Here’s the story on UCLA’s defensive performance in the Alamo Bowl, one marked by linebacker Deon Hollins’ late-season breakout.
UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talked to reporters after a 40-35 win over Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl, a game that featured a more aggressive scheme and a season-high seven sacks.
UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talks about the Bruins’ linebackers — including where Myles Jack might project as an NFL prospect — as well as his own dynamic with the rest of the coaching staff.
UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich — as well as Eric Kendricks, Anthony Jefferson, Myles Jack, Kenny Clark and Owamagbe Odighizuwa — talked to reporters on Dec. 30 to preview the Alamo Bowl.
Jeff Ulbrich talked at length with the media on Friday, hitting everything from what it meant for Eric Kendricks to win the Butkus Award, to Jim Mora’s long-term future at UCLA, to — of course — how he’s evaluated his first season as UCLA’s defensive coordinator.
Despite a starting lineup loaded with future pros, the Bruins have been inconsistent on defense this season, holding Arizona’s explosive offense to seven points only to allow 31 to Stanford four weeks later. It was a year that saw the 37-year-old Ulbrich take significant criticism for not generating enough of a pass rush: UCLA is tied for 85th in the country with 22 sacks, 15 of which came in the final six games.
“Guys that I’ve been around a lot (in my career), their philosophy regarding scheme and calling a game is always put the game in the players’ hands,” Ulbrich said. “Keep it simple. Be great with fundamentals and technique, alignment, assignment. Let them know it and understand it at a high level so they can play fast and physical.
“The problem is that college football’s a little different. You’re seeing so much exotic stuff on offense, that you almost have to balance that with being exotic in your own right at times just to keep them off balance. … I gained a better understanding of that as the season went on.”