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Spaulding Report: UCLA Football & Athletics Salutes Veterans

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UCLA salutes veterans today as it prepares to meet the "Air Raid Attack" of the Washington State Cougars this Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Here are some notes from today's practice.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Today is veterans day, and UCLA put together a really nice video honoring veterans, highlighting veterans close to UCLA student-athletes.

UCLA is also auctioning off five helmets from last week's game to help raise funds for help homeless veterans.

For this week only, starting on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and lasting until November 18th at 5:00PM PST UCLA Athletics will auction off five of the game issued special stars and stripes logo helmets. 100% of proceeds will go directly to charitable organizations working to address the issue of veteran homelessness in Los Angeles.

It's an awesome helmet and an even better cause. You can go here to make a bid.

Alterraun Verner is also making it possible for a few veterans to attend the Buccaneers' game Sunday.


So if you know anyone in the area that might like to go, you can nominate them on twitter at #NominateAVeteran.

UCLA is also giving free tickets to veterans to this week's football game.


Thank you to all of you who have served!

Now to some football news.

First on the injury front:


Glad to see they're back on the field.

Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone spoke with the media today and had the usual unenlightening answers. The kids played hard, Wazzu's front is very good, I think you get the idea. Okay, he does admit it was coach speak, to which Chris Foster replies "I fell asleep three words in." Mazzone also said, when asked, that the big package looked good against OSU. Joey Kaufman tries to get a question in that could possibly elicit a real answer, but, low and behold, it didn't. Question (referring to Washington State): "Their front seven had a pretty good game against Stanford.. why did they match up well in that game?".  Answer: "Because they're a pretty good defensive front" followed by a few more generalizations. Here's the complete video 2 minute and 2 second video.



A huge thank you to Ed Lewis and Bruin Sports Report for today's videos.

This week UCLA's defense will go up against Mike Leach's air raid attack offense. Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley is asked about this and does provide more information than his counterpart on offense. Bradley says he has seen some air raid offenses before, not just Berkeley's. Since Bradley and the beat reporters expect the Cougars to throw on "just about every down", Bradley says the key is the pass rush. He says the defense can't get "crazy" with the rush, especially with Cougar quarterback Luke Falk, because he's smart, has great vision and can run down the field. The D needs to stay in their lanes and makes sure he throws in the pocket. He thinks Falk makes really good decisions, he sees things, is a very accurate passer, gets rid of the ball fast, and doesn't leave his receivers out to dry.


Kenny Clark also talked about playing against a team that throws as much as Wazzu. Clark says the line still needs to play the run, but they'll need "to get after the quarterback on every play". Clark also discusses the evolution and great play of Takkarist McKinley. Back to the game...so what does UCLA need to do about Falk?
Make him uncomfortable. The db's need to do a good job of staying tight on the receivers, we've got to do a good job of covering, our linebackers need to do a good job of getting in his way.

Soon to be Pac-12 and UCLA leading scorer Ka'imi Fairbairn talked about his journey and how he has developed since his early struggles. He says he focused on learning from his mistakes through the years and is just focused on a win this Saturday:



Congratulations Ka'imi!


With all the discussion of penalties, Joey Kaufman has a few interesting data points.

Seem like there is still much work to be done on the penalty front!

Those are today's football notes. Have a great rest of your day, and as always ...

Go Bruins!