Post-Scrimmage Comments

Head coach <b>Karl Dorrell</b>, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach <b>Tom Cable</b> and quarterback <b>Drew Olson</b> share their opinions of Saturday's scrimmage...

Comments from head coach Karl Dorrell...

"We got a lot of work in in this scrimmage. We get a chance to look at our special teams, and where we are in that department. It's going to be a great evaluation opportunity for some of our young players, who are trying to do something on special teams. I saw a couple of our incoming freshmen make some good plays on special teams. That will be good to evaluate as coaches when we watch the tape this evening.

"Offensively and defensively we did a lot of different situations. A lot of guys were playing. It's going to be great to watch that tape too. There were some good things done on both sides of the ball. We scored some points offensively. We had some miscues with some penalties, with some illegal procedures, and a fumbled snap, but they did some great things offensively moving the ball and keeping the defense guessing. The defense did a great job in the redzone. They held them out of the endzone on two or three occasions, and that's what you have to do on defense, not allow touchdowns to be scored in that situation and hold them to a field goal. I was pleased with how the defensive effort was as well. All in all, a good day, a lot of work was done."

Anyone help themselves lock down a position that was up for grabs?

"It's hard to say when you've just watched the scrimmage live. We'll get a better evaluation when we watch the tape as a staff tonight, and get a feel for how things were done on a consistency level. There were some good things done today, you definitely saw that, but we'll have a better idea once we watch the tape."

It seemed like the running game struggled a bit...

"You know, I think we averaged more than four or five yards a carry. We might have struggled a little bit early on, but we started running the ball more effectively in the middle of the scrimmage, getting four and five yards and even eight or ten. My guess is that it was a pretty good average even though we struggled at times."

The tight ends caught a lot of passes...

"That's a good thing. This offense is going to utilize the tight end. And we think Marcedes Lewis is a great talent, so we're going to keep him involved in the throwing game. He's done a nice job in improving his run blocking as well."

And Matt Raney did some things...

"Raney did. He made a couple of catches and turned it up the field and got some positive yardage. We were excited about his play."

Why didn't Keith Carter play?

"He practiced yesterday, but the doctor's recommendation was for him not to practice two days in a row. He's practicing one day on, one day off. He's practicing tomorrow (Sunday), then will be Monday off, and so forth."

What did you think of the play of Drew Olson?

"He played solid. There are some areas he can improve. He knows that. But he played pretty well. I was impressed with David Koral. He made a couple of mistakes with his time in there, but he did some very effective things moving the offense up and down."

Is Ben Emanuel playing how you would like him to play?

"He did some good things today. In terms of the consistency of what he did, we'll evaluate that when we get a chance to watch it on tape. I think he played well."

Who were some of the individual standouts on both sides of the ball?

"Spencer Havner has been a consistent player and he had a nice interception on defense. I thought our safeties came up and did some great things in the run game, and made some great tackles. Jarrad Page came up and made some key tackles in the run game. It was nice to see the corner make some plays on the ball and also be effective tacklers in the run game. There were two or three no-gain plays when a run broke outside and a corner came up and did a nice job with run support. Matt Clark had a touchdown saving tackle, and Trey Brown looked doing that. Those are things we didn't do effectively a year ago, and we're going to do much better this year. On d-line, Kevin Brown was raising a lot of havoc inside. He did a great job of keeping pressure on the quarterback, and C.J. Niusulu did as well. It was pretty effective inside. Our ends were making the quarterback jump up in the pocket. Justin Hickman I thought played solid and so did Bruce Davis. I'm pleased with what the defense did.

Offensively we had some stumbling bouts here and there, but overall a very good performance. I thought the run game caught on and got some effective yards toward the middle of the scrimmage. I thought the run game caught on and was getting effective yards toward the middle of the scrimmage. Drew did a nice job of doing his run-action fakes, and throwing the ball pretty well, other than the one interception that Spencer took from him. Craig Bragg is Craig Bragg. He made his catches, and is very effective. Maurice Drew looked good the number of plays he was in there running the ball. We talked about Marcedes, who had a couple of good catches today. Junior Taylor and Joe Cowan are going to be effective players for us. It was pretty good. I was pleased with the overall performance. I was pleased with the young players. Chris Markey is going to be a good player. We're excited about him. We have to freshmen receivers, Brandon Breazell and Ryan Graves, who showed up and did some things today. Defensively Rodney Van made some plays today, and Michael Norris made some plays today. I'm very excited about the youth of this team, and there will be a number of guys that will help. For our first go-around in this type of setting you knew there was going to be some rough edges. But we have two weeks to get ourselves ready to go, and we'll no doubt be tuned up and ready to go."

