Jumbo Spaulding Report, coming at ya!
We already covered Chip Kelly’s media availability from Monday, so let’s go to some of the other interviews.
Let’s start with Krys Barnes, who has seen improved play in the past few weeks. Barnes was asked about how important it was for the defense to force turnovers and defensive stops, and he noted that it helps create momentum for the offense. “It gives them the chance to go down the field and score and get 3 points, no matter what it is. And it gives us our energy.” I am impressed with the level of confidence in the offense Barnes has, to assume they will score points no matter what.
Thanks to Tracy Pierson at Bruin Report Online for sharing video of the interview (warning: wind makes this one pretty hard to listen to at times):
On Tuesday, we got to hear from both sides of the ball.
Let’s start with the offense, and one of the stars from Saturday’s victory over UC Berkeley in Caleb Wilson. Wilson was asked about the rise in his targets in recent weeks, and he was gracious in saying “that’s just how things work out.” When asked about Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s development, Wilson said “He’s learning. You see the plays where he would take a sack earlier in the year, he’s starting to throw the ball away. Every single game’s a learning experience....he’s maturing fast.”
On Tuesday we also got to hear from true freshman offensive lineman Christaphany Murray. Murray moved from center to guard once Boss Tagaloa returned from suspension, and someone in the media scrum made sure to ask him if he likes playing guard more than center. Murray responded with “guard is for sure a more...good position just because I’m more comfortable in it, just because I’ve played there my whole life.”
Murray was also asked about everyone’s favorite running back Joshua Kelley, and his response confirmed so much of what we thought: “Josh is just a great guy; he’s so humble, I love seeing him work. I love seeing him amped up in the games because he’s going to keep going.”
Thanks to Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online for sharing video of Christaphany Murray’s interview.
On the other side of the ball, we got to talk to Odua Isibor. Isibor had a strip sack in that wild 4th quarter, and when asked about it, he mentioned that he didn’t even realize he had forced a fumble, but that he was more excited to see Keisean Lucier-South take it for a touchdown.
Isibor also has a great mindset when it comes to his approach with the team, as when asked what he anticipated his role being this year, he said “just helping my teammates the best way I can, whether I was playing on the field or on scout, whatever it may be. I was just open to helping my teammates out, do whatever I can to make the team better.”
Thanks to Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online for sharing video of Odua Isibor’s interview.
Ok, again, we’ll go with the head coach to start with, especially since he’s the one who broke the big news of the day.
Chip Kelly was asked about the status of running back Bolu Olorunfunmi, who had missed a few practices, and Kelly confirmed that Olorunfunmi had been ruled out for the remainder of the year due to concussions. Kelly mentioned how unfortunate it was considering what a great young man Bolu is (and we agree).
Olorunfunmi is just the latest of a handful of Bruin players who have been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to concussions, so Kelly was naturally asked whether that’s a normal thing or if there is an unusually high number of concussions that are plaguing the Bruins. His response:
I don’t ever think any injury is unusual. I mean, it’s a sport where I think everybody deals with it and it’s just part of what happens. Sometimes they happen at one position, sometimes they happen on one side of the ball. I don’t think there’s a pattern, but you just have to deal with it and you have to hope that you have guys behind them who can step up. You obviously miss them. They’re all kids that have given everything to this program, but if they can’t play for a medical reason or have been ruled out by our doctors then we’ve just got to make sure we can get the next guy ready.
The other big news coming out of Kelly’s interview regarded Marcus Moore, but we have less information to go off of. Moore was pretty impactful for the Bruins last year when Jaelan Phillips went down with injury, but he’s rarely seen the field this year. He might not see the field again this year, as Kelly announced that Moore was serving an indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules. When asked if there was a chance that Moore could rejoin the team this year, all Kelly could give was a simple “I’m not sure.”
There’s other things in the interview (my personal favorite was Kelly saying he considers way more than 11 guys as starters on each side of the ball, which helps when guys get injured), but those are the main bits.
Thanks to Matt Joye of Bruin Report Online for sharing video of Chip Kelly’s interview.
Our other interview of Wednesday went to Darnay Holmes.
One of the things Holmes was asked about was a saying that has been going around the defense of “So What, Now What?” It’s very in line with that Que Sera Sera, whatever happens will happen mentality of understanding that things happen, and to not dwell on them and let them effect you negatively going forward. Hilariously enough, Holmes mentioned that he forgot the name of the motivational speaker who brought it to the team this offseason, but that the defense really began to buy into that mindset after the Colorado game.
Holmes was asked about whether he’ll talk to Demetrice Martin before the game, to which he responded that during the game, it’s “all business. Whatever happens, happens.” As you will recall, Martin was UCLA’s defensive backs coach for 6 years, and more importantly was like an uncle to Holmes, as he played high school football with Holmes’s father and remained a solid presence in Holmes’s life growing up.
Darnay was also asked about not having to face Khalil Tate this week, to which he responded “I wanted to face him because he did us real dirty last year. That’s my boy, so I wanted to get revenge.”
Alright, that should get us all caught up for the week.