UCLA NOTEBOOK: FEW ATTRACTIVE OPTIONS FOR UCLA'S DEFENSE : STRUGGLING UNIT TO FACE WASHINGTON'S TUIASOSOPO.
Byline: Jon Wilner Staff Writer
UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX returns from its three-day weekend today to prepare for Washington's three-pronged attack: junior quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo Marques Tuiasosopo (born March 22, 1979 in Woodinville, Washington) is a professional football player, a quarterback for the NFL's New York Jets. He began his career in 2001 with the Oakland Raiders. running left, Tuiasosopo running right and Tuiasosopo through the air.
``He's perfect for what they're doing,'' Bruins defensive coordinator A defensive coordinator typically refers to a coach on a football team in the National Football League or college football who is in charge of the defense. This position aids the head coach a great deal in many ways by delegating play calling to other coaches and allowing the head Bob Field said. ``He's got speed and he's so big and physical that he can break arm tackles. He's like a big back running with the ball, not a quick little quarterback.''
Washington coach Rick Neuheisel Richard Gerald "Rick" Neuheisel, Jr. (born February 7, 1961 in Madison, Wisconsin) is an American football coach. Formerly a college head coach, he is currently the offensive coordinator for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, after being promoted from quarterbacks coach on January 15, installed the option in training camp, and Tuiasosopo - a junior whose father, Manu, played for UCLA from 1975-78 - has used it to become the Pac-10's most dynamic player.
Two weeks ago, he accounted for 509 total yards against Stanford, making him the first player in NCAA history The first game (basketball) played between teams representing different colleges or universities was played on November 6 1869 between Rutgers University and Princeton University, at College Field (now the site of the College Avenue Gymnasium), New Brunswick, New Jersey. to run for 200 yards and throw for 300.
Saturday, he'll face a UCLA defense that's statistically similar to Stanford's. More, the Bruins have not seen an option-oriented attack this season. The best they can do is reserve quarterback Drew Bennett Andrew Russell Bennett (born August 26, 1978 in Berkeley, California) is an American football player in the National Football League. Bennett plays wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams whom acquired him as an free agent on March 3, 2007. on the scout team In sports, the scout team, also referred to as a practice team or practice squad, is a group of players on a team whose task is to emulate future opponents for the featured (or starting) players. : He's UCLA's best athlete, but he can't match Tuiasosopo's strength or instincts.
Then again, if the Bruins base their defense solely on Tuiasosopo, Washington's running backs and receivers will run free.
``If you're not ready for the option, it can be devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. ,'' Field said. ``You have to be disciplined to stop it. You have to have somebody on all three phases, the (fullback) dive, the pitch man and the quarterback. It forces (the defense) to make plays in the open field.''
And that's something the Bruins haven't done well in two years.
Need for speed: Sophomore receiver Freddie Mitchell For the fictional character, see .
Freddie Lee Mitchell (born November 28, 1978 in Lakeland, Florida) is a former American football wide receiver in the NFL who most recently played for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a 1st round draft pick in the 2001 NFL Draft out of UCLA. leads UCLA with 29 receptions and 529 all-purpose yards. But he hasn't scored a touchdown, he's averaging just 12.5 yards per catch and he hasn't made the big plays many UCLA fans expected.
Why? Combine the broken leg he suffered last season with an aching knee that's lingered since training camp, and Mitchell doesn't have his fifth gear.
``It's his knee more than anything else,'' Bruins coach Bob Toledo said. ``He's obviously not as fast or quick as he was prior to the injury. He can't run away from people. He can't separate from them like he was before.''
Look ahead: Will Toledo and offensive coordinator Al Borges let reserve quarterback Ryan McCann compete for Cory Paus' starting job in spring practice? They'll know in two weeks.
``It depends on how we finish and what progress the position makes,'' Borges said.
Red flag: The Bruins are the least-penalized team in the Pac-10 (five per game), and that might not be such a good thing.
``Maybe we need more penalties,'' Toledo said. ``We need to be more aggressive.''
By the numbers: The Bruins have been outscored 84-31 in the fourth quarter.
UCLA is averaging 48,649 fans per home game, 25,000 fewer than last year.
Defensive end Kenyon Coleman leads the Bruins with 3.5 sacks. Last year, linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo led the team with nine.
The Bruins are converting 37 percent of their third downs; opponents are converting 46 percent.
Who would have guessed: During its three-game losing streak, UCLA has a turnover ratio of plus-one.