Angus McClure on DL's Versatility

Oct. 4 -- UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure talked about the status of DT Eli Ankou and how the versatility of his players makes them able to match up against different defenses...

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On the broom:

There is competition for the playoffs and the Giants had a good series with the Dodgers. They fought their way to the playoffs so we'll see what happens tomorrow. They've won three World Series in five years.  And twice as a Wild Card. We're in a good spot. As a native San Franciscan, I'm very proud.

On Tuesday's practice:

We had a good practice today. A lot of base defense. Competition was excellent and we look forward to tomorrow's practice. 

On Eli Ankou:

Eli's day to day. He's a warrior.  He battles. He snuck in their a little today to see how it feels. They're making a special brace for him and hopefully that will help a little more. He's day to day, but knowing Eli Ankou, he'll be ready on Saturday.  The elbow was hyperextended. The brace should help him. He did everything he could with Anthony (Venute) and Coach (Sal) Alosi. Strengthening and working very hard to get back on the field. He's a blood and guts guy. He wants to be on the field, no question.

On ASU's offense:

They're a physical offensive line. They've represented well on tape as we've studied them. Their center is one of the best rookie offensive linemen in the conference. The tackles are athletic and do a nice job of pass protecting. Their offense is excellent and they do a lot of things on the run game.

On Matt Dickerson:

Matt has been playing excellent inside. Against spread teams, its to our advantage to have Matt inside to play 3-tech. Against pro style teams, we like to have him at defensive end. We have the adaptability for Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. That combination is really good to stop the run and pass rush. Eddie has been playing nose.  I like to mix it up and create matchups with our opponent and we continue to do that. For example, against Stanford, Matt Dickerson played end, Jacob played our razor/end position and Eddie played our tackle position and Boss and Eli played the nose position. Nick Terry can play both positions. We have some adaptability which is nice to have.

On the defensive improvements:

I think we have much better synergy as a defense. Guys understand their assignments and their playing styles, habits. We've bonded as a defense and they hold each other accountable.

On sneaking more into the box:

We've made some adjustments but every week in this conference, we see every type of offense, west coast to spread to a mix. It's challenging in this conference and as a defensive coach, you have to be adaptable. Players have to do multiple things. We've made some adjustments that have helped us and we'll continue to do that.

On Jacob Tuioti-Mariner:

He's improved. He did a lot of training in the spring and summer, did some MMA stuff and worked on his craft. We compete against our first offense, having good on good makes everybody better. Jacob comes to work every day and I don't think he's ever had a bad day in his life. He's fun to coach. 

On Boss Tagaloa and Nick Terry playing immediately:

It has been huge. To have a true freshman come in or a transfer to come in and be able to play has been huge. Any time you can roll your defensive line, that is a big perk.  We see so much spread in this conference, a lot of tempo, guys get tired, so when you can sub guys in and out, that's a benefit.  With Boss as a true freshman, being behind Eli and Eddie, seeing how they've developed in their career, to watch them in practice, those are good role models for Boss.

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