Saturday's Scrimmage

The offense took a while to get going in Saturday's scrimmage, and there was plenty that needs to be ironed out, but there were glimpses of good things like quarterback Drew Olson hooking up with <b>Craig Bragg</b> and <b>Marcedes Lewis</b> for touchdowns...

There was a standing-room only crowd at Spaulding Field, with probably a few thousand Bruin fans out to get their first glimpse of the 2004 Bruin football team.

Stats for the Scrimmage:

Drew Olson: 10 of 18, 128 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 Int.
David Koral: 7 of 9, 60 yards
Brian Callahan: 6 of 8, 67 yards, 1 touchdown

Derrick Williams: 9 carries, 40 yards, 1 touchdown
Chris Markey, 5 carries, 22 yards
Jason Harrison, 6 carries, 14 yards
Maurice Drew, 4 carries, 5 yards

Brandon Breazell, 5 catches for 61 yards
Chris Steck, 4 catches for 44 yards, 1 touchdown
Craig Bragg, 3 catches for 50 yards and 2 touchdowns
Marcedes Lewis, 2 catches for 27 yards and 1 touchdown
Michael Pitre, 2 catches for 26 yards
Maurice Drew, 1 catch, 6 yards

Most of the time in these type of scrimmages, the defense usually gets the best of the offense.

This morning, it was a little bit of both the offense and defense having their shot at getting the best of each other.

The offense started out slowly, going three-and-out for its first two possessions. On the first possession, on first down, Olson overthrew Marcedes Lewis on a long out. On the second, receiver Joe Cowan dropped the pass on a hitch. And on the third, there was good coverage on receiver Matt Slater over the middle.

On the second possession, Maurice Drew gained nothing on a 1st-down carry. On second down, defensive tackle C.J. Niusulu sliced through the line and stopped Drew for a loss of 4. On third down, Drew took a pitch and got back to the original line of scrimmage.

On its third possession, the #1 offense got on track, but not after an illegal procedure call on first down. Olson made his first hook up with fullback Michael Pitre, who caught the flair and rumbled for 12 yards. On third and about three, Olson hit Bragg on a 17-yard slant, a good throw. On first down, Olson hit Drew in the flat for 6 yards. On second down, Olson then found Bragg on a quick slant and Bragg sliced and diced his way through the secondary for a 17-yard touchdown.

The #1 offense had a few more possessions. Among the highlights:

Olson hitting Marcedes Lewis for a 21-yard hook up on second and 20 over the middle.

Olson hitting Bragg for his second TD reception, this one for 16 yards.

Olson hitting Pitre on a screen that he took for 14 yards, breaking tackles nicely.

Markey had a nice run up the middle for a gain of 16, showing great explosion and good moves.

Olson rolled out at the five-yard line and hit Marcedes Lewis for a touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone.

Derrick Williams looked good on his four-yard touchdown run, powering the ball through defenders.

Other standouts:

Brandon Breazell, the true freshman wide receiver, was the favorite target of #2 quarterback David Koral. Breazell's biggest gain was on a 14-yard hook-up where Koral made a nice throw. Breazell also gained 12 yards on a reverse.

Walk-on sophomore receiver Chris Steck got open and was sure-handed, with Koral also finding him often. Brian Callahan threw Steck his touchdown pass.

The offense, overall, has the same philosophy as last year – that is, the West Coast approach – but you can see it's plainly not the same offense as a season ago. The ball is being thrown to many different receivers, including quite often to tight ends and running backs; there are pitches, some misdirection, roll-outs, etc. that last season's offense just simply didn't attempt.

For a first scrimmage, after just two weeks of fall camp, the offense had some rough edges. Olson was inaccurate on some of his throws. There were some penalties and a couple of fumbles, one on a mishandled snap.

But there was enough shown, particularly in the passing game, for some optimism.

The defense played decently. Many onlookers who hadn't seen the team yet this fall commented about how under-sized the defensive line is. And it's true, when you're missing so many players due to injury. As we've been writing, it's a pretty big blow when you lose as many players on the defensive line as this team has -- including its two potential starters at defensive end, Kevin Harbour and Kyle Morgan. and perhaps a big contributor in Brigham Harwell. There is also a marked difference without starting linebacker Justin London.

Spencer Havner kept his interception streak going, stepping back into coverage to pick off a Drew Olson pass intended for Marcedes Lewis on a post. On another play, Hickman pressured Olson, which led him into a sack by Kevin Brown. Nikola Dragovic showed a good pass rush generally against the #1 offense, sacking Koral for a loss of 8. Chris Horton made a very nice play to stop a running back for a loss.

Like with any first fall scrimmage, there is quite a bit that needs to be improved and fixed. You have to take into consideration that the team does have two weeks before its first game. Hopefully it will get back some of the personnel in time.

Keith Carter, who head coach Karl Dorrell said would play, was held out.

Offensive guard Eyoseph Efseaff sat out. In his place, Robert Chai and Robert Cleary rotated at the weakside guard spot, with Chai getting the first possession with the first string.

While Marcus Cassel always seems to get the first reps with the ones at the open starting cornerback position, the competition is definitely on between him and Nnamdi Ohaeri.

Tab Perry worked out with the team in the warm-up drills, and got cheers from the crowd when he caught a pass.

Two recruits in attendance were cornerback Travis Smith, 5-11, 170, Los Angeles (Calif.) Jefferson, and linebacker Luke Laolagi, 6-1, 205, Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham.

Another recruit of note in attendance was an offensive lineman named Justin D'Arcy, who is 6-5 and 290. D'Arcy is a JC transfer from Cabrillo College in Northern California. Darcy apparently got a scholarship to Kansas State last spring, but didn't like it there immediately. It took some time, but KSU then recently allowed him to leave. D'Arcy, who apparently is a pretty good tackle prospect, now intends to come to UCLA on a scholarship. He said he's trying to get admitted by UCLA's academic committee and should know soon, possibly within the next week. D'Arcy was an academic qualifier out of San Lorenzo High in San Lorenzo, but there could still be some questions whether he'll be admitted to UCLA. Darcy, who has three years to play two, would have to sit out this year at UCLA because of the transfer.

Comments by Dorrell, Olson and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Tom Cable are coming soon...

Tight end Marcedes Lewis catches a touchdown pass from Drew Olson

Quarterback Drew Olson throwing on the run.

Fullback Michael Pitre in the open field.

The #2 defense on a gang tackle.

Olson scrambling and getting wrapped up by Spencer Havner.

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