On Monday morning before practice, Chip Kelly spoke about how this week’s game is the most important game the Bruins will play “this week.” He refused to call it the biggest game of the season, even though it is.
Overall, Kelly kept the same even keel he’s had every week, even though this week’s game is, in fact, more important than any other game to the point because this one has the ability to play a large role in whether or not the UCLA Bruins can win the Pac-12 South.
After practice, Josh Woods and Stephan Blaylock met with the media. Josh Woods addressed the improvement of the defense.
“I think our preparation is letting a better execution,” Woods said. He emphasized that they are using the same schemes that were installed when the coaching staff first got there.
Woods also spoke about how he wants to help the team. “I just want to execute and give my team the best opportunity and just do my job,” he said.
Interestingly, Blaylock first denied that the defense was doing anything differently, but then later, he admitted that they have been playing more pressed up on the line. “Yeah, a little bit...that’s what more comfortable as a defensive back group,” he said.
Blaylock said that for the defense to continue playing well, they “just have to stay focused and keep working.”
Yesterday saw Elisha Guidry, Jason Harris and Dorian Thompson-Robinson speak with the media after practice.
One interesting aspect this week is the fact that Elisha Guidry’s brother Javelin will be playing for the Utes. After practice yesterday, Elisha spoke with the media and mentioned that his family will have “Guidry Bowl” shirts on for the game with both helmets on each side. He hinted that his parents both are UCLA alums. So, they may be quietly rooting for the Bruins, but he added that they would want to see both sons succeed.
Jason Harris discussed how the team needs to make the most of this week and this opportunity. “Utah is a big physical team,” he said. “We want to take the fight to them.”
Last but not least was Dorian Thompson-Robinson. DTR spoke about how Chip Kelly has simplified the offense. “Once you find your playmakers, it’s easy to get them the ball once you know what they can do,” he said.
DTR also spoke about Joshua Kelley’s role on the team. As an aside, he was asked if he’s never seen Kelley not smile. “No, even when he’s getting yelled at and cursed at, he’s always smiling,” he replied.
He was asked what the Bruins need to do to win. “We’ve got to go out there and play our game,” he said. “We’ve got to execute. No turnovers on offense. Get a lot of turnovers on defense. We’ve got to win the turnover battle and we’ve got to execute on both sides of the ball.”
Let’s hope all of that happens.
Thanks to UCLA Athletics for all of the videos so far this week.