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Spaulding Roundup: UCLA Scrimmage Wrap-up & Other Football Notes

<em>That is Jerry Rice, Jr. (88), a member of this year's walkon class for UCLA. He had 1 catch for 27 yards in yesterday's scrimmage. Photo Credit: E. Corpuz</em>
That is Jerry Rice, Jr. (88), a member of this year's walkon class for UCLA. He had 1 catch for 27 yards in yesterday's scrimmage. Photo Credit: E. Corpuz

So let's start with the scrimmage which was held at Spaulding instead of the Rose Bowl due to heat and fire related concerns in Southern California. Looks like the offense got off to a sloppy start tight after with two straight penalty calls (delay of game and then an offside by OL Eddie Williams). However, the guys recovered and ended up having a decent outing. From the LA Times:

There were improvements. "We scored a touchdown, that's an improvement," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said.

But there were enough problems to prompt Coach Rick Neuheisel to say that the offense is on schedule, but, "I think guys realize we are not game-ready yet. I think that's a call to arms over the weekend while they get a little rest."

The first-team offense had a respectable 45 yards rushing in 11 carries, with tailback Johnathan Franklin getting 34 yards. But it came against UCLA's second-team defense, which had three converted offensive linemen and a walk-on freshman as a front four.

Quarterback Kevin Prince had a wobbly day. He completed nine of 13 passes for 73 yards but was hardly sharp. He also had a screen pass intercepted.

"I thought he was better [than in last week's scrimmage], but there were still a couple balls he should have let go," Neuheisel said.

Prince directed a 50-yard scoring drive, completing all three of his passes for 48 yards. Milton Knox scored on a two-yard run

You can check out the full stats courtesy of Jon Gold in the Daily News blog. Per that post Prince was 8 of 12 for 69 yards. Also noteworthy, per LAT's blogpost, "Morrell Presley, playing on the second team, had a 15-yard touchdown reception and also had a 21-yard reception that set up Knox’s touchdown run." That's not a bad way for Morrell to come back after he had a quiet scrimmage last weekend. We are going to need him right away in the first game, especially considering Ketchum might be out due to a hamstring injury.

Another stat that stuck out to me was how at least 4 running backs got 5 carries or more (Franklin, Knox, Thigpen and Sheppard). Looks like coaches are living up to their word about trying out the tailback committee for now until someone emerges as the regular back on game days. I am hoping this means we get to see a nice rotation of Coleman, Franklin, Knox and perhaps even Thigpen against San Diego State.

Bruins still have a long way to go though. They will have to work out their kinks wrt to penalty related issues. "Communication" is going to be an issue this season, at least for a few games sicne we are going to have a brand new OL playing together first time at UCLA. More on those guys after the jump.

Seems like at OL, Mike Harris made most out of the opportunity he received this week to practice with the first team. Palcic might be going with Harris in the starting five along with Hasiak against San Diego State. From the Daily News:

After practicing with the second offensive unit for much of the preseason, redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Mike Harris is scheduled to start at right tackle, with Stanley Hasiak at left guard and now Jeff Baca backing up both.

Offensive line coach Bob Palcic, though, said he and Neuheisel still needed to review the scrimmage tape and then would decide on official starters by Monday.

"I'm going to make one final meeting with coach Neuheisel to see which direction we're going," Palcic said. "Harris or Baca at tackle and Baca or Hasiak at left guard. We'll make the decision this weekend.

"We wanted to give them all an opportunity. That was the purpose of the scrimmage, and it's whoever played best in the scrimmage. I gave them all work with the ones, and whoever played best in the scrimmage will start next Saturday."

That sounds pretty fair. For his part, Mike sounds confident:

"I feel like it's my spot, and I'm going to do whatever it takes. Last year, I was a freshman, new at things, but I feel prepared for this upcoming season. I'm excited and ready to get this offense rolling again. I think it was my whole body of work; I was injured in spring ball, but I came ready in this summer camp. Every day I went hard, and the coaches saw that they can count on me."
Harris, who started five games last season, believes his familiarity gives him the edge over some of UCLA's younger players, though he is potentially unseating Jeff Baca, who started eight games last season.
"I think my experience is a big factor. I know what to expect, especially starting against USC last year. I know what it takes to be successful. It will take a lot of hard work and a lot of limiting mental errors."

I am assuming we will see the official depth chart sometime early next week after the coaches have gone over the tapes from yesterday's scrimmage. We will get a better idea on starting line up and rotation as we really start focusing on the Aztecs.

Lastly, have to end this round up with a sad note. From Jon Gold in the DN:

Foster Louis Bosworth Jr., the grandfather of Korey and Kyle Bosworth, passed away yesterday in Texas. The Bosworths will remain with the family for a few days, and are expected to return for practice on Sunday.

Their GrandDad was "instrumental" in Korey and Kyle's lives (per Gold's post). Obviously thoughts and prayers from the entire BN goes out to Kyle, Korey and their family.