Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon following the team’s practice in preparation for the upcoming game against Utah. Though certainly not the only issue on offense, poor offensive line play is largely the reason for a 3rd-worst in the country run game and for an offense that isn’t putting points on the board.
Klemm talked before the season about searching for a core of five guys to ride the season with. With injuries to Kolton Miller and the occasional attempt to try a new face, Klemm doesn’t seem to have found that five.
"I don’t know if it’s so much searching, it’s more just trying to get someone to step up," Klemm said. "Four of those guys weren’t playing last year, one was out for about a year with an injury and the other guys are young guys. But in the past we’ve had young guys come in and they step up and take advantage of the situation, opportunity given them."
A theory that’s been tossed around by UCLA folks, including former head coach Rick Neuheisel, about the Bruins’ run struggles is that the players on the offensive line were recruited to a spread system, but are now being asked to play power. Maybe they just aren’t the right guys?
"We knew what we had going into it." Klemm said. "When you switch to a system or whatever you know you bulk ‘em up differently, you get ‘em bigger, different things of that nature. Yeah, we can go out and recruit guys but we gotta worry about what’s going on right now. We still have a season left and we have these final games and the bowl game and all those different things to focus on."
To prepare for the scheme change, getting bigger in the off season was a major priority for the line. Scott Quessenberry, Klemm pointed out, who sat out 2015 with an injury, last played at 260lbs, and is now 312lbs. Regarding the current obvious struggles, Klemm pulled the stay the course line.
"What it comes down to is technique, physicality, and executing every single play," Klemm said. "And that’s what we need to get better at."
Rosen Back at Practice
Reports via twitter came out Wednesday morning that Josh Rosen was no longer doing conditioning with the training staff, but actually practicing, actually throwing balls, actually taking reps at the quarterback position:
Josh Rosen is back at practice on the field throwing balls and running around during warm ups. #UCLA #RosenWatch— Thuc Nhi Nguyen (@thucnhi21) October 19, 2016
Josh Rosen is back at practice, knee brace and all.— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) October 19, 2016
But Mora, as per, didn’t reveal much about the sophomore quarterback’s status.
"We’ll see. You know, I don’t think we’ll know until Saturday. I just don’t think we’ll know until Saturday, unfortunately," Mora said. "As much as you want to know, and your readers want to know, I promise you I want to know. I promise you our team wants to know."
It’s hard to tell now if this is Mora being honest, or if this is now Mora just bluffing, as he is wont to do.
"We’re hoping and crossing our fingers that he’s able to play this Saturday," Mora said.
See more from Coach Mora, Adrian Klemm, Kenny Walker, Scott White, and Demetrice Martin. Videos are courtesy of Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Daily News.
HC Jim Mora:
OL Coach Adrian Klemm:
WR Kenny Walker:
LB Coach Scott White:
DB Coach Demetrice Martin: