UCLA obtained its first win of the season, however not all is properly in Westwood.
Head coach Chip Kelly introduced this week that three gamers are out for the remainder of the season as a result of concussions and the Bruins are nonetheless simply 1-5 at the midway factors of the season.
Nevertheless, UCLA, on the subject of Saturday’s recreation towards Arizona, the Bruins seemingly caught a break with Khalil Tate’s ankle damage. The star quarterback is out, and UCLA will as an alternative face Rhett Rodriguez, who will make his first profession begin.
As all the time, I welcome your questions for this weekly function. You’ll be able to ship me questions on Twitter @thucnhi21 or by way of e-mail at [email protected] Let’s get to the A’s to your Q’s.
Do you assume there’s something extra to all these supposed season ending accidents. It’s been some time since I’ve seen so many and for concussions. Fascinating to see who the accidents are supposedly to additionally.
— bamzues (@bamzues) October 17, 2018
Midway by means of the yr final yr, UCLA had seven introduced season-ending accidents. There have been knee accidents (Audie Omotosho, Nate Sarks, Alex Akingbulu), concussions (Breland Brandt), shoulders (Keyon Riley), a hip (Kenny Lacy) and a foot (Caleb Wilson).
Midway via this season, the quantity is the similar: seven season-ending accidents. Two knee accidents (Josh Woods, Kenny Chuchwell), three confirmed concussions (Bolu Olorunfunmi, Jaelan Phillips and Soso Jamabo) and two disclosed (Mique Juarez and Je’Vari Anderson). The 2 undisclosed accidents I might enterprise to say are concussions as properly.
So it’s unlucky for UCLA to have this many season-ending accidents throughout the yr, however it’s definitely not exceptional. The very same quantity occurred final yr by this time. However when mixed with a number of medical retirements resulting from concussions, the quantity of concussions, and the frequency with which they have been introduced (three this week), definitely places up an fascinating flag.
The variety of recognized concussions has gone up lately, a minimum of in the NFL, however that’s doesn’t essentially imply there are “more” concussions general. It might imply that gamers and/or trainers are extra aware about them and acknowledge/report/diagnose them extra typically, which then will get the incident recorded. It’s fascinating that gamers have been dominated out for the season so early in the yr when concussions sometimes have a variety of fluctuation when it comes to restoration time, however there’s a brand new teaching and coaching employees. They’re locked in on each motion of each participant via GPS on the apply area. I might assume that they’re simply as diligent in terms of head accidents.
I feel I’ve heard some theories that Kelly is utilizing concussions as a approach to cowl up attainable transfers of gamers who’re sad with the new employees or as a cause to elucidate away why gamers from the earlier employees not enjoying. I’ve by no means been one for conspiracy theories, however this one appears fairly far-fetched for me. I noticed Mique Juarez stroll into the trainers’ shed, sit down on the desk and converse to a coach. I didn’t see him once more for month. He undoubtedly wasn’t speaking to the coach about transferring. We additionally know that he had a concussion in spring follow as a freshman and he missed time with an undisclosed damage throughout this previous yr’s spring follow. We all know what the results of amassed concussions are. Bolu Olorunfunmi missed a couple of days of coaching camp then reappeared sporting a particular VICIS helmet, which is designed to scale back influence forces. It’s typically used for concussion-related conditions. He wasn’t simply selecting to put on that helmet as a result of he was planning to switch, particularly as a result of he performed in six video games and doesn’t qualify for a redshirt. The coaching employees wasn’t making him put on it as a result of he got here from the earlier teaching employees.
Teaching staffs are sometimes extraordinarily cautious about discussing concussions any greater than they completely should. They’re extra cautious when speaking about head accidents than different ones. Nobody likes speaking about concussions in soccer, which is a special dialogue for a unique time, however Kelly wouldn’t convey it up if he didn’t completely need to.
E-mail query: “Purely speculative, with Soso Jamabo out for the season, and a young and growing stable of Chip Kelly recruited running backs on the team, what is the likelihood he becomes a grad transfer?”
Soso Jamabo, assuming that he’s on monitor to finish his diploma this yr, can be eligible to switch as a graduate scholar. I personally can be stunned to see him again. Chip Kelly has a gaggle of operating backs he likes in Joshua Kelley, Kazmeir Allen and Martell Irby and all three have eligibility to return subsequent yr. If Jamabo couldn’t break into the lineup this yr, it was be a shock if he did subsequent yr when Allen and Irby are not freshmen. If he did need to return, he may need to pursue a potential place change. As I’ve written in these Q&As many, many occasions, he has receiving expertise that appear helpful.
DM query: “Will Jaelan Phillips, Soso Jamabo, and Bolu Olorunfunmi be able to medical redshirt this year?”
From what I perceive of the rule, gamers who seem in 4 video games or fewer can use a redshirt. Jaelan Phillips appeared in 4 and Soso Jamabo appeared in simply three, so each can be eligible for a redshirt alternative. Bolu Olorunfunmi appeared in six video games so he wouldn’t be eligible for a redshirt.
