Video via YouTube.com/UCLA
While the Bruins finished their Spring Practices on Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl, there is still plenty coming out of the weekend for the state of UCLA Football.
While the offense performed very well during the Spring Game, and the quarterbacks particularly were putting up numbers that we have not seen in years from a UCLA QB, the quality of the defenses on the field at particular times was an unknown factor in Brehaut and Hundley's successes. Both Jon Gold and Peter Yoon noted the state of the Bruin defense - and the guys that got picked on a bit - in their respective post-scrimmage reports. Gold on the Defensive Line:
The defensive line was a bit Jekyl and Hyde, alternating great push with bad push back. Datone Jones and Cassius Marsh looked stout, and Donovan Carter had a good sack, but overall, not what you'd want up front.
And Yoon with the DB's:
The UCLA defense is playing quite short-handed because of injuries, especially in the secondary and linebacker corps. Three long touchdown passes went in the direction of walk-on cornerback Erick Zumwalt, a freshman generously listed at 5 feet 10, who was forced into duty because of the lack of depth in the secondary.
Also, the defense was playing a vanilla coverage to not give away much in the line of schemes and strategy on such a public stage.
While there have been a number of injuries of varying severity during Spring ball, the DB's have been hit particularly hard. In his post-scrimmage press session, Coach Mora was asked about which positions give him the biggest concerns in terms of depth. While in terms of quality, the offensive line has looked to be one of the team's biggest question marks during the past few weeks, the basic depth at the position is manageable.
Considering the players who have been banged up (or worse) over the past few weeks, it is not shocking to hear that Mora tagged inside linebacker as the biggest depth issue at this point. Cornerback is his #2 depth concern, though he is looking forward to seeing the development of the incoming freshmen such as Marcus Rios.
This has already been touched upon, but Richard Brehaut has decided to forgo the rest of the UCLA Baseball season, electing to focus on winning the starting quarterback job. In talking to ESPNLA's Peter Yoon, Brehaut noted that it was not any inherent effect on his ability to prepare for the QB job while playing Baseball that led to his decision. Rather his hope that passing on football would show the coaches an increased level of commitment to his teammates during the unofficial Spring and Summer workouts and drills that most players engage in.
"For me, football has always been the priority," he said. "I wanted to give baseball the opportunity because I knew I can play baseball, but right now I think my time is going to be best spent with the football team and developing that leadership role."
... "Nobody has separated on the field, so the coaches want to see how everyone does off the field," Brehaut said. "They want to see who works hard in the offseason, who shows leadership."