Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tim Floyd Tips Well!

Tim Floyd gave money to O.J Mayo's agent as a "thank you" for delivering Mayo to USC... allegedly.




I hope with all my heart and soul that this is true.

Because this is what the death penalty was made for.


Renaissance Man

Remember when Brian Price lined up at full back last season? The results weren't always pretty, but one thing was evident: Brian Price is a dynamic football player. It looks like the coaches are trying to capitalize on Price's NFL talent by giving him some reps at another position as well.

According to the OC Register, Brian Price will see some action at defensive end. He is so quick and strong, I could see Price really creating some havock doing that. It will also run afoul the plans of offensive coordinators who will undoubtedly being looking to double team the Bruins best defensive player.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rivalry Recession

Remember the good old days? You know, way back in 2008, when cars were still made in Detroit and Rick Neuheisel was the newly minted head coach in Westwood. People were excited back then and, dare I say it, optimistic.

Even though the Bruins had lost eight of their last nine games against the Trojans, there was talk that things would be changing. Some even had the audacity to believe that the days of Pete Carroll's football empire were numbered. The once dead rivalry between UCLA and USC was about to be resurrected and Neuheisel was poised to put the Bruins back on top.

Then the season started.

After watching eight losses, a school-record twenty interceptions, and a parade of overwhelmed offensive lineman, one thing became perfectly clear... Neuheisel and the Bruins were a long way from challenging USC for conference supremacy. A very long way.

The other truth was that Karl Dorrell had left the cupboard bare. UCLA was short on size, speed, and athleticism and even a dream team of assistant coaches wasn't going to turn the ship around in one season.

Not that any of this should surprise anyone who has been paying attention the last few years.

Pete Carroll has been not-so-quietly amassing a collection of all star players over at USC. When you land a top-5 recruiting class year after year, it's kind of hard not to dominate everyone in your path.

During that same time, the football program in Westwood was content to let Carroll pick the creme of the crop from southland high schools, hoping to scoop up the leftovers.

The complete trouncing that the Bruins received this past December at the hands of the Trojans pretty much sums up the state of the rivalry at that point. Outmatched, under sized, and overwhelmed, the boys in blue never really had a chance to win.

If that wasn't bad enough, the exclamation point came a few months later when eleven USC players were taken in the NFL draft. Not a single UCLA player was chosen... not even the punter.

Amidst all of this doom and gloom, there are some signs of recovery. The Bruins last two recruiting classes have been head-and-shoulders above their predecessors.

Last year's freshman and the new arrivals this fall should inject some much needed talent into the program. Impact players like Rahim Moore, Derrick Coleman, and Jeff Baca have already claimed starting roles. Redshirt freshman Kevin Prince has been named the starting quarterback and some very talented offensive lineman will be arriving this August.

In fact, I expect over half of UCLA's starters on offense to be underclassman this year.

Neuheisel has finally brought a little competition back to the recruiting trail as well. He managed to steal some of Carroll's thunder this past February when he convinced two highly regarded USC recruits to switch their allegiance to UCLA.

Wide receiver Randall Carroll and H-back Morrell Presley were much needed additions to the latest Bruins class. Presley has already impressed the coaches this spring with his intensity and Carroll is one of the fastest high school seniors in the state. Both have the potential to be big time play makers.

The Bruins will continue to rebuild this season while the Trojans reload with another round of Parade All Americans. The results on the gridiron may not be markedly different from last year but give it some time. Like declining global economies, football programs take a while to turn around.

If anyone is going to bring life back to this rivalry it is Rick Neuheisel and all he needs is a few more stocked recruiting classes. Well, that or an NFL program with lots of money, no head coach, and Pete Carroll's cell phone number. Whichever comes first.

More Transfers Coming?

