One must finish out one’s schedule, and therefore one must still play UC Berkeley. The Bears and the Bruins are both 4-7 and both got creamed in their rivalry games last Saturday.
Davis Webb leads the California offensive attack, a quarterback that UCLA DC Tom Bradley has seen before while he was a defensive assistant at West Virginia, and Webb was playing as a walk-on at Texas Tech.
"He gets rid of the ball so fast, knows where he wants to go. He really does a great job of reading defense, and getting where he wants that ball to go quickly," Bradley said, "If you watch him, he’s in total command of the offense. You can just tell he’s very, the way he directs it, the ways he moves the backs around, the way he checks the play. He knows. He’s on top of everything."
Sonny Dykes, a protege of Mike Leach, runs his own version of the Air Raid, which the Bruins saw against Washington State. UCLA held the Cougars to only 27 points, their lowest total of the season before their loss against Colorado on Saturday.
"They have similarities, and of course differences. They have some different philosophies in how they do things, and how they run the football," Bradley said. "But they’re an excellent football team, and of course it’ll be a challenge for us."
Weakness on Weakness
UCLA, the worst rushing offense in the conference, and the second worst in the nation, may get to break some runs again the worst rushing defense in the conference, and the second worst in the country. The Golden Bears are allowing a cataclysmic 6.28 yards per carry (better only than the SEC West’s Arkansas—you know, where they really know how to play defense).
"We’ll have some opportunities," offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu said on Tuesday. "People have had success against them, and we just gotta build our success, and get our momentum going, and I’m looking forward to that."
The Bruins broke the 100 yards rushing mark against Oregon State, their first 100-yard rushing game since playing Arizona the fifth week of the season. They should be able to cross that mark against UC Berkeley this week.
"There’s some plays that we’ll exploit them with, as far as outside zone, inside zone," freshman running back Brandon Stephens said. "As a running backs group, we just gotta hit the holes, get those dirty three, four yards, and that’s an explosive run for us."
Brandon Stephens nick name on the team is "Bunny."
"Bolu’s the one that made that up," Stephens said. "Just the fact that I’m a skipper and a juker, so that’s why they call me Bunny."
Does he like it?
"It’s pretty cool. I’m not saying it’s my favorite nick name of all," Stephens said. "But it’s all right, it’s all right."
Check out more from Kennedy Polamalu, Tom Bradley, and Brandon Stephens below. Videos are courtesy of Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Daily News.
OC Kennedy Polamalu:
DC Tom Bradley:
RB Brandon Stephens: