Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Despite struggling against Cal, Mora and his staff are sticking with the young and talented core of UCLA offensive line.
Bruin OL had a tough time against Cal's blitzing defense last Saturday. I am assuming rest of the teams on our schedule will basically copy that blueprint to disrupt our offensive rhythm. So it will be interesting to see whether our coaches make any adjustments.
As for the OL, coaches are sticking with the combination they have been using all season:
"That's what I like about football, and playing offensive line," UCLA senior right guard Jeff Baca said. "A team will exploit your weakness, until you make it your strength."
The three freshman starters in UCLA's offensive line might be six-game veterans now, but the challenges won't stop coming.
"(Offensive line) Coach (Adrian) Klemm has been telling us we're going to see that the rest of the year, until we stop it," said Baca, a 37-game starter from Mission Viejo High.
Although redshirt freshman left tackle Torian White, who struggled the most, was subbed for in the second half of the Cal game, with left guard Xavier Su'a-filo sliding over, and redshirt freshman Ben Wysocki (Los Alamitos High) going in at guard, UCLA coach Jim Mora said the plan is to stick with the linemen who have brought the Bruins (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) this far.
"We're playing right now with the five guys we think give us the best chance," Mora said, "so, we're sticking with them.
"The offensive line and the secondary are the two places you need the most continuity, because of the communication involved. On the OL, those guys really need to be in concert. It's easier for a veteran group that knows each other. It's a real challenge when you're young, because there are so many split-second decisions, and they have to work in concert, every single play."
I think that approach wrt OL makes sense here. We disagree re secondary because at CB - our seniors have an established body of work which is not very inspiring. At the OL, it makes sense to go through some growing pains with young core of White, Brendel and Goines (along with a little bit of Ben Wysocki).
But the question Mora and his staff will have to answer is whether they will change up their schematic approach. Mazzone's offense looked to be on fire early on - perhaps reaching the high point against a medicore Nebraska team. Since then though it has sputtered in pretty much every game. It will be interesting to what coaches have planned for a Utah team that is coming in with a very solid front-7 anchored by a combination of a star DL and speedy group of LBs.