Noel Mazzone defends swing pass-heavy playbook

UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has heard the criticism. His single-back spread stretches sideline to sideline much more than it does downfield.

The Bruins have been no more than middling in long pass plays this season: their 81 passes of at least 10 yards ranks sixth in the Pac-12, and their eight passes of at least 30 yards ranks 11th.

“I want to give a shoutout to my mom and my dog, because they’re the only two people that like me right now,” Mazzone said Wednesday.

Even his mother, though, complains to him about his swing passes. Mazzone tried to explain Thursday that he implements them as an extension of the run game.

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  • Allan Wilion

    He is part of the problem
    Oblivious to helfrich comment that shocked that Ucla did not take advantage of defensive holes in game. Obvious why. Mazzzone had blinders on and is blind

  • Bruin 34

    I have faith in the coaching staff. Two top 10 teams in back to back weeks and a very young o line. The ship will be righted against Colorado.

  • OCBrewin

    Mazzone was a genius coach when the team was healthy… Now, many key injuries, 2 losses to two top 10 teams, an he is “part of the problem”?

    Sheesh, May not be Noel with the blinders on, Allan.

    • 92104bruinfan

      I thought the criticism of Mazzone was WAY overblown. The system was great earlier this year but then injuries hit and Hundley went into a bit of a slump. Oh and the Bruins played two top ten teams on the road in consecutive weeks. Any system is only as good as the execution and players. Bottom line UCLA was not quite ready to surpass Oregon and Stanford this season even though Mora has them closing the gap. Time to take it out on the Buffs and get ready for the final 4 game stretch. Go Bruins!

  • Bruin 34

    I agree with you both. He has done a great job in my opinion. I guess maybe fans don’t remember Kevin Prince and the pistol and barely averaging 300 to 350 yds a game in total offense. We are still young and we will be fine. Colorado provides an opportunity to fix some kinks and for Brett to get back in his groove. Go Bruins!

    • Bruin12

      I always appreciated Prince as a team-first character guy. He was limited in talent, but sacrificed his body with crazy runs. And when it was clear the coaches were going with the freshman Hundley over him, Prince stepped aside with grace and was supportive.

      I’ll always remember that upset win over Texas in Austin. It’s a shame he gets blamed for a bad season in 2011. He always seemed like a class act and I wish him well in the future.

  • LTEfan

    I did not see much of the Oregon game, but Hundley was extremely inaccurate at Stanford on medium and longer throws. Is it Mazzone’s system or Hundley’s throwing right now that is more of the problem, even if both are factors?