Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Making the assumption UCLA defense can force this game to a QB vs QB match-up by shutting down the Longhorn running attack, the game will come down to which QB progresses the fastest.
Texas running game, which was suppose to be its strength, was a pathetic 2.2 yards a carry at Tech last week. UCLA has to make that trend stay. The problem starts with the offensive line, who keeps crumbling instead of getting good push. The holes and running lanes just aren't forming enough, and this was against Rice, Wyoming and Tech.
Gilbert - He didn't show much progress at Texas Tech, but he did seem more decisive. The Tech crowd and the didn't seem to distract him too much, although he had some visible signs of frustration.
Gilbert's tip balls on the line of scrimmage is a bit of a worry for Texas. Gilbert's bad habits are hurting him. His stance is getting too wide, thereby making him dip before he throws; and locking onto a receiver for too long and telegraphing his pass.
Other issues: His play-action fakes still need some work, but he does do a great job of whipping around and getting his eyes downfield. But, the lack of running is making those play action passes a waste. Last I checked, it's supposed to be set up by the run. But at Tech it seemed to be the other way around. Nevertheless, in a close, sloppy game, the young QB kept his head and hit some key passes. But yet again he was unable to sustain a solid rhythm.
"He gets another warm-up against a struggling UCLA team next week before the biggest tests of the season come against The Land Thieves and those huskers of corn."
The Prince of Westwood -
Making the same assumption that Texas is going to force the hand of UCLA to pass the ball, Kevin Prince is going to have to get a lot more accurate really fast.
Prince showed huge progress last week from a leadership perspective. He took command of the offense but his legs were more impressive than his arm. Composure and leadership will be the key, the crowd will not be nice to Kevin this week, he needs to not get rattled and make sure he maintains the rhythm he established against Houston.
Main Issue - Still not accurate. Prince has nice touch on his deep balls, the WR need to start making some catches, but he still is a bit all over the place on his slants and stop routes. Balls tend to sail or be behind the WR, which has to be fixed quickly. The high balls are the most troubling since the WR are going up with one hand and tipping the balls nicely to the defense.
Other issues - WR are not helping. WR need to step up. If it hits your hands, you need to catch the ball. This WR core has no attitude at this point. Prince can not do it all on his own. Also, CNC, has to give our speed guys a chance to use that speed and our big guys a chance to use their size. I am not seeing a lot of quick slants or quick screens. I would like to see the speed come to life on Saturday. I would also like to see UCLA go big a bit. Double tight with Presley at F and Nelson at WR. If we can catch balls out of this formation, the receiver front would be huge. But we have not seen great hands out of Harkey, Fauria has not seen a ball , Presley dropped balls at K State and Nelson looks to be the softest WR of the group. Someone needs to step up somewhere here. I just can't tell yet who even has the talent too be that guy. Hopefully that gets answered Saturday.
Breaking the QB Down:
Arm Strength - Gilbert
Accuracy - Gilbert
Experience - Prince
Running Ability - Prince
Weapons - Gilbert
Texas has no issue throwing the ball 30 plus times a game with Gilbert. So UCLA should expect it and actually hope it happens. But, as the QBs go so does the game Saturday. The progress UCLA made against Houston needs to happen again going into Texas. Prince can't be afraid to run the ball and lower his head. The more threats roll out of the Pistol, the more on their heal the Texas D will play. When Prince's arm is called upon, he needs to throw strikes. I can't wait for Saturday, UCLA needs to take another step forward this weekend. Prince needs to take three steps forward.