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Spaulding Report: UCLA QB Josh Rosen Trying to Fix the Mistakes

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On the eve of the first day of classes at UCLA, Jim Mora, Josh Rosen, and co. talked more about their preparation for Stanford, how to replicate Christian McCaffrey on the scout team, Darren Andrews' emergence as the top receiver, and more.

UNLV v UCLA
Josh Rosen has regressed a bit in year 2, but has been steadily improving with each game.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Though his temper appeared markedly less doom-and-gloom (being back in sunny Westwood, CA will do that to you), Josh Rosen didn’t feel much better about his performance against BYU last weekend after watching the game film.

"Just got a lot of mistakes I have to fix," Rosen said. "It’s pretty simple."

Those mistakes have been well documented on this site, and others; like, forcing a throw to a covered receiver when failing to go to his second or third reads who are wide open.

"Most every concept has three or four options," Rosen said. "I’m not an incredibly athletic quarterback so that’s got to be my wheelhouse, getting through the progression."

In the post-game press availability on Saturday, Rosen said he wasn’t seeing the field as well as he would have liked to. Upon reviewing the film, he said his feet were jittery, and he wasn’t getting settled in the pocket.

"When your lower half is sort of ancy, it makes your upper half panic a little earlier than it should," Rosen said.

Much of it can be chalked up to the new offense, where making those progressions are a thing, rather than in Mazzone’s much simpler scheme. Rosen also talked about how the different pass protections that Polamalu has installed are taking some getting used to, especially in being able to locate his running backs, and knowing if they’re in protection or can be used as an outlet.

"I just gotta be able to check the ball down, and know when to push down the field and make plays," Rosen said, "but at the same time know exactly where your back is, and know if he’s in protection or not, because it’ll always change."

Rosen, often described by his teammates as the ultimate competitor, is putting in the reps to fix the mistakes.

"It takes a lot of training to be able to stand in there and just not think about guys that are, basically they’re job is to try to hurt you," Rosen laughed. "You just gotta, every drive, just make yourself look down field and focus on what’s necessary."

Darren Andrews is UCLA’s Top Receiver Through Three Games

You probably noticed Darren Andrews’ unsportsmanlike conduct penalty last week. Then you probably noticed that after his 33-yard touchdown he comically ran the ball directly to a referee. What you may not have noticed is that Darren Andrews is quietly leading the UCLA receiver unit with 10 receptions for 160 yards and 1 touchdown.

"He’s a big catch and run guy," Rosen said of Andrews on Wednesday. "He’s a very emotional player, so when he catches the ball he’s got a serious passion to not get tackled."

Andrews was third in receptions last season, behind Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte, so his emergence as top receiver may have been inevitable. He said that his chemistry with Rosen has improved since last year.

"I think it’s developed over time. It’s a bit better than last year, so that comes with time and being out there," Andrews said.

Another good thing about Andrews? Yarber said he’s the biggest "nerd" out there; in Yarber-speak, "nerds" are the guys that don’t drop passes.

Offensive Philosophy Shift Should Help the Defense Against Stanford

Although Jim Mora may never admit that the philosophy shifts on offense and defense were designed specifically to compete with Stanford, he did grant that the offensive changes in particular should help the defense play against Stanford’s old-school, pro-style attack.

"The thing that I hope helps us is the fact that we spent so much time in spring and in training camp running our 9-on-7, our inside run drills. The fact that we’ve changed our offense up a little bit, I think, I would hope, would help us a little bit on Saturday," Mora said.

"I think that we appear — appear — to be better equipped, so that’s a positive. Now we have to go make it happen on Saturday."

Takk Injury Report

Mora said that it’s starting to look like Takkarist McKinley’s groin injury will be a lingering issue, and that the coaching and training staff would have to monitor his practice time. Though, as long as he keeps conditioning, he should continue to be able to play in games.

"If he’s ready to go, he’ll play," Mora said. "The fact that he had shoulder pads on and he was in a red jersey is a positive, but we’ll have to see Saturday where he is."

Paco Perez is back practicing, but not 100%.

Check out more from Coach Mora, Josh Rosen, Darren Andrews, Nate Starks, and Rick Wade below. Videos are courtesy of Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Daily News.

HC Jim Mora:

QB Josh Rosen:

WR Darren Andrews:

RB Nate Starks:

DE Rick Wade:

GO BRUINS.