The UCLA offense looked markedly better in Tuesday’s red-zone scrimmage than it has in recent scrimmages and quarterback Richard Brehaut and wide receiver Taylor Embree did it in a hurry.
Brehaut connected with Embree on a 25-yard touchdown to open the scrimmage and Johnathan Franklin ran for two scores as the offense rebounded from a poor showing in Saturday’s extended session.
Brehaut had limited attempts but performed well in Kevin Prince’s absence while Franklin and Malcolm Jones teamed for punishing runs against the first and second defensive units.
“I feel that we made a huge step from what we were Saturday,” Brehaut said. “Everyone who was out here watching can attest to that. That’s a credit to our guys going in and watching that film, the mistakes we made, and coming out here and trying not to make those mistakes again.”
Jones was the beneficiary of an increased workload on Tuesday, and the Oaks Christian product made the most of his time. Jones unofficially had 41 yards on six carries, including a punishing seven-yard gain in which he pummeled two defenders, and a 20-yard draw run that saw him slip three more tackles.
“As long as we have 11 guys – not just 10, but 11 guys – moving the right way and handling their assignments, we’re going to get those plays,” Brehaut said. “With offense, one guy screws up a block, one offensive lineman gets penetration, that’s going to screw up the whole play. You have to have 11 guys doing the right thing every single play if you want positive yardage.”
While Jones elicited many of the offensive “oohs,” fellow freshman Dietrich Riley got the defensive “aahs.”
After two interceptions in the initial scrimmage, Riley had a forced fumble and an interception in the end zone on Tuesday.
“I’m trying to win a job over here, man,” Riley said. “There’s no fun and games over here. Every day I’m taking a serious approach at it. Even (wide receivers coach Reggie Moore) has been telling me he wants to see me smile. ‘I’m gonna get you to smile.’ But it’s hard for me to smile because I’m so serious out here. I just want to win, man, I want to win that spot.”