Should UCLA stick with the Pistol long-term?

We’re nine games into the Pistol formation transformation at UCLA, and there’s been enough time to make some initial observations of the offense.

We can say without a doubt that the running game has blossomed in the Pistol. Johnathan Franklin has put together a very good season, ranking 20th in the NCAA at 99 yards per game, and Derrick Coleman has been effective in relief. The run-blocking scheme has been fantastic at times, and credit is due to coach Bob Palcic, who has a patchwork group working in sync.

It seems hard to remember now, but the offensive line was supposed to have Kai Maiava and Jeff Baca. Even with Chris Ward maturing quickly and Micah Kia as a serviceable replacement on both sides, imagine the depth with the two would-be starters back.

But now we’re starting to see some life in the passing game, which was left for dead earlier this year. Norm Chow has started moving the pocket a bit more, and Richard Brehaut has been improving daily with his pocket awareness and his playmaking ability – which just has so much to do with confidence – and you’re seeing some rejuvenation in the receiving corps.

I really wonder what we’d be seeing now if either Kevin Prince or Brehaut simply had the whole season at 100 percent, how far along the offense would be. I wonder what it will look like next season, with another offseason to tinker and perhaps some recruits tailored to the offense, like potential future F-back Junior Pomee.

What do you guys think? Has the change been worth it? Do you see it as the offense of the future or a gimmick? Can UCLA be successful in the Pac-12 running this year-in, year-out?

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  • Jimmy

    Good. We’ll see when it’s hundley’s turn.

  • sandiegobruinfan

    “I really wonder what we’d be seeing now if either Kevin Prince or Brehaut simply had the whole season at 100 percent, how far along the offense would be.”

    You hit it right on the head…along with KM and JB missing from the O-line. If we could EVER get thru a full season or 2 with a healthy QB, I think we’d see a marked improvement. I believe Drew Olson was the last UCLA QB to start every game if I’m not mistaken.

    Very curious to see how fast Hundley can pick up the offense and management of the huddle as well as the speed of the game.

  • UCLA_GanGsta_ThugLiFer!!

    Im tiRed of all these Wanabe hard motherfs coming into this chat and talKing crap about UCLA. Im a bruiN fan down to the bone and ill scrap with anyone who thinks they are hard. come looking for me—Glenrock Ave. 500 block punks bitches!! Come get sum biatches!!

  • JoJoBruin

    no, we need to bring in jamiel hollaway and run the wishfulk bone. ucla has lapses and that’s coaching and lack of tufness.

  • bbntp

    There was no option, the change had to be made considering the total lack of O line blocking last season. The future will depend on the coach’s evaluation of the resurgence of the line. Perhaps some pistol but not 100%

  • tim warren

    I voted “good”, but I really wanted to vote “good under the circumstances, but if we recruit the second coming of John Elway, Anthony Munoz, Jonathan Ogden, etc, then we should go back to a pro style”.

  • Anonymous

    This offensive shift has clearly been a significant improvement over the last several years. Perhaps any half-dozen other offensive strategies would have worked equally as well, because the myriad of “pro-style” offenses under Karl Dorrell were simply atrocious. The pistol has allowed for big strides in the run game, and, now with Brehaut at the helm, has shown sparks of a passing game. I’ve personally always favored a strong run-game over a strong-pass if you HAD to choose one. Keep the pistol and take a strong look this upcoming off-season to see why so many guys critically key players are going down with major injuries on a yearly basis. I know every team faces injuries, but we have to be among the teams in the country with the most injuries to key-position players in the last 5 years. It’s insane!

  • BruinFaithful

    It would seem obvious to me, considering the deficiencies we had when this staff came in and the success that similarly deficient teams have had, that we should have run some version of the Spread Offense. Especially with a gunslinger like Brehaut and a deficient OL. It is asinine to me, that our staff couldn’t figure this out from the get go.

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    @UCLA_gansta, Oh boy. LMAO

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    @UCLA_gansta, Oh boy. LMAO

  • Anonymous

    Of course it’s a gimmick.

    Signed,

    The George Foreman Grill

  • USC_GanGsta_ThugLiFer!!

    FucK this poser trying to be like me above You can see who’s the fake…i posteD on Pick the Score and Barkey 20th on the SC blog –at November 12, 2010 1:46 PM– Poser! I don’t usually give UCLA credit,
    but I’ll eVen give BruinRob credit cuz he saw me on the other blog first.

  • BobDaBruin

    “I really wonder what we’d be seeing now if either Kevin Prince or Brehaut simply had the whole season at 100 percent, how far along the offense would be.” Really Jon? Brehaut has been healthy all season, he was the QB thru all of camp, then the coaches put in Prince literally a few days before KSt. I lay this at the feet of Chow and CRN. With Prince being hurt so often, the QB with the most practice time with the first unit has been Brehaut. Let’s see, Prince is often hurt, has limited practice time and game prep, and is an unproductive passer and ineffective QB during games. But it takes a season/career ending injury to Prince before Brehaut becomes the #1QB? Why does Chow just seem to not like Brehaut??? If only Brehaut’s dad were Chow’s dentist. Your comment should have been “I really wonder what we’d be seeing now if Brehaut simply had played the whole season, since he has been 100 percent and is clearly a better game time passer, how far along the offense would be.”

  • Anonymous

    Although there’s plenty of room for improvement, using the pistol formation is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s absolutely vital that the football program become competitive and innovative. I am a bit disappointed in our offensive performance under CRN and CNC this year and my patience has too growth thin until RB stepped-in. I’m not predicting the future, but the program must seize the moment and grow quickly. Reasons: 1) USC plans to incorporate the spread, 2) D. Erickson may get the ax soon (allowing someone with offensive prowess to take over), 3) Colorado on the move for a new coach (pray that it’s not Leach, Belloti or Malzahn). In other words, the PAC-12 South division is going to be REALLY competitive come 2011/2012. With the talent CRN is recruiting just imagine if UCLA ran the pistol as well as Nevada!
    http://usc.ocregister.com/2010/10/21/usc-football-spread-offense-coming-in-2011/51414/

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla Jon Gold

    I didn’t say 100 percent healthy, I said at 100 percent, meaning all the reps from the start, or at least once it was clear Prince was not healthy.

  • INawe

    the pistol is here to stay. ucla is committed to it and to change everything yet again would be a horrible decision. its all about consistency whether we are talking about who is getting 100% of the reps, who the coaches are year in and year out, and the plays in the playbook. one year is not enough to judge just how effective the system has been especially considering everything that has happened this year in my opinion.