Message boards were chattering yesterday with rumors of more transfers coming. According to one poster:

Another top running back--will surprise a lot of people, several linemen, and a top young linebacker [will transfer].

it's not a group defection so each player will announce as he finalizes details. There are seven guys that I have names for--but I got this information from some active FB guys and they asked me not to mention any names until the young men decide to make it public--I'm guessing they need to tell their relatives and such--and perhaps in a couple of the cases determine final destinations. What was stunning to me was not the bulk of them--these made perfect sense when you look at the most talented new recruits and the guys who most struggled--what stunned was that two of the guys "seemed" to have bright futures-

Hard to say if there is any validity to this information, but we do know that at least a few more players must be off of scholarship for UCLA to be within the NCAA mandated 85 scholarship limit. So some guys will likely be encouraged to transfer.

We should hear some announcement soon.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Incoming freshman wide receiver Randall Carroll ran the 100 meters in 10.30 seconds on Thursday night. That was the third fastest legal time in California Prep history. Awesome

(HT to Harborhighbruin at BRO)

Carroll in a preliminary race

On the Topic of Transfers

UCLA isn't the only team with players on the move. Tennessee has already had 11 players leave since Lane Kiffin was made the head coach.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


With UCLA well over the scholarship limit of 85 players, transfers are in the works. It looks like the following four players are likely to transfer this Spring:

Chris Forcier (QB)
Raymond Carter (RB)
Aundre Dean (RB)
Dominique Johnson (WR)

Of the four, Johnson was the most surprising for me. I thought he had some great moments and made some amazing catches in the blue and gold. His biggest highlight was that amazing one-handed TD pass against USC in 2007. His commitment and work ethic were questioned a lot last year and during the Dorrell era. The coaches probably wanted to give his reps to some of the new players like Presley and Carroll. What's strange is that his number of receptions went up from his first year, so he was playing more last season.

The other guys kind of make sense. Carter and Dean are stuck in the log jam at running back. Especially for Carter, because he has a number of freshman ahead of him on the depth chart. Likewise, Forcier was never going to see the field at QB. His switch to wide receiver this spring didn't seem to be something he was happy about.

Friday, May 1, 2009

UCLA vs USC Spring Game Stats

The offensive statistics for UCLA were not very good for the spring game. To some extent, you expect your defense to be ahead of your offense at this point in the process. I thought I would do a quick comparison between the Bruin's offensive numbers and the Trojan's offensive numbers from this last week end and see how they stacked up.



Aaron Corp 14-23 157 yds 1 TD 0 INT
Matt Barkley 12-20 124 yds 0 TD 2 INT
Mitch Mustain 7-12 85 yds 0 TD 1 INT


Marc Tyler 7 44 yds
C.J. Gable 5 53 yds
Curtis McNeal 8 7 yds
Corp 5 18 yds


Prince 11-24 134 yds 1 TD 1 INT
Brehaut 7-14 47 yds 1 TD 0 INT
Craft 0-5 0 yds 0 TD 0 INT


Knox 8 44 yds
Dean 5 33 yds
Carter 9 33 yds
Coleman 7 14 yds
Franklin 5 11 yds

The numbers are pretty similar. UCLA ran the ball more and USC passed more, but there isn't that much difference in total output. The Trojans seemed to get more yards per attempt in their passing game, but that came at the expense of a few extra interceptions. Their starting players seemed to be more productive, but UCLA's backups had slightly better numbers.

All in all, it's hard to put much weight behind spring game statistics. The offense is vanilla, you have first, second, and thrid string guys on defense on any given play, and lots of drives are situational. So, nothing to get too worried about in the Bruins offensive production. Now, when fall rolls around, it is a different story.

Prince was the Right Decision

Well, it should come as a surprise to nobody that Prince was named the starter. He was taking the lion's share of the reps all spring. I think this is a great move by Neuheisel. UCLA now has a starting freshman quarterback with 4 years of eligibility left. Behind him is a true freshman quarterback with 5 years left. This will give these guys time to grow and develop in the system and give the Bruins stability at the position. There will be growing pains this year and likely into the 2010 season as well. But that kind of investment will start paying big dividends down the road.