UCLA camp notes: Defense stands out in Bruins’ live scrimmage

» UCLA’s live scrimmage on Friday evening was its final practice at Cal State San Bernardino. For anyone planning to come out to the Inland Empire on Saturday, the Bruins will be out at 9:15 a.m. for its “Fan Appreciation” event.

Players will sign autographs, and free food will be available from a Stater Bros. trailer.

» The live scrimmage itself was a bit of a mixed bag. The first-team offense and defense combined as the blue team (coached by Taylor Mazzone), facing off against the rest of the Bruins on the white team (Noel Mazzone). But taking into account injuries and some liberal substitution patterns, it wasn’t exactly an accurate simulation of how the two sides stack up.

As expected, the blue team won convincingly, taking the scrimmage 39-16 thanks to a stable ground game and touchdown passes by both Jerry Neuheisel and Josh Rosen — who switched off possessions behind center.

Running back Soso Jamabo shook off an unremarkable camp and broke out three runs of at least 20 yards. Fellow freshman Bolu Olorunfunmi had two long runs of his own, as well as one scamper toward the sideline that got the crowd “ooh-ing” as he juked one defender and spun around another.

Paul Perkins only took a couple of carries, although one went for around 24 yards.

» The defense was as dominant as you’d expect when one of the Pac-12’s most talented groups faces a patchworked offensive line. The white team opened the game with a three-and-out, and didn’t have as many yards as its defense until about three drives in.

Linebacker Deon Hollins ended up with 1.5 sacks.

» Alex Redmond, who was playing at center rather than guard in place of Jake Brendel, had a few bad snaps throughout the scrimmage. His first one was recovered by linebacker Cameron Judge, who took it back 37 yards for the white team’s game-opening score.

» Rosen scored first for the blue team, finding the end zone on a one-yard keeper after a long drive sustained by the run game. Neuheisel — who had a bit of a better day — was next, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Kenneth Walker on their next drive.

Rosen capped the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown to Thomas Duarte, but Ka’imi Fairbairn clanked the extra point off the left post. It wasn’t a good day for Fairbairn, who made a 31-yard field goal but missed a 37-yarder.

Stefan Flintoft hit a 35-yard field goal for the white team, but had an extra point blocked. Linebacker Myles Jack took the ball back for a touchdown, then dunked it over the crossbar.

» A couple of position changes that likely won’t mean much in the long term: receiver Mossi Johnson got some time as a safety, while defensive back Adarius Pickett switched to running back.

  • 92104bruinfan

    For all the chatter about the impending QB decision (and for good reason), I’m getting pumped about everything I’m reading about the Bruin D. From all accounts (including Jack), DC TB has been a solid hire and that should be a huge difference in a conference where offense generally reigns supreme. Go Bruins!

    • USC Rah Rah’s Rule

      With their depth and experience, UCLA should have the best defense in the Pac-12…..and having one of the Top 3 running games, thus taking some of the heat of Rosen, should propel them to the Pac-12 championship game…….