Week 1 of UCLA Football fall camp is in the books. Here is a review of some of the events that happened this past week.
The Unknown Passing Game
What is unknown about the passing game is who is going to be controlling it. Not only has the coaching staff been mum on the subject, all three quarterbacks — Jerry Neuheisel, Josh Rosen and Mike Fafaul — have had about an equal amount of reps this week. All three QBs have had their down moments, but for the most part, all of them have been impressive.
An Impressive Run Game
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So we know Paul Perkins and Nate Starks will have plenty of time with the rock as the #1 and #2 RBs on the team, respectively, but as we saw this week, they will also have a #3 and #4 with freshmen Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olurunfunmi. Both of these new Bruins have showed amazing talent this week as they have held their own against the fierce Bruin defense.
With UCLA Football having so many options with their running game, it is likely that we could be seeing a lot of different schemes. Aside from the RBs setting up in newer positions (could we see a two-back set?) we know that the Bruins could play around with the wildcat formation, as Jamabo did this week.
A Hungry Defense
Nov 8, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Myles Jack (30) looks at the scoreboard during a fourth quarter timeout against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Clearly the most impressive aspect of UCLA Football this camp is the defense. Since Day 1, the defense has looked very good and has put a lot of pressure on their offensive counterparts. The defensive backs were going all out against the receivers, the defensive line was building a wall in front and the linebackers were terrorizing the middle of the field.
Up front, Eddie Vanderdoes and Kenneth Clark are continuing to push around the offensive line, though they have some experience to go up against. The DBs, especially the corners, are showing that they can improve off of last season. Ishmael Adams is doing great, but recently got injured. In his place, Marcus Rios is doing more than a fine job covering for him, though both players should occupy the CB and/or the nickel back spots.
At linebacker, Deon Hollins and Kenny Young are dominating along with Myles Jack who has been on fire this fall camp. So much fire, that he got into it with OL Conor McDermott and had to be escorted out of practice on Friday after a fight.
Positions of Interest
With camp comes the tinkering. This is the time for the coaches to see where they can improve and to utilize those players that will do it. We had already mentioned Jamabo and Olurunfunmi at RB, but there are other notable Bruins at certain positions of interest.
Though there is nothing different about Justin Combs playing DB, the good news is that he is still on the roster and fully participating in practice. After the kettle bell incident between his father Sean Combs and Stregngth and Conditioning Coach Sal Alosi, it looks as though all parties have moved on and will be focusing on one thing… the upcoming season.
Stephen Johnson III was recruited at DB and WR, but has been working with the offense. Johnson has gotten several reps in the passing game and looks good doing it.
Kenny Lacy is getting time at guard on the offensive line.
The kick return game will be interesting this year. Ishmael Adams, Mossi Johnson, Stephen Johnson III, Jordan Lasley and Myles Jack are all getting time practicing with special teams for returns.
- Ishmael Adams tweaked is ankle this week and was limited in the least few days.
- Scott Quessenberry will have shoulder surgery and miss the season and redshirt.
- Simon Goines will miss fall camp with a “medical condition”.
- Steven Manfro injured his shoulder this week. It is unknown how long he will be out.
- Freshman TE Chris Clark has missed practice this week with mononucleosis but should begin practice next week.
- Craig Lee probably will not be back until after Game 1 due to academics.
- Freshman WR Cordell Broadus has left the team to pursue other interests.