The place is Kaz Allen? Joshua Kelly is killing it however I might have anticipated Chip to make use of Kaz in some artistic methods. Has he simply gotten misplaced in the shuffle?
— Iqbal Kasam (@BruinMD) October 16, 2018
There appears to a tightening of the rotation for receivers and operating backs so there are a whole lot of gamers who’ve gotten misplaced in the shuffle in current weeks. Dymond Lee began the season opener however doesn’t have a catch in the previous three video games. Chase Cota was anticipated to make an influence as properly but in addition doesn’t have a catch in the previous three video games. Demetric Felton didn’t have something in the first three video games and now has seven catches in the previous three. Martell Irby led the staff in carries towards Fresno State then took a backseat with Joshua Kelley’s emergence.
So the competitors is excessive at all positions for all gamers. However, as Kelley stated this summer time of his mindset when he transferred right into a crowded operating backs group as a walk-on and was not sure if he would ever get any carries: “Every time, I have this mindset that no matter where, I gotta make an impression. I made it, this is where I want to be, I got to, whenever I’m out there, make an impression.”
So I don’t know what to inform you about the place Allen is in the rotation or why he hasn’t performed extra. It’s not my choice and I don’t see any of follow to know what goes into the determination. However Allen has averaged solely three.1 dashing yards per carry over the previous three video games and with out his one 74-yard rush in the season opener, he’s averaged simply four yards per carry in 27 rushes. That 74-yarder left an enormous impression, as a result of individuals maintain asking about him, however I feel that in terms of the teaching employees, they should see him reinforce that manufacturing in different conditions when he’s not operating behind an unbalanced offensive line that has an additional offensive lineman paving the method.
DM query: “Elijah Gates with more playing time, have you noticed the defense being more effective? And possible is he the best cover corner UCLA has?”
He’s gotten a very good quantity of run in all video games this yr, enjoying principally in nickel packages and infrequently in base as properly, however with a second-half damage to Nate Meadors final week, Gates obtained actual prolonged time. Chip Kelly stated after the recreation he was happy with Gates: “(He’s) another young guy in the secondary who’s taken advantage of his playing time. We were short a little bit in the secondary and Elijah’s really stepped up for us to go along with Darnay (Holes) and Nate out there. He’s played a lot of snaps for us and I see him growing and getting better, and that’s the cool part about it.”
Whether or not the protection is “more effective” is tough for to me decide. I don’t have the actual snap counts and only one half towards a turnover-prone, struggling Cal offense is just too small of a pattern measurement to know of Gates’ impression on the protection. I don’t assume I’ve watched him intently sufficient to know if he’s the greatest cowl nook on the workforce, however I do know that Darnay Holmes is fairly good himself. I feel Gates has a brilliant profession forward of him at UCLA, however I discovered it fascinating that each occasions Kelly was requested about Gates since Saturday’s recreation, the coach praised the redshirt freshman however didn’t reply with out mentioning each Holmes and Meadors.
Kelly, when requested of Gates and fellow redshirt freshman Jay Shaw on Wednesday: “Obviously, we felt like we had two really good corners in Darnay and Nate and now that we can bring two other guys along is just going to help us in the long run.”
when will they begin recruiting elite prospects?
— NM (@popo31485) October 18, 2018
Jim Mora pulled in a number of elite, five-star prospects whereas he was at UCLA. I’ll name him at ESPN to see how these labored out for him. UCLA began the yr with 5 former five-star prospects on its roster, the second-highest variety of any Pac-12 workforce. Three are out for the yr and the staff is 1-5.
So going after “elite” prospects doesn’t routinely imply wins are going to return. Definitely well-established powerhouses like Alabama and Ohio State have each side of the equation balanced when it comes to five-star recruits and wins, however equations don’t stability themselves. The coach and his employees should get the proper items in place after which develop them. Certainly one of Mora’s downfalls was that he appeared to chase extremely ranked gamers with out regard for a system or a staff id. Thus he had a hodgepodge of expertise that underachieved relative to what individuals anticipated.
Chip Kelly doesn’t look after stars. He cares for his system. Perhaps time will inform whether or not his method will work at UCLA, however there’s no solution to know at this time limit how issues will end up.
What’s your intestine feeling on how their recruiting class finally ends up this yr?
— Chet Donnelly (@gooch1234567) October 18, 2018
As a basic rule, my intestine doesn’t really feel something apart from starvation. That’s very true in issues of recruiting as a result of the whims of 17- or 18-year-old youngsters will not be one thing I’m notably plugged into. Recruiting modifications like the wind. Chip Kelly dismantled just about the whole recruiting class that was in place when he arrived and for a second it seemed like UCLA was solely going to signal a handful of gamers. Then the teaching employees closed with a 27-man class that was ranked in the prime 20. (In fact a type of signees, Bryan Addison, ended up at Oregon later.)
