UCLA Football conducted a scrimmage on the final night of fall camp in San Bernardino and many interesting things occurred.
Oh my, it was warm in the desert. Out in Cal State San Bernardino the heat was up, but the sun was going down and as I came upon hundreds of Bruin fans crowded around the south practice field, I noticed it was cooler among the many trees that shaded us from the sun’s rays. The only part of the area that was drenched in light was the field itself.
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That seemed very fitting as there were many spotlight moments for several players on both the UCLA Football offense and defense.
The scrimmage was separated into two teams, Blue and White (with all quarterbacks wearing yellow jerseys). The team did not offer rosters for this scrimmage, but they did give out full team rosters, so figuring out what players were on which team took a bit of piecing together but after a while, especially with specific players continually making great plays, it was not hard to tell who was who.
Still, it was the collective efforts that stood out during this scrimmage that allowed for individual moments in the sun. Here is a list of things that were observed:
- The offense and defense were really going after each other, with the Defensive 1s dominating a lot of the game. The defense had at least two touchdowns.
- The offensive line did a decent job, especially missing senior center Jake Brendel though you could tell his presence was missed as the Bruins had several bad snaps.
- The run game was outstanding. The #1 RB Paul Perkins was no where to be found (possibly resting and being kept from injury) and #2 RB Nate Starks had only a few carries which meant freshmen Bolu Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo got the call to lead the running game in scrimmage and both were spectacular, especially when they got into the open field and made defenders miss them.
- Receivers Jordan Payton and Devin Fuller were in good form but two of the more outstanding players were Kenneth Walker and Mossi Johnson. Walker has speed and it looks like he now also has better handles as he was catching slants and crosses with ease. Johnson was particularly impressive in a few jet sweeps and was able to get to the outside and outmaneuver his defenders.
- Though Mike Fafaul had several decent drives, this was about Jerry Nueheisel and Josh Rosen. Neuheisel seemed to excel in the short game as he hit several receivers on cuts and comebacks. Rosen continues to have outstanding mechanics and showed why he is a heavy favorite to win the job. Though he was pressed all evening, he was able to get off several solid passes.
- The first team D-line was great. The concern here is the depth and how long it will take the younger guys to acclimate to the system. The Bruin RBs had several (I mean several) rushes that originated from breaking through the defensive line.
- The linebackers were beasts. They were all over the field and coming in fiercely from both sides. Whenever the offense could get a pass off, the defense swarmed and had at least two or three players on the tackle. This is one position group you do not have to worry about.
- The secondary were attacking as well. The offense could not get a lot of long balls because the DBs were tight in coverage and looking to either knock the balls down or lay the hit, which they did often.
- On special teams, Ka’Imi Fairbain was solid on both kick-offs and field goals. The play of the day came on special teams when a field goal was blocked and Myles Jack picked up the ball and took it to the house on the other end for the two points. He also added some cheese to the play as he dunked (and almost missed) the football over the goal post.
The Bruin’s last day in San Bernardino is tomorrow as they will most likely have a light practice as it is Fan Appreciation Day which starts at 9 a.m. They return to Westwood after that and continue practice on campus starting Monday.