There were few reports today from Spaulding. It was walk-through Friday, and according to one reporter, some of the reporters don't cover walk throughs. Yesterday, it was also very quiet. Coach Mora and Coach McClure did speak with the press crew and today Eddie Vanderdoes spoke with the press in attendance about the defensive line. The interesting thing is that no players were interviewed yesterday (as far as I can tell) and Coach Mora's interview lasted only one minute and thirty-six seconds, and he gave no update. I really like this, and not just because it takes less time to write the roundup. I think focusing on the work to be done on the field and less on the media is a really healthy sign and adaptation for our team. Whether this is being done on purpose or is just a coincidence I do not know. But I like it. Focusing on walking the walk is a strong move in my humble opinion.
Let's see what we did learn. Thanks to Jack Wang we have the injury report (Thursday) from Jim Mora. The most important piece of information is that Jake Brendel has been practicing, but will be a game time decision on Saturday:
via InsideUCLA with Jack Wang
Simon Goines is working really hard to get back, but there is no date on his return. Coach Mora was also asked about Ben Wysocki, Coach Mora says he has matured, he's steady, can play all o-line positions and is always ready to do so.
Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure also spoke with the media Thursday about some of the changes of the defense:
Coach McClure talks about what he saw in the defensive line last week: great technique, excellent depth, pressuring, and "condensing the pocket". He continues that collectively they are a physical group with great fundamentals. Owa has done a great job and is mixing in really well and he thinks he probably played him too much. About Kenny Clark, McClure says he "is intrinsically motivated", does a lot of extra work, and is "on a great incline". True freshmen Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner also really impressed Coach McClure in their first college game, on the road, and he hopes to get Jacob more playing time this week.
I was thinking back to when this coaching staff was hired and how we wondered about how Coach McClure would work out. Seems, this was the right man for the right job.
Eddie Vanderdoes spoke today about the success of the defense last Saturday and the role of the defensive line:
via Inside UCLA with Jack Wang
EV loves playing with Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Kenny Clark and talks about the pride they feel in what they do. I really like how he talks about the challenge of filling the holes created by Marsh, Barr, and Zumwalt. This defensive group has a great attitude. "We're going to keep doing our jobs. Stay in our gaps. Play unselfish as a defense." He also has some insight about the offensive line which he is not worried about. "What we see in practice everyday it wasn't what we saw on Saturday ... It's not going to happen again."
September 8th will mark the anniversary of the loss of UCLA Football Player Nick Pasquale. I remember the amazing tribute the Nebraska student body payed for #36. All of the fans in Nebraska were so caring about the loss of this young man and I will never forget that. Jack Wang has a beautiful story about how his brother, AJ, has dealt with his passing and how he has connected and is helping the UCLA football program. You can here the audio of the interview here.
This Sunday, the family will be holding a 5k run/walk in San Clemente to raise funds for the Nick Pasquale Foundation which helps young athletes "reach their dreams". The Live Like Nick walk/run will be held at San Clemente high school and you can find more information here.
Have a great weekend and...