Ben Wysocki has been sitting on his couch, licking his lips.
As a solid UCLA commit, the No. 43-ranked offensive guard in the nation has followed the Bruins’ season intently, and every punishing block and every positive gain has the Los Alamitos senior drooling.
“I’ve been watching every game, and it’s been awesome,” Wysocki said. “They’ve really got the Pistol down. That offensive line, with pretty much all seniors, have all stepped up to run the ball.”
UCLA’s 437 rushing yards against Washington State in a Week 5 42-28 win might have been the school’s biggest rushing total since 1979, but Wysocki doesn’t see it ending there.
The Bruins have now rushed for 967 yards in the last three games, and with offensive line coach Bob Palcic teaching the fundamentals of the zone-blocking scheme, the numbers could continue to shock.
“I got to go to a couple camps, and just the way he talks about the little things and explains it to you, he just has so much wisdom on the offensive line,” Wysocki said. “I think a lot of it is, overall, the coaching. They came out and got beat up by Stanford, but coming off that week, they saw things needed to change. They got pumped up and intense for Houston, and from here on out, I can see them rolling. They really are running the pistol like a machine. They just have it down.
“I can’t see them coming off that groove.”
Wysocki just hopes to one day fit into that groove.
And though it doesn’t need to be sooner than later, the fact that freshman offensive guard Chris Ward has seen time in recent weeks has made an impression on Wysocki. Not so much that Ward is playing as a true freshman, but rather the idea that a less-experienced lineman can move into the unit and not have a dropoff is what pleases Wysocki.
“I was watching the Texas game, and I got to see a freshman, Chris Ward – who played in the Orange County, a guy I follow a lot, and he got in – and the machine ran the same,” Wysocki said. “They have so many guys who’ve bought into the system. Driving guys downfield and not being individual, not trying to just flatten guys, they’re working together as one. The whole thing about the zone is opening the lanes for running backs to pick.”
Now a month into his senior year, Wysocki continues to get calls from other programs, but said he’s fully committed to UCLA.
“I’m a full-go,” Wysocki said. “Last night, Coach (Ed) Orgeron gave me a call, and some schools are trying. (USC) hasn’t offered me, but they want to be in the picture. I’ve told them that I really, really am confident sticking with UCLA. They were the first ones to come to me, only a few weeks into the season, and that’s pretty special.”
So is watching the Bruins run it down the opposition’s throats.
“Every O-linemen, their dream is to be running the ball and not passing all the time,” Wysocki said, laughing.