Jim Mora says UCLA spring game not useful for evaluations


– Jim Mora said UCLA’s Saturday spring game will be completely live except for quarterbacks, who will wear red non-contact jerseys, as well as kick/punt returns. The 5 p.m. event at the StubHub Center will feature four 12-minute quarters.

“They’ll get to see some real football,” he said. “No B.S., just ball.”

– Mora also added that holding a real game versus a mixed-event “Showcase” like the team did last season doesn’t actually provide much benefit for the Bruins themselves. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

VIDEO: Cornerback Priest Willis reflects on disappointing freshman season


Priest Willis entered UCLA last year as one of the Bruins’ most highly touted recruits, but didn’t live up to the hype with a nine-tackle season spent mostly on special teams.

“It wasn’t the year I wanted,” the cornerback said. “I wasn’t happy with it, but everyone learns differently. Sometimes, you can’t just be a Myles Jack. Sometimes, people learn much slower. That was the process for me.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Head coach Jim Mora announces UCLA’s spring game rosters

Helped by a week of light practices, UCLA will be healthy enough to hold a real spring game after all this Saturday at the StubHub Center. Head coach Jim Mora announced rosters today for offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s blue team and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich’s white team.

It more or less looks like UCLA’s first-team offense will face the first-team defense, each respectively paired with defensive and offensive reserves. A few quick notes: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Spring notes: UCLA trending away from 3-4 base defense


– UCLA has run its nickel defense almost exclusively through the last couple of weeks of spring camp, something due partly to injuries but also to a bit of a schematic move away from the team’s 3-4 base.

The Bruins are deep in the secondary after returning all four starters from last season and getting a breakout performance from safety Tahaan Goodman. They are less so at outside linebacker, where the rotation currently consists of Myles Jack, Kenny Orjioke and Deon Hollins. Going into nickel alleviates that problem a bit, and also allows Jack to move behind the ball and flash his excellent pass coverage skills.

“I’m not going to put myself into this 4-2-5 world, or if I’m going to be a 3-4 guy,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “I’m going to let the players dictate where we go.”

At least one player likes the change.

“I hope we stay that way,” Hollins said. “We initially moved more nickel because we had a lot of injuries, but our nickel’s looking really salty.”

– Outside linebacker Kenny Orjioke looked good during one-on-one drills against running backs this morning. The rising junior defended three straight passes before giving up back-to-back catches to fullback Nate Iese — the latter of which was made over strong coverage by Orjioke. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email