Re. UCLA's Tough Win v Utah: SI.com on a Key Hundley Adjustment & Brendel’s Snap Issues

SI.com's Andy Staples who seems to be following our Bruins pretty closely this year (for it put together this awesome profile on Hundley during pre-season camp) has a really good report out of Utah on Bruins' big win:

Staples shares couple of key nuggets worth noting. He has this on an adjustment Hundley made that led to that 36 yard TD run late in Q4:

Utah had torn apart the Bruins' offense for most of the second half with overload blitzes that brought more rushers than UCLA had blockers on a particular side. How good were Utes coach Kyle Whittingham's pressure packages? "His blitz schemes were excellent," Mora said. "I can't wait to look at the film and see if I can't poach a few of them." But Hundley noticed one tendency in particular. When the Bruins had a single receiver to the boundary (short) side of the field, Utah sent a cornerback at Hundley. When UCLA had two receivers on each side of the field, the Utes dropped that corner into man coverage. Their other blitzers left the middle of the field unguarded -- which made Utah susceptible to a quarterback draw. If the corner was coming, he could track down Hundley fairly easily on a draw. If the corner got stuck covering a receiver, Hundley could run all day. At least that's what Hundley envisioned when he presented the idea to Mazzone. So, on third-and-6 from the Utes' 36-yard line, Mazzone indulged his quarterback. The tailback split wide, giving the Bruins two receivers on each side. Sure enough, the corner dropped into man coverage. The middle of the field opened, and Hundley raced for a 36-yard touchdown that turned out to be a critical cushion after Utah kicked a late field goal and recovered an onside kick. "I'm very proud of our defense in the second half," Whittingham said. "They were dominant in the second half -- except for the QB draw."

Hmm. From that account it sounds like a QB, who despite some blurry visions, was making savvy play-calling decisions based on instant-game analysis.  Something to keep in mind while discussing this.

Staples also provided some context on Brendel's issues with snaps throughout the game:

With games at Stanford and Oregon coming later this month, UCLA will have to get back to work and fix some of their issues. They can make mistakes and beat a pretty good Utah team, but the Cardinal and the Ducks won't be so forgiving. Bruins right tackle Torian White broke his ankle Thursday and will be out for a significant stretch. White's injury left freshmen Alex Redmond and Caleb Benenoch manning the right side of the line. Mora said that center Jake Brendel had to work extra to help the youngsters diagnose defensive fronts. This was especially difficult for Brendel, who then had to put his head down because of UCLA's silent snap count and fire out of his stance quickly because the Utes placed a nose tackle directly over him on most plays. The result? Many of his snaps came out low and to the left, forcing Hundley to work to catch the snap and then to get himself back into position to throw. Stanford and its ferocious pass rush will feast if the Bruins don't address that particular problem.

Forget Stanford (and Oregon). After getting some rest this weekend, Bruins need to lock in on the Bears and wipe out bad memories from last year.

GO BRUINS.

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