(For you North Campus guys and gals, see Fourier Transform)
It was great to see MathBruin represent South Campus in the Houston game thread. What would you North Campus types do without all the technology you stare at and carry around all day?
Our dear departed Norm Chow somehow missed noticing six-foot eight-inch Joseph Fauria who had a total of 3 receptions for 21 yards last season. (Interestingly, Utah completed 10 passes to their tight ends in their opening win against Montana St.) Against Houston Fauria surpassed his last season's total reception yards with his first reception of 29 yards. He led all UCLA receivers with six receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. In a single game Fauria gained nearly 70% of last season's combined 161 yards from the tight-end position.
This is how Fauria's day went:
|2Q: 3rd and 4 at HOU 47||29||1st down|
|2Q: 3rd and 8 at UCLA 48||26||1st down|
|2Q: 2nd and 14 at HOU 30||25||1st down|
|2Q: 1st and goal at HOU 5||5||TD|
|3Q: 2nd and goal at HOU 6||4||2-yard line|
|4Q: 3rd and 8 at HOU 49||21||1st down|
Dave Einsel - AP
|UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria (8) pulls in a catch with pressure from Houston's Colton Valencia (20) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)|
He had four 20+ yard receptions resulting in first downs, three of those on third down keeping drives alive. Fauria displayed sure hands, catching all six passes thrown to him.
The rest of the receiving corps (and backs) also got into the act as Bruins QBs completed passes to seven other targets not named Fauria. Prince, 3 for 3 before leaving the game and Brehaut, 17 of 26 (65%), combined for a total of 322 yards through the air as the passing attack, for at least one game, maintained a competent passing attack from start to finish in stark contrast to last season's anemic 141 yards passing per game average and 53% completion rate.
Obviously, one game does not a trend make. Houston is not known to be a defensive power. However, last season we gained only 99 yards passing at home against Houston. Admittedly, we didn't need much through the air then with Jetski rushing for 158 yards and our defense holding the Cougars to 13 points. But only once all last season did we gain more that 300 yards through the air (321 against ASU, also in a losing cause). It is unclear if the apparent offensive transformation will be sustained. There were mistakes made and a few dropped balls (seemed fewer than last year), but unlike last season I wasn't cringing every time a Bruin QB dropped back to pass.
Oh, it's nice to see that new OC Mike Johnson and tight ends coach Jim Mastro know that the tight end can catch as well as block.