End of training camp Q&A — Answers

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Thanks for your questions, friends. Since UCLA ended its fall camp with a surprise cancellation on Sunday, here’s a leftover story about how the team thought camp went in Westwood compared to San Bernardino. 

Also, here are my 5 lessons from training camp

OFFENSE

How does Josh Rosen look going into the season, compared to right before his freshman and sophomore campaigns?

I wasn’t covering the team for Josh Rosen’s freshman season, so I can’t speak on that. He obviously did well enough to win the starting job. If we’re just comparing this year to last year, I think he’s looked better. Rosen was always more of a gamer than a practicer. That’s not to say he doesn’t try in practice, but he usually shines the brightest when the game day lights come on. It’s more of his natural habitat. But this year, he had a few days in practice when he looked like he was in game mode, especially between Aug. 9-12. He was impressive during those days not only for the precision with which he was throwing the ball, but because he was coming off a terrible day on Aug. 8. I remember that practice because Scott Quessenberry gathered all the offensive players together on the sideline and cussed them all out between drives once. The offense scored only one touchdown during the two-hour, 35-minute practice that was dedicated almost entirely to team periods. Rosen’s ability to bounce back after the bad practice was impressive to me and then for him to continue on the right path was even more encouraging for the team. Continue reading “End of training camp Q&A — Answers” »

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End of training camp Q&A

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Greetings, friends! Training camp officially ends Sunday night, which means UCLA will slowly transition into a game-week schedule starting next week. Real football is almost here!

To finish off training camp, we’ll do another Q&A. If you have questions regarding the team now that fall camp is wrapping up, leave them in the comments or send me an email — thnguyen(at)scng(dot)com — and I’ll answer a few. I’ll post answers Monday.

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Weekly Q&A – Cal answers

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Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Thank you to those who wished me well this Thanksgiving and I hope you’re all having spectacular days full of football, food and good company. I, for one, am thankful for many things, including this space to do a job I greatly enjoy, reliable press box wi-fi and that feature on Twitter that allows you to search and add GIFs. That came in clutch this season.

So to get to your questions:

Jim Mora once yelled out in front of countless media after a USC football game “We own this town.” In your opinion, who owns this town as of Nov. 19, 2016: UCLA or USC? Also, will Texas be knocking on Mora’s door soon?

Like last week, you really shouldn’t need me to point out the obvious. When it comes to the football rivalry, USC has won two games in a row, has a star quarterback who is not only healthy, but captivating much of the West Coast (if not the nation), and recently flipped a local quarterback recruit (Jack Sears) from Duke. UCLA has landed a few blows, like grabbing Greg Rogers, but the scoreboard is trending in USC’s direction right now.

I don’t expect Texas to come after Mora if/when they part with Charlie Strong. Continue reading “Weekly Q&A – Cal answers” »

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Weekly Q&A – USC answers

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I thought there was some sort of commitment to allow Pac-12 schools to play more games earlier than 7 p.m. this year. Is this true? If so, what happened to the commitment?

Yes, that was the news out of the conference before the season. The idea was that they could schedule Pac-12 Network games at either 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. local time to overlap with an ESPN or FOX exclusive TV window. The theory was that because they can now use those time slots, they could reduce the PAC-12 NETWORKS night games (start time later than 7 p.m.) by up to four. So it’s a matter of the fine print and the network the games are appearing on.

Many of the late games this year for the conference have been on ESPN or ESPN2, so they don’t fall into that preseason pledge.

The Pac-12 has actually had the same number of late starts (later than 7 p.m.) this year through 12 weeks as last year: 23. There has been one fewer late game on the Pac-12 Networks this year (five this year, six last year) so that part does fall in line with the preseason statement.

If you’re curious about how they build the TV scheduled each week, here’s a relink to an explainer from earlier in the season. Continue reading “Weekly Q&A – USC answers” »

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