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UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel not thrilled by execution of new offense

The coach says the team must get better at the ‘pistol’ or decide whether it’s wise to stick with it.

April 16, 2010|By Ben Bolch

Rick Neuheisel didn't sound as if he was ready to junk his team's new pistol offense.

The UCLA coach also didn't appear overly enthralled with the way the wide-open formation was progressing after the Bruins' second spring scrimmage.

"We've got to be a heck of a lot better at it than this," Neuheisel said Friday evening. "And if we can't get that done in 15 [spring] practices, then we've got to ask ourselves if it's prudent to stay in it."

And this assessment came after Neuheisel said his offense performed better than it had during a dreadful showing the previous day.

On the plus side, quarterbacks Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut each had efficient showings. Prince completed seven of 11 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown, with two of the five drives he directed resulting in scores.

Brehaut completed 11 of 17 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one pass intercepted and guided the Bruins to scores on two of his five drives.

"Everybody out there was making plays," Brehaut said. "Once you've got your receivers making plays for you, it's a lot easier."

Sophomore receiver Randall Carroll made one of the biggest, hauling in a 37-yard touchdown catch from Prince in the corner of the end zone and a third-and-long play.

"I just saw the ball … and found a way to turn my body because I was stumbling, and put my hands on it, and just rolled back into the end zone," Carroll said. "I was excited."

Carroll finished with three catches for 53 yards. Redshirt freshman Ricky Marvray made three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown.

The running game wasn't especially productive. Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman each carried the ball nine times, with Franklin gaining 37 yards and Coleman 25.

There was one persistent bugaboo: botched snaps, including one that sailed over Prince's head and was recovered by defensive end Datone Jones in the end zone. Neuheisel called the problem "a huge issue."

"You have to be able to exchange the ball," he said.

Fortunately for the Bruins, they have nearly five months before their season opener against Kansas State. Spring practice will conclude April 24 with the spring game.

Quick hits

Center Kai Maiava sprained his left knee toward the end of the scrimmage, though Neuheisel said the injury was not thought to be serious. … Receiver Nelson Rosario did not participate in the scrimmage because of a rash that required blood work, Neuheisel said. … Kicker Kai Forbath made all four field goals he attempted, connecting from 46, 43, 42 and 40 yards. Backup Madison Poole missed his only attempt, from 38 yards. … The longest pass in the scrimmage was a 44-yard completion from reserve quarterback Clayton Tunney to tight end Morrell Presley. … Damien Thigpen returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown. … Defensive tackle Nate Chandler made two sacks and cornerback Sheldon Price had an interception.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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