better when Prince comes back early this week.

In terms of the guys who really stood out it sounds like Dietrich Riley continues to make a huge impression as he had 2 picks during yesterday's practice. Got some more thoughts on him (channeling Scotucla03) and general mockery of the tradmed stupidity after the jump.

Even though the reporters shouldn't have made a big deal out an offense struggling a little with backup QBs, they did exactly that with predictable and unoriginal cheap shots. While UCLA was using backup QBs at Spaulding, ESPNLA and OC Register sent in their backup beat reporters out to Spaudling producing some ugly results.  Pete Yoon, who is the backup for Blair Angulo came up with:

Pistol offense fires mostly blanks

While some guy named Eric Patten filed a "special" report at the  OC Register with this:

No pop from the 'pistol' in UCLA's first scrimmage

Wow guys. You all really worked hard over that coloring reports that looked less impressive than what we usually get out of our walkon QBs. None of those specific reports provide anything informative on what actually took place at Spaulding. Chris Foster from the LA Times did take the time to talk to Richard Brehaut, who was leading the offense when it stalled after nice runs from Coleman:

"We had a stretch [run] to the right and I saw Rahim [Moore] coming box, so I thought too many in the box to run that play," Brehaut said. "I checked it to another play that we can't even run in that formation.

"I have to get better in three weeks so if something is wrong with Kevin, I'm ready to come out here and perform."

Well from early reports it sounded like Brehaut already is ahead of where he was last season. I am sure the coaches will be on him to make sure he doesn't get down and keeps at it for the coming days. He certainly should be brushing off the headlines with cheapshots from the local press.

While the offense struggled , the defense shined with Dietrich Riley. From Jill Painter (who was subbing in for Jon Gold) in the Daily News:

Safety Dietrich Riley is quickly making a name for himself with big hits, but he added to his resume Saturday by making two interceptions in the afternoon scrimmage. And that was with the first-team defense. Riley expected to make an impact as a true freshman, but not this quickly.

"I thought I'd be running with the 3s," said Riley, who prepped at St. Francis High. "It's shocking to be with the 1s. They want to see how I live up to that. I responded quite well."

Everyone has taken notice. Riley leveled Anthony Barr during Friday's practice - neither player was injured.

Then Randall Carroll had a counterpunch Saturday.

"They're actually gunning for me, man," Riley said. "I have to run with a swivel on my head because when we were in team play, Randall Carroll tried to blindside me but luckily I saw him out of my peripheral vision and I was able to shed him off.

"The receivers, I like. We're trying to toughen them up. I know the coaches are on me, saying stay up (when tackling). It's tough to do that. I wasn't brought up that way. I only know fullspeed."

Scot brought this up yesterday. Given Riley's hot start, I wonder if it's worth it for the coaches to rotate in Riley and pair him up with Rahim. I think Tony Dye has been steady over last two years and he should continue to get his time in the rotation. Yet it sounds like Riley just brings whole another dimension to our secondary. Will be interesting how it develops in the coming days, if Riley maintains his pace.

Nothing too significant to add to injury front (knocking on wood). Prince is still projected to come back early this week (on Monday perhaps). Kai Forbath has been sitting out "nursing a groin." CRN called it "nothing serious" and an opportunity to give Kip Smith solid work early on. Wesley Flowers (strained back muscle) and safety Alex Mascarenas (hamstring) also sat out practice.

The guys get back out at Spaulding this afternoon at 3 pm for little more than two hours. If you haven't been down there yet, take advantage of the opportunity. Apparently CRN allowed  fans to get down to the field and check out action directly from the sidelines yesterday. I have seen that (from pictures) before but am not sure if it's a regular occurrence. Perhaps it was something to make the weekend atmosphere more fun. Certainly makes it worth it to get down and take in all the action in person (and then sharing with rest us right here on BN).

GO BRUINS.

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