Any injuries?

"The one I know is Dennis Keyes. He strained his groin and he sat out. He was the only one. We're hoping that's not a serious injury."

Comments from Drew Olson...

"I thought this was probably one of the best scrimmages offensively we've had since I've been here. The ball moved consistently. We had some hiccups here and there, obviously the interception. I think we had a fumble. But overall I think guys did a great job, and the quarterbacks played well, and the o-line. I thought everyone was doing their job."

There seems to be more use of the tight ends in this offense...

"This offense is diverse. Obviously we have Marcedes. The way we use our tight end, he's a huge part of this offense. This offense is different than last year. Plus we're learning more about how to use the tight ends as we go along. I think some of the routes are timing routes, and we're getting more comfortable throwing them. As we learn the system, it's easier to focus on the receivers. But once you get it down, you see more, and the tight ends get open. Teams tend to forget about tight ends sometimes."

After this scrimmage, what are the things you have to work on?

"There were a couple of throws I made that were either an inch off, or not even close. Those incompletes are something I have to work on. Also getting rid of the ball and not taking a sack. Getting our team into a good play. Those three things are huge as a quarterback, and to work on those will get me better and get this team better."

How do you think you played overall compared to previous scrimmages in the spring?

"I felt comfortable out there, probably as comfortable as I've felt since I've been at UCLA. Obviously there were a couple of throws I'd like to get back. But I felt good with the o-line and overall pretty good."

The running game struggled a bit...

"Yeah, that was something we were hoping we get a little more out of it. It will come. I have no doubts about that. It started out slow but we'll get it."

Comments from offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tom Cable...

"There were a lot of good things. But let's do the negatives first. There were too many penalties. Those killed us on three drives. We were able to overcome it at times, but that hurt us, and put us in bad situation. I didn't like the last drive wit the ones in. I managed that wrong. That was on me. But overall I'm very pleased. We're way ahead of spring football. I like how we're throwing the ball to everybody. Everybody's getting a chance at the football. We have to clean up the back side running the football. But there were some good holes front side. We were getting tackled from the bacside. We hit a few, but we'd like to see more consistency there. The skill players made plays, and the quarterbacks made good decisions. And they blocked them okay. We're doing good. But we have to get better now. We have to really take off from this point. And that's the key for us."

What do you mean by take off?

"We have to polish up. We have to eliminate the penalties. We have to eliminate the drops. That one interception, just throw a little bit better ball, just a little higher, and he has Marcedes for a touchdown. It was a great play by Havner. But we can throw that ball better. Those kind of things. We have to get more detailed and polished."

Was it significant that Robert Chai started at weakside guard?

"It was his turn. Right now, with Eyoseph Efseaff out, we have to keep working Robert Cleary and Chai and find the fifth best guy. I've said all along that's how I'm going to do it. Right now Robert Chai is probably our fifth best lineman. He got the nod today."

Was freshman receiver Marcus Everett quiet for any reason?

"Actually we wanted him in there more and to get more work out of him. But as young guys do sometimes, he kind of gets in the pack (on the sidelines) and he has to stay up front where we can get him in the game. We have to do a better job of managing that. But we also have to teach him, ‘Hey, see what you can do, and get you more work.'"

What was your opinion of the offensive line's performance overall?

"I'd give it a C+. I thought that the backside hurt us and we had four penalties on our offensive line. That's unacceptable. We can't do that to our offense. But there were some very, very good things. We hit some runs in there. They gave up one sack. I think there was another one they called that he (the quarterback) probably was fine on. So protection was pretty decent. But I'd like to see us clean up the backside, cutting people off and the penalties have got to go."

How would you rate the running game and the passing game in the scrimmage?

"I would say a C in the running game, because of the way we blocked the backside, and for the passing game a B for sure."


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