UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins talks about the Bruins’ defensive stand in a 17-9 win at No. 18 Utah, as well as finally drawing a holding penalty against an opponent.
The Pac-12 has reprimanded UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins for what it described as “derogatory comments” about the conference’s officiating.
Hollins said on Tuesday that referees had missed numerous holding calls during the Bruins’ 31-27 loss to Washington State this past weekend, and joked about possibly sending officials a gift basket.
“It’s really tough sometimes beating the referees and beating the other team,” he said then. “It’s really tough sometimes. We were just looking at it on film. There were so many missed things. I was appalled.”
That was enough to prompt an official response from the conference.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Mr. Hollins remarks were a clear violation of the Pac-12 comprehensive restrictions on public comments on officiating and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
“There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with being a football student-athlete in the Pac-12 and at UCLA,” Hollins said in a statement. “Unfortunately, yesterday I spoke out of frustration and knew almost immediately afterwards that my comments were inappropriate. I expect more of myself and will not let this happen again.”
UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins made this clear on Tuesday: He’s not happy with Pac-12 officiating.
Asked about what the Bruins could have done better in their 31-27 loss to Washington State, the junior said: “It’s really tough sometimes beating the referees and beating the other team. It’s really tough sometimes. We were just looking at it on film. There were so many missed things. I was appalled.”
Head coach Jim Mora had echoed those thoughts this weekend, saying that conference opponents have only been called for holding twice on UCLA’s passing plays this season. Hollins thinks the issue is disproportionately affecting the Bruins, rather than it being a case of holding not being called against anyone.
The junior said that WSU right tackle Cole Madison even admitted to holding him after the game: “He was just, ‘Oh, it was a rough night for me. I just couldn’t help but hold you the whole night.'”
“Maybe (we need to) send the refs a gift basket or something,” Hollins added. “I don’t know.”
With just one more home game at the Rose Bowl, UCLA remains on track for the Pac-12 South title.
However, Washington State looks like a different squad than the one that dropped a season opener to FCS opponent Portland State, and still sits in second place in its division after a two-point loss to No. 7 Stanford.
After three consecutive wins, the No. 18 Bruins (7-2, 4-2) can clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship by winning three more. Keeping that path clear will require navigating past a resurgent Cougars squad eager to pull an upset at 7:45 p.m. tonight.
When UCLA has the ball
It might be time for Paul Perkins to grab everyone’s attention again.
The redshirt junior has run for only two touchdowns since injuring his knee more than three weeks ago, but was healthy enough to carry the ball 23 times last Saturday — the tailback’s heaviest workload since September. WSU has allowed 18 rushing scores and 5.1 yards per carry, both of which stand as bottom-three marks in the Pac-12.
But the Cougars (6-3, 4-2) could open the game by stacking the box, as many other teams have done in an effort to neutralize Perkins. If that happens, UCLA will need some creative playcalling early and use Josh Rosen to stretch open the field. Continue reading
Could UCLA’s battered linebacker corps be inching closer to full strength? Asked about the chemistry of the position group, outside linebacker Deon Hollins hinted at the return of fellow junior Isaako Savaiinaea.
“We’ve got Isaako coming back,” Hollins said. “Kenny Young had a great game last week. Jayon (Brown) as well. Every single week is big for guys who haven’t played as much, just to see what mistakes they made on film and correct those. I think we’re starting to gel.”
He could be leaning on the side of optimism. Savaiinaea has yet to participate in a full UCLA practice since spraining his ankle in a 40-24 win over Cal on Oct. 22. Continue reading