Pistol at Dusk: UCLA’s “Pistol” isn’t a lethal weapon yet, and their Saturday Night Special scrimmage shows that the new Offense is not on target to shoot something other than blanks; However, the Defense proves that THEY still have stopping power
Kevin Prince is going to have to break some tackles this year.
UCLA held its annual Spring Scrimmage at the Rose Bowl on Saturday Night, unveiling their new “Pistol” Offense, and the reviews were NOT good. Coaches Neuheisel and Chow were disappointed, and discussed partially scrapping the new formation before the Season starts.
The Bruin Offense — playing against the First String Defense — looked rusty and out-of sync, even for April. Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut both missed their Receivers more often than not, and during the whole scrimmage, one 28-yard completion from Prince to Cory Harkey may have been the biggest play.
While the Passing Game looked out of rhythm, the running game did show a little improvement. Derrick Coleman was the beneficiary of better blocking schemes, gaining 64 yards in 6 carries. The Quarterbacks would have added a lot of Rushing Yardage, but plays were ruled dead as soon as anyone TOUCHED a QB. It looked like Flag Football, as Sacks were called without the Quarterback having a chance to elude the tackle.
And the best part of the Pistol seemed to be that after a fake handoff, the QB had room to run, as the plays were designed. But because the QB’s couldn’t be tackled, there are no stats to back that up. The worst part of the Pistol? SEVERAL snaps were WAY too low, even skipping on the ground to the QB. By the time the QB finds the handle and gets situated, he’s getting Sacked.
The Receivers were not really getting separation that the QB’s could find, except on one play were Morrell Presley beat everyone straight down the middle of the field, but Prince threw it five yards too deep. TE Joseph Fauria made a catch downfield, but did not get targeted as much as I would like. Also, WR Ricky Marvay saw some action, and did not disappoint. Finally, the scrimmage ended on a short TD Pass to back-up back-up Tight End Andrew Yelich.
On Defense, Datone Jones hurt the Bruin Offense with his penetration, Tony Dye looked stronger and made at least one huge hit, as did Glenn Love. Courtney Viney made some nice plays including an INT, and Marlon Pollard Intercepted a late Pass and returned it all the way for a TD. The Defense was in charge, but it was WEIRD — They didn’t seem to be going all out, because they had to PULL UP so often. But it looks like Defense is still the Bruins’ strength… unless you count Special Teams. Kai Forbath is at it again — He hit a 57-yarder, with 2 yards to spare. The scoreboard said “Prince vs. Brehaut,” but for the first 30 minutes, it should have just read “Forbath – 3, Forbath – 3.”
From the Nation’s Best Special Teams, to the Nation’s Worst Broadcast Team: Chris Roberts was the P.A. Announcer for the scrimmage, and guess what? On the very first pass play, Roberts uttered one of his trademarked queries — “Was that a Completion?”
And finally, from the Nation’s Worst Broadcaster to the Nation’s Best Spirit Squad: There were only THREE UCLA Spirit Squad members at the Scrimmage… but they were AWESOME. Maya and Nicolette from the Dance Team, and Roxanne from the Cheer Squad were the three, and they posed with fans — mostly teeny-tiny little fans — in the Mattel Zone before the game. Below are NINE more Cheer Shots (3 of each girl), but first, some Football Action Shots, and some Football Player Close-ups. As always, all the photos blow up when you click them, and they have pop-up captions if you mouse-over them.
[And yes, I know about the Lakers getting KILLED by OKC, behind Westbrook’s 16 1st Half Points. Now let’s talk about Football and Cheerleaders. Congrats to Alterraun Verner and Terrence Austin for getting Drafted. And to Pete Carroll, for Drafting ex-trojan Anthony McCoy, as one more F-You to Taylor Mays. And speaking of the NFL, did you see the photo above of THE Jerry Rice and his son the Bruin? How cool is THAT, to have Jerry Rice at your games?!]