Weekly Answers, Pt. 4

Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…

1) I was pretty shocked at some of the play calling at the SC game. In particular on the 4th series after having 2 successful run plays by Franklin to take it to the house. 1st play is a blind pass that gets knocked down. Which was probably a good thing, looked like it would have gotten intercepted anyway. Then after getting a 1st down by Coleman run, we go 3 straight passes. This was quite bothersome, especially after we had been running the ball successfully and Brehaut had only connected on 1 previous short pass to Rosario. Then on the 1st and 25 series, we run twice, Franklin fumble. Even if Franlin does not fumble, then we are 3rd and about 21 yards to go and not in field goal range. Why don’t we throw to the backs or short slants. Especially on obvious SC blitzes and we were not giving Brehaut very much time to throw down the field. Jon, can u help me with this. I’m confused? – awash
I’m just as confused as you. I thought the play-calling against USC was a bit curious, particularly early in the game, when the Trojans were bending. To have the passing success against Arizona State turn into the results against USC was very surprising.

2) Jon–Why do you think the tackling was such a big problem this year? Is tackling a matter of technique, strength, both or mainly effort. Merry Christmas!! – Keith
Tackling is a combination of technique and effort, but it’s also a matter of repetition, and UCLA does not do a tremendous amount of tackling in practice – and given the injury situation, perhaps that’s understandable – but I think it will be addressed going into next season. At least that’s the perception I get when I’ve brought it up.

3) I’m just spitballin here but, let’s say Urban Meyer gets the itch to coach again after a couple years off to recharge his batteries. We all know LA is a recruiting goldmine, any chance he’d be interested in UCLA to return a moribund program back to greatness? – UCLA Dynasty
At this point, I don’t even think Urban Meyer knows what he wants. I thought for sure he’d take the Notre Dame job at some point.

4) What is the real story on who whose idea the pistol was? I thought I read in the off season that it was Chow and Palcic who went to Reno and suggested installing the formation to help the run game. Now guys like Petros are saying that the pistol was forced on Chow and it is not the offense he wants to run. Can an offense really be “forced” on Norm Chow considering he was negotiating a multi-year contract while the scheme was being installed? – Slippery Pete
Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow got the idea from UCLA baseball coach John Savage’s wife, who apparently set up a meeting with her father, Nevada coach – and Pistol creator – Chris Ault. I don’t think anything was “forced” on Chow, but I don’t think everything was so rosy when the talks first came up.

5) Mr. Gold, the UCLA recruiting class will be a success if they sign what names (e.g. Hundley)? Thanks. – Gilligan
Depends what you determine as “success.” If success is addressing key area of needs and filling them, then I think UCLA will do that. Will the Bruins get the kinds of classes they had in Neuheisel’s first three years? No. But this class is also smaller, and that has to be taken into consideration. If UCLA can come up with five high-impact players, and another 10 who fill the gaps, then I think it would be a success.

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  • The Wall is the Soul

    Mr. Gold,

    Regarding your response to question 4, if it is accurate that the UCLA offense was changed due to the thinking of the baseball coach’s wife, then Neuheisel should be fired immediately.

  • Coach Thom

    I agree with The Wall is the Soul. To have the baseball coach’s wife calling the shots for our football Head Coach is something to ponder long and hard. I suppose what would be worse is the baseball coach’s ex-wife suggesting offensive schemes for Rick. One would then have to consider ulterior motives.