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UCLA's offense will get carded this week

UCLA FOOTBALL

Looking to speed things up, UCLA will experiment with a new way to send in plays and formations.

September 21, 2012|By Chris Foster
  • The Bruins' offense will experiment with a new method of calling plays.
The Bruins' offense will experiment with a new method of calling plays. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

It's all in the cards.

UCLA will experiment with placards, featuring random illustrations, to signal in plays and formations.

Oregon pioneered the technique.

"If it can help us with our substitution, speed up our operation on offense, then we're going to do it," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said.

Mora added that there have not been problems in that area, but "we're trying to get better."

Among the cards UCLA fans can look for this week: Eric Cartman from "South Park," former Bruins Maurice Jones-Drew and Troy Aikman, the In-N-Out Burger logo and a banana.

"You get a group of graduate assistants in a room late at night, a little punch drunk from spending 80 hours working that week, and some silly things can happen," Mora said.

Spread offense

Share the wealth seems to be offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's credo.

The Bruins had 11 receivers catch passes against Houston, led by Steven Manfro, who had seven catches for 78 yards.

It's not a complicated system.

"If you're over there, we'll throw it over here," Mazzone said. "You come over here, we'll throw it over there."

Players like it. The Bruins have seven receivers with at least seven receptions through three games.

"I like how the ball gets thrown around to different guys," wide receiver Shaquelle Evans said. "It gets everybody involved so the defense can't focus on one guy. It makes us more lethal."

It also keeps anybody running a pattern on their toes.

"The ball can come to you at any time," Manfro said. "I love the offense … I can run routes, bubble swings. It spreads skill players around, gives us space to work with. We all love space."

The counter, Mazzone said, is that teams "want to take away our backs and the passes to the flats and swings because we do so much of that."

Sounds like it's time to throw deep when Oregon State comes to the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

"I don't know, we'll see," Mazzone said.

Baca to play?

Guard Jeff Baca sat out last week's game against Houston, but Mora said Thursday, "Jeff will probably play. That will be a good thing for us."

Baca sat out because he was experiencing headaches, but it was determined he did not have a concussion.

chris.foster@latimes.com

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