However even when the class doesn’t look spectacular on signing day for no matter purpose (i.e. there are not any five-star prospects), you’ll be able to’t actually know for positive if it’s going to be a bust till at the very least two or three years from its signing day. Extremely-ranked gamers get harm, they switch, they don’t pan out. Decrease-ranked gamers flip into hidden gems. However we’re not fortune tellers, so we wait to see.
Hope it isnt too late, however have you learnt what the scholarship numbers appear to be. I really feel like UCLA ought to have a superb quantity given the departures and shortly to be “medical retirements”. As a comply with up, who does Chip hand off recruiting duties to & have they been made obtainable?
— DandyDon (@GetPaidPicks) October 17, 2018
By my rely, UCLA has 74 scholarship gamers on its roster, which is nicely beneath the most 85. They began the yr with 76, however misplaced Zach Sweeney to medical retirement and Devon Modster to a switch.
I requested to talk to somebody concerned in recruiting for a narrative a number of weeks in the past however nobody was made out there.
E-mail query: “Other than maybe a big sigh, were there any noticeable impacts on players or coaches in practice this week after first win of the season?”
I didn’t discover a big change in temper at apply this week, however that might be seen as an excellent factor for the Bruins. They received one win, however the season’s not going to only finish at 1-5. Saturday was an enormous second for the gamers to get the victory. They celebrated to their hearts’ content material, however it’s not the solely celebration they need to have this yr, so once they returned to coaching on Monday is was again to enterprise.
Who do you assume redshirts?
— Neil schoolnik (@Neilschoolnik) October 16, 2018
I assume you’re talking extra particularly about which freshmen I feel are on monitor to redshirt.
As a reminder, here’s a rundown of the freshmen who’ve performed and in what number of video games. Sixteen of UCLA’s 23 scholarship freshmen have performed this season. Ten have already burned their redshirts by showing in additional than 4 video games.
Kyle Philips, who has missed the previous two recreation with an undisclosed damage, has appeared in simply 4 video games. If he returns this season, then he would burn his redshirt.
Three extra might burn their redshirts in the event that they play Saturday: Delon Harm, Rayshad Williams and Bo Calvert. Harm and Williams have principally appeared in particular groups. Calvert is getting common enjoying time on protection. Until one thing unexpected happens between now and Saturday, I might anticipate all three to play, which might put them in the non-redshirting class.
Elijah Wade has three video games beneath his belt now. I anticipate that if he stays wholesome, he’ll proceed to play and burn his redshirt, particularly contemplating the dwindling depth at outdoors linebacker with Jaelan Phillips being dominated out for the yr and Marcus Moore being suspended indefinitely.
Elisha Guidry made his UCLA debut final week late in the fourth quarter. He might nonetheless play in three extra video games and retain his redshirt. By making his debut so late in the season and so late in the blowout, it might recommend that he’s nonetheless a main candidate to redshirt, however there’s nonetheless some grey space there.
There are seven true freshmen who haven’t performed but: tight ends Matt Alaimo and David Priebe, offensive linemen Alec Anderson, Baraka Beckett and Jon Gaines, and defensive backs Kenny Churchwell and Patrick Jolly. We all know Churchwell will redshirt as a consequence of damage. I might anticipate the others to redshirt as nicely.
Why did not speicht play in the final recreation if he was wholesome?
— MD towards Trump!!!! (@TheKindCompany1) October 17, 2018
From the not-helpful Chip Kelly solutions division, merchandise dated Oct. 13, Berkeley:
Query: “Wilton didn’t get in at the end, is he still battling that back injury?”
Kelly: “No, we were just trying to finish it out and so I didn’t know if we were going to run the quarterback at all, so we just went with Lynch today.”
That didn’t clear a lot up for me personally, however that was Kelly’s official reply when requested after final week’s recreation about Speight. My unofficial translation could possibly be that he means Speight is “healthy,” however due to his historical past with repeated again accidents and the way simply these can flare up, Kelly needed to be cautious in rubbish time and didn’t need to danger injuring Speight once more late in a blowout by operating the quarterback. That’s only one attainable principle of what he meant.
E-mail query: “Has Asiasi played? I don’t see any stats for him on the website.”
Sure, he’s performed in all video games since he was eligible to return from suspension, so he’s in line for his fourth straight recreation this weekend. He hasn’t had any catches, which is why he hasn’t proven up on the stat sheet, however he’s repeatedly utilized in blocking conditions. He had a key block on Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s 20-yard rush final weekend towards Cal.
I don’t know in the event you answered it earlier than (and I apologize for asking it so late) however how a lot did UCLA pay Fresno State for his or her loss?
— Jonathan (@iampangean) October 18, 2018
In line with this 2016 story from the Fresno Bee, UCLA paid Fresno State $650,000 for this yr’s nonconference recreation.
Is Rahyme Johnson nonetheless in the program?
— digitalsnuggles (@digitalsnuggles) October 18, 2018
Sure, he’s been at apply each day this week dressed as a scout group participant.