UCLA Football Spring Practice: Day 7 news and notes – Bruins have options

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 28: Running back Bolu Olorunfunmi
SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 28: Running back Bolu Olorunfunmi /
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PHOENIX, AZ – DECEMBER 26: Wide receiver Jordan Lasley
PHOENIX, AZ – DECEMBER 26: Wide receiver Jordan Lasley /

Day 7 notes

Overall, the most noticeable improvement was how much faster and efficient practice is run. Things were pretty quick before spring break, but now that the team knows what is expected of them, drills and plays are going even faster.

At the start of practice, there was a lot of focus on group walk-throughs and drills. For example, the quarterbacks were at midfield (close to Lot 8) passing balls back and forth to each other. In one stretch, two groups of two QBs were kneeling ten yards apart and tossing the ball around.

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The rest of practice, the QBs worked on a lot of option play fundamentals, as the QBs were practicing option pitches and shovel passes. This was put to heavy use when they worked with the offense. For the majority of practice, the quarterbacks were running triple-option plays. Hand offs up the middle, QB keepers and runs/pitches to the outside. For the most part, these plays ran smoothly, with ball carriers getting 2-5 yards, on average, but there was the occasional hole that opened up allowing 10+ yard runs.

On one play, Modster kept the ball and found a hole up the middle that went for a 35-yard touchdown run. Lynch had some trouble with a few pitches, but cleaned things up as practice progressed.

Part of the focus on the option (specifically triple-option) might have to do with former Navy OL coach Bryce McDonald joining Kelly’s administrative staff. Navy was known for efficiently running the triple-option and it worked to their advantage as they were second in the nation in running the ball last season with 351.4 rushing yards per game.

Either way, it was exciting to watch the run game take the next step in its evolution under Kelly. It is even better watching the runs properly executed more often than not.