UCLA Football’s Defense
Now for the defense. We heard DL coach Vince Oghobaase yelling to his players that he wants “more violence” and it looks like he is getting it and not just from his group, but they entire defense.
With the offense working on triple-option elements, the defense has had to adjust to another wrinkle. Defensive Coordinator Jerry Azzinaro had his defense dominating the offense when the offense was going through simple run plays, but they looked to be taken aback when they had to account for the QB and a second running back option being put into the mix.
Though they needed some time to zero in on the ball carrier, they slowly started to limit the yards after contact and were able to get at the ball carrier closer to the line of scrimmage.
The linebackers look like they are playing with more confidence as they have been very active covering run and pass plays. Keisean Lucier-South has been one player that has stood out as he has been aggressive against the offense as an OLB after moving from defensive end. He has used the knowledge of both positions to his advantage and might be the most explosive LB heading into fall.
The secondary has been doing a fine job despite an up-and-down spring. The DBs have been the most talent-laden group the last few seasons but were having to reshuffle players and use walk-ons before spring break. Luckily, the Bruins were able to get back Will Lockett and Octavius Spencer who were thought to have left the program.
As for their on-field performance, the DBs have kept up with the offense’s passing game. Though the run has been deceitful and resulted in more success, the passing game is still trying to find ways to get around this very aggressive secondary. With the evolution in the run game, the DBs are sharpening their skills in helping the run D, but the passing defense still remains one of the biggest weapons as they have been swarming passes and receivers in order to limit their advances.
Last Saturday, as stated above, the defense had stopped the offense on 3 of 6 drives. KLS had a pick six, but so did CB Darnay Holmes, who should be one of the more dangerous defensemen in the secondary. Also remember that the Bruins will restock on DBs this fall as five freshmen will be added to the group.