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Tuesday Bruin Roundup

So the Bruin defense is getting ready for Washington and they are thinking about Husky QB Isaiah Stanback. From the LA Times:

Washington senior Isaiah Stanback is the type of athlete who could hurt UCLA with big plays when the teams meet in a Pacific 10 Conference opener Saturday at Husky Stadium.

"The biggest thing that the coaches have talked about is containment," UCLA senior end Justin Hickman said about Stanback, who has started 18 games at quarterback for the Huskies. "He's a real fast guy who will kill you if he gets out the pocket. We have to keep him between the tackles inside the pocket because that's someplace that he doesn't want to be."

Stanback has been the true barometer for Washington's success this season. When Stanback has played well -- as he did in victories over San Jose State and Fresno State -- the Huskies are tough to defend. When Stanback struggled-- as he did in a loss at Oklahoma -- Washington is very beatable.

"Hopefully, we'll get some hits on him early and often," Hickman said. "Because like all quarterbacks, he doesn't like to get hit."

Stanback, 6 feet 3 and 215 pounds, is an athletic marvel. He finished fifth in the 100 meters at the Pac-10 track and field championships this year and, despite never playing an inning in college, was selected in June by the Baltimore Orioles in the amateur draft.

But Stanback's skills as a dual-threat football player are what have the Bruins' attention
We will see if our front 7 can keep IS in the pocket on Saturday. He is not the most accurate QB when he stays back to pass, completing 54.8 percent of his passes. Although he hasn't made that many mistakes, throwing 1 pick in 3 games. The key, as Hickman said, is to put some credible pressure on the Husky QB, knocking him down few times early in the game.

And Hickman is going to be in the spotlight on Saturday. He had a great game against Rice (3 sacks), but, as Dohn reports, Hickman needs to follow up his last game with another strong performance against the Huskies in order to show he has truly matured as a senior:
Hickman and UCLA are hoping his three-sack, five-tackle effort against Rice is a harbinger.

"We're hoping that jump-starts something (to) a new level for him," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "We're going to need that type of consistency from him and from (defensive end) Bruce Davis. Both of those guys have been very energetic in the backfield.

"They've been making some plays behind the line of scrimmage, and we need them to continue to do that."

UCLA has been searching for an effective pass rusher since Dave Ball set the single-season record of 16.5 sacks as a senior in 2003. Hickman may be the closest UCLA has on its roster.

Hickman led the Bruins with 5.5 sacks last season, but three came against Stanford. He said being "more mature" and better prepared puts him in position to become more consistent this season.

"It's definitely coming," the 6-foot-2, 263-pound Hickman said. "I feel different than any of the years I've been here. I know it's part of me being a senior, knowing it's my last go-round and needing to lead a young defense as the only (senior) starter. But it's something I feel inside of me, that I'm different than in past years.
Guess we all will have to keep an eye out for No. 17 on defense next Saturday.

Meanwhile, on the special teams Dorrell thinks he has found a solution for our punt returning woes:
The Bruins' punt return situation remains a jumble. Chris Markey fumbled one against Utah and Marcus Everett dropped one against Rice. Dorrell said Everett and Terrence Austin would share the role again this week, rotating opportunities.

Everett has been getting some extra work.

"I'm teaching Marcus a different punt-catching technique than what he's used to," Dorrell said. "But he'll do fine. He's a pretty good athlete and has pretty good hand-eye coordination."
BTW per Dohn FS Dennis Keyes return punts when Bruins are "playing it safe, with no return set up." We will see how it works out on Saturday because we are not going to have any margin for error on the road in this department.