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Spaulding Report: UCLA Football - The Return of the Bruins

Coach Mora met with the media after practice to discuss the upcoming game against Oregon State and the state of UCLA's personnel.

True Freshman Nate Meadors after his interception against Colorado.
True Freshman Nate Meadors after his interception against Colorado.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins have been playing a lot of men recently that weren't expected to be playing much, or at all this season. As Coaches Bradley and Mora discussed after the game, against Colorado men continued to fall (temporarily) and others played new positions, for the first time, or played every down. The good news was that we got to see some true Bruin warriors out there on Saturday, some that we hadn't seen much of this year. The other good news is that some Bruins are returning to practice and will be ready to go against the Beavers.

Mora also said that Alex Redmond was back with the team after having missed Saturday's game for personal reasons.

One concern for the Bruins will be OSU's quarterback. Mora talked about both quarterbacks the Beavers use and says that they are both mobile and can run. UCLA had a lot of trouble seeing and stopping Colorado's qb last week, even before the injuries started piling up. This week OSU will be starting Nick Mitchell, with Seth Collins probably sitting it out with a knee injury. Freshman QB Mitchell rushed for 40 yards last week against Utah and Coach Anderson had this to say about him:

His ability to run is much better than one may think. I thought he could run pretty well as we went through camp, but he seems to be a young man who has really good angles when the game is on the line or he has to make a play. Some quarterbacks will come out of there and they're athletic enough to go get the yards, and Nick kind of understands the angles. He knows how to protect himself. He gets what he needs and is able to get down. He makes good decisions.

Will the defense be ready to stop the quarterback this week?

Mora talked about how defenses aren't treating Josh Rosen like a freshman anymore:

They tried to do some things that Arizona State did, and we scored a touchdown. The 84-yarder, they bring pressure and score a touchdown. The Duarte one, they bring pressure and we take it down to the five. People drop the term blitz, like its little league, run them all in there. It doesn't work like that, at this level. You have guys across from you who know how to block it. That's what makes calling a game fun. I think he's shown the ability to play well against the pressure. We've only given up nine sacks in eight games. They're not treating him like a true freshman like the beginning of the season... He's developed to the point where they have to respect his ability, his intelligence, and his poise.

A huge thank you to BRO for the video and transcript.

Aaron Wallace also met with the media and was jokingly/seriously asked if he would be working out at Mike linebacker this week. He spoke about the difficulty of keeping the morale up and how players and coaches have been supporting each other. Aaron also talks about the importance of having Kenny Clark out there, the kind of guy that you know is going to do his job:

It's enormous. He's a great player and great friend and you know when he's out there, you'll feel good when he's lining up next to you.  He's not a loud guy, he's quiet, and everyone wants to pat him on the back and tell him how good he is but he's quiet and humble.

Again, thank you to BRO for the video and transcript.

These guys are truly "battling though it" as Wallace states. Here's to hoping the defense can keep battling through the adversity and will be adding players rather than subtracting them in the weeks to come. It would also be nice if the offense could do better than 3-and-outs on their first four possessions of the game. But we'll have to wait for another day to see how Coach Mazzone plans to do that.

On another note, Coach Mora addressed accusations that Arizona State was "stealing signs". From Joey Kauffman's twitter:

Don't forget to tune in tonight (or on demand) to "Kareem: Minority of One".

Have a great day, and as usual ...

Go Bruins!