After Colorado's big scare on Halloween, the Bruins began the process of regrouping and preparing for Oregon State this Saturday. Just two player videos were posted today. I don't know if that's a product of all the new faces and positions needing extra time in meetings and film study this morning, or if no one was healthy enough to walk out to the media area.
One of the heroes who emerged from the smoking carnage that is the U.C.L.A. Football roster was LB Jayon Brown. Brown started getting playing time when Myles Jack was lost after week 3, then he got some more time when Isaako Savaiinaea suffered a high ankle sprain last week. On Saturday, he got pretty much all the time. Brown played an insane 110 snaps on defense, beginning at outside linebacker and moving to inside in the 3rd quarter. If you know anything about football, you ought to have a hard time imaging that. Brown says that still he feels it.
Oh, I'm very sore. I gotta get some treatment, get my body right for the next week coming up.
He said playing in the heat and that number of snaps was "draining".
Brown wasn't the only linebacker to step up. Cameron Judge is an outside linebacker, but he filled in at middle linebacker for the first time in his Bruin career, and Brown was impressed with his play.
Yeah, he did great. Cam made a lot of plays as the Jack backer. He made a big one on 4th and 4. Cam did a great job.
Brown talked about the importance of communication on the defensive unit, particularly when there were so many new faces and so many faces in unfamiliar spots.
When you get tired, you don't want to talk, but in a game like that you have to, so you just gotta gather around everybody, everybody's gotta help everybody out.
When asked what he said...
Brown acknowledged the importance of getting Kenny Young and Isaako Savaiinaea back to fill their true inside linebacker positions to help against the run and provide some depth at the position.
The Bruins miss last seasons Butkus Award winner Eric Kendricks. He was as reliable and sturdy in that middle linebacker position as the Bruins are scattered and fragile. But big props should go out to Brown and Judge for their efforts on Saturday. It wasn't perfect, but they made enough plays when it counted.
And we might even have an upgrade from EK's hair, which is a major upset.
Jordan Payton made his usual Monday appearance and discussed the offense. He felt the WR group played well which I think is a very fair assessment. He declined to offer himself up at Mike linebacker.
Amidst the injuries and the typical roller coaster season, he did focus on the positives.
Crazy, right? It's really crazy...We're really just, we're still in this. We control it. What a great situation to be in.
That Bruins history in that situation may or may not inspire much confidence in individual Bruin fans, but it certainly beats the opposite.
Payton also spoke about Oregon State and the mental development of Josh Rosen this season. You can see the entire interview below.
In retrospect, although there were the usual concerns about the offensive play calling, when you consider that Colorado had the ball almost three times as long as the Bruins and the Bruins offense still outscored them, that is a credit to the efficiency with which our offense puts up points. There were too many 3 and outs, especially early in the game at a time when Colorado undoubtedly gained some confidence by keeping the score close, and we're used to having a great gameplay on offense (Arizona, Cal) followed by a dog or two (ASU, Stanford, Colorado), but the offense certainly has the capability to carry the team.
The coaching staff will meet with the media after tomorrow morning's practice, so we may get some updates about who returned to practice and in what capacity so we'll have a better idea how the depth charts will look as we get closer to Corvallis.
If only the Bruins could install some ice baths in their dorm rooms to get healed up more quickly.