A few links before we get to the questions:
- Notes on UCLA’s running game, its trip to Memphis and Saturday’s early kick
- UCLA’s lone Heisman winner Gary Beban talked to Heisman.com about meeting over Heisman winners over the years and his time at UCLA
Now your questions:
A lot of attention is being paid to the linebacker situation for the Memphis game with Kenny Young and Josh Woods out. Why is there no mention of concern for the safeties?
The dual losses of Adarius Pickett and Jaleel Wadood are very big and won’t be forgotten on Saturday. However, I don’t think they elicit as much initial worry as the losses at linebacker because the defensive backs group is deeper. The secondary was the second deepest unit on the team heading into the season behind defensive line, so it can more easily weather losses in theory.
Will Lockett is a redshirt sophomore and Octavius Spencer is a junior and they both had previous game experience on defense. Mossi Johnson, who is the third safety, is a little bit of a wild card because he only recently made the full-time switch to the defensive side. Lockett and Spencer can both play multiple positions, which should ease the transition.
With Kenny Young (head) highly doubtful for this week (in my mind) and Josh Woods out for the first half, the Bruins lost their only two linebackers with any defensive game experience prior to this season. Breland Brandt, who I think will fill in at Woods’ strong-side position, redshirted last year. Krys Barnes, Young’s replacement, only got special teams snaps. Brandt, Barnes and Lokeni Toailoa are only playing in their third games on defense. I think there is less proven position flexibility with them because they are more inexperienced. Continue reading “Weekly Q&A: Memphis answers” »