Saturday Scrimmage Report and Comments

UCLA scrimmaged Saturday, and the offense has a productive running day. With its two top running backs on the sidelines a walk-on tailback gains the most yards. The defense shows well, especially on a goal-line stop, and Karl Dorrell talks about another starter who is out for spring due to injury...

With both Chris Markey and Derrick Williams out with injuries, red-shirt sophomore tailback Ryen Carew scampered for 77 yards on nine carries at the scrimmage on Saturday, including carries of 26 and 20 yards each.

Junior Kahlil Bell rushed for 46 yards on 12 carries with some powerful runs up the middle, at one point bowling over linebacker Reggie Carter.

The quarterbacks mostly were limited to short gains, with Ben Olson going 6-11 for 100 yards and an interception. Pat Cowan took only eight snaps, completing two for seven yards.

Walk-on McLeod Bethel-Thompson completed the only touchdown of the day on a well-placed pass between three defenders to tight-end Travis Martin.

Both Olson and Cowan took snaps in the shotgun and each threw a couple deep bombs down field, including a flea-flicker intended for Gavin Ketchum that fell incomplete.

Ketchum led the receivers with two grabs for 60 yards and Terrence Austin also had two catches for 36 yards, not including a diving catch on an out pattern which was ruled out of bounds.

On defense, the front-seven made a handful of stops behind the line, including a sack by linebacker Shawn Oatis and tackles for loss by Bruce Davis and Fred Holmes.

At one point the defense held on four straight plays within their own ten-yard line. Kickers went 0-3 on field goals with Kai Forbath missing two and Jimmy Rotstein missing one.

Here's what head coach Karl Dorrell had to say about the day's practice and injury updates:

What's the report on Brandon Breazell's knee injury?

"He has a PCL strain, which means it's not completely torn but he might have torn it a little bit. He's definitely out for spring. We anticipate a pretty good recovery and have him be ready to go in the fall."

Has the MRI come back yet?

"Yeah, that's the radiologist's report."

Did you think it was worse than that?

"No, our trainers are pretty good at diagnosing on the field what they think could be the possibilities and in this particular case I think they were right on. It's a very similar injury that you saw last year to Michael Norris and Joe Cowan. I don't know how many weeks it is, but it's enough weeks until the season begins. So he ought to be back."

They're not talking surgery at this point?


"Other than that, practice was pretty good, pretty competitive. Saw some good plays made out there. Saw some great third-down conversions. Saw some third-down stops. A stand down there, four straight downs inside the 10-yard line for the defense, kept them out of the end zone and I saw the offense make a few plays today. Made some progress through the week and went through a test today and they passed the test. So it was good to see progress on both sides and having success on both sides. It's a disappointing thing to miss three straight field goals. We put that on there just to see if they can kind of spurt of the moment make a field foals and Kai missed two and Jimmy missed the third one. We'll keep testing our kickers in some game-like situations like that and continue to get them seasoned and ready for the fall."

What did you see out of your quarterbacks today?

"I think they both played well. It's good to see our protection was pretty good. We were able to get some time to throw the ball. They hung in there in the pocket and had some poise and delivered some underneath throws that ended up being big plays for us. Both of them did that. I think they moved the ball pretty well so we'll get a chance to watch the tape and see how it goes."

Do you expect the defense to be a little ahead at this point? "Yeah, The defense should be a little bit ahead given their experience back and not really changing much on that side of the ball in terms of what we do. Offensively it's probably a little bit harder just because of the new coach and new terminology, new plays and things like that. And it seems like the players are responding though, it's starting to come around."

How was the running game today?

"Pretty effective. I thought Kahlil ran well. I thought Chane ran hard, had some good runs and Carew had some good runs in there too. I think those three guys made some impressions today."

Here's what Ben Olson had to say about the day's practice:

How's it feel adjusting to the new offensive system?

"It felt good. I mean, every you're getting a little more comfortable with the offense and the system. We still made some mistakes and we got a lot of things to improve on but I think it's coming and I'm liking what we're doing. It's just going to take some time, getting everybody on the same page here." It seems like you guys are coming out of the gun a little bit more.

"Really it's a completely different offense than what we were doing last year. So a lot of it's different, a lot of shifts, a lot of shotgun, different formations, so it's new stuff."

Will this offense be designed to go up field a little more?

"It's a ball-control offense, designed to exploit the defense's weakness as I think every offense tries to do. So, you know, hopefully we'll throw the ball down the field a little more, let our receivers make some plays and it'll be fun."

What did you think of your receivers today?

"I thought they did a good job. Everybody's learning new stuff, your head out there is kind of twisting around a little bit. You're just trying to get everything down. So I mean it's process and you got to remember that. Everybody's learning it. It's all brand-new for everybody. The coaches are doing a great job being somewhat patient with us and those types of things so we're just trying to go out every day and get better."

What did you think of your running game today?

"I think the O-line did a great job. Everybody overall did a great job for the first real scrimmage. I think there were just some mental mistakes here and there but we can clean that stuff up and it'll be alright."

What are your thoughts on Ryen Carew?

"Ryen- he's a great athlete. There's a lot more that goes into the game and he's going to do a great job. He's doing a great job picking everything up and learning it. Carew obviously has talent. Everybody can see that. He's doing good, trying to get his stuff together and he could be a great player for us."

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