Every Down Review - UCLA part II (first half)

All Stanford running plays are Taylor unless otherwise noted. Same for UCLA and Franklin.

Link to the second half

ESPN Play-by-Play

UCLA @ UCLA 15…Franklin screen for 6, 3 blockers against 2 immediate defenders…OZ for no gain, Anderson slides into the backfield…Out for 5, really soft coverage…Power for 11, Franklin pushed for 5 more yards, Skov late on run support…OZ for -1, Anderson beats the block…Screen for 4, Richards didn’t notice the screen…Franklin screen for 9, 2 on 2, where are the safeties?...IZ for 51, TOUCHDOWN UCLA. 8 plays 85 yards. 7-0 UCLA.

Unlike Oregon, UCLA was blocking properly, and Stanford isn’t shedding the blocks like water off a duck (pun fully intended). Stanford is playing soft zone coverage and UCLA is using motion to gain numerical advantages on its swing passes. Secondary isn’t reacting to motion because of the zone call.

On the TD run, the DL executed a stunt and Parry was late; Tarpley was playing outside to respect the screen pass and couldn’t catch Franklin; Reynolds (last line of defense) took a horrendous angle and couldn’t make the tackle. In other news, Johnathan Franklin is really good at football.

Stanford @ SU 31…Power for 1, Danser misses the block…Taylor screen for 9…Ertz snag for 2…IZ for -1, Fleming owned by Datone Jones…Sweep (?) blown up by penetration but Hogan scrambles for 13…Power for 5…Power for 3…Option pitch for 1, Taylor makes a nice move to avoid a loss, Hogan pitched too early because he was about to get steamrollered, BECAUSE OF MORE PENETRATION…Hewitt dive for 2…Taylor checkdown for 32, breaking tackles, making guys miss, he is SO good in space…Hogan fakes the handoff, Yankey pulls right, everyone bites, Hogan rolls left and walks into the end zone. Beautiful. TOUCHDOWN STANFORD. 11 plays 69 yards. 7-7.

UCLA’s DL is doing really well, which is an understatement really.

Spectacular, spectacular plays.

UCLA @ UCLA 25…Screen for 8, 2 on 2…Hundley keeper, Skov was not fooled, loss of 1…Out for 11, Fuller has wheels, penalty UCLA, unnecessary roughness…Hundley scrambles for 48, Gardner went for the sack and left the middle of the field open…Power for 19, Franklin slips through the smallest gaps and breaks Chase Thomas in the open field…Fade to Fauria into double coverage, broken up by Richards, that is how you throw the fade…Hundley scrambles to the backside for 5, safeties were freaking out about the screen, TOUCHDOWN UCLA. 7 plays 75 yards. 14-7 UCLA.

Against a team with explosive weapons like UCLA, gap integrity is probably more important than getting sacks. Rationale: against most teams a sack kills the drive, so it’s worth going for, but UCLA is too good.

Thomas needs to wrap up, not go for the strip.

Hundley has pocket presence like you wouldn’t believe. Knew exactly where to escape. And he’s here for 2-3 more years. He’s going to be terrifying. He IS terrifying.

Stanford @ SU 19…Wilkerson Power for 3, UCLA blitzed two at the LT (LG was pulling)…Ertz out for 7…Power for no gain, UCLA’s DL stoned the OL…Hogan scrambles for 1, doesn’t see Patterson with 10 yards of cushion, (questionable) PI on Ertz, non-call…Four verticals(?), well covered, Hogan scrambles for 6…Punt. 5 plays 17 yards. 14-7 UCLA.

UCLA @ UCLA 21…Power for -5, Mauro walks in and crushes the handoff…End of the first quarter…Power for 31, UCLA’s CENTER pulls (whoa) and walls off Skov, and since Murphy (?) was blitzing well outside, there was a massive hole…IZ for 5, Franklin drags his way for the last 3…Fauria up the middle for 17…penalty UCLA, false start…Power for -1, Skov came unblocked off the edge…Vertical, jumped and picked off by Reynolds, returned for 80 yards. Gardner forgets to block Hundley and Reynolds is tackled short of the goal line. (Fuller had Tarpley well beaten up the middle, nice stutter step.) 6 plays 42 yards. 14-7 UCLA.

Where were the intermediate guys on Franklin’s long run? Stanford was in Cover 2…it’s pretty hard to defend the run in Cover 2.

Hundley throwing jump balls to Fauria is like Nash throwing alley-oops to Amare Stoudemire back in the day. Works most of the time. UCLA has so many weapons. How did Neuheisel go 6-8 with this team again (yes I know Hundley was redshirting)? UCLA should be dominating every team in the league country and I know it’s crazy but sometimes I feel that with these weapons UCLA is still underachieving.

Stanford @ UCLA 1…Power for 1, TOUCHDOWN STANFORD. 1 play 1 yard. 14-14.

UCLA @ UCLA 25…Hundley scrambles for 5…Power for no gain, embarrassingly bad cut block by UCLA’s LT…Thomas abuses UCLA’s LT with a magnificent spin move, sack, loss of 2…Punt. 3 plays 3 yards. 14-14.

Stanford @ SU 31…Power for 5…Counter for 13…Hewitt OZ for 2…Patterson stop route for 4…Young pitch for 8…Power for 5…Taylor alert for no gain, Danser was abused and Hogan nearly got killed…Hogan sacked, loss of 8, horrendous pass blocking by Fleming and Wilkes…Punt. 8 plays 29 yards. 14-14.

UCLA @ UCLA 20…OZ for 4, but penalty UCLA, holding…Alert for 5…Screen for 4, Fuller trips to stop the bleeding…Shallow slant-cross, Hundley throws it behind the receiver, incomplete…Punt. 3 plays -1 yards. 14-14.

Stanford @ SU 37…Power for -3, Wilkes saw the blitz too late…Hogan scrambles for 4, Terrell might have been open on the curl (offscreen) if Hogan had waited a second longer…Incomplete on the alert, thrown way too high to Hewitt, wasn’t going for the first down anyway…Punt. 3 plays 1 yard. 14-14.

UCLA is just blitzing into whatever space the pulling guard just exited. It’s working quite well.

UCLA @ UCLA 20…Bucksweep (?) (center and tackles block inside, guards pull outside) for 3…Power for 9, but penalty UCLA, holding…Franklin screen for 7, he slips, could have gone for 10…TO Stanford…Payton mesh for 16, safety support nowhere in particular…Fuller screen for 5…Fake screen, flare for 1, lovely open-field tackle by Brown…Slant, incomplete, tough throw and tough catch; on the backside, Payton had Carter well beaten on a slant (stutter step) for a first down…Punt. 6 plays 22 yards. 14-14.

Mazzone is calling the gameplan that Oregon should have run. Spread the field with swing passes and when the safeties are cheating, run it up the gut.

On the mesh route – that’s a gutsy call to make on third and ten. Payton pushed Carter out of the way (inside 5 yards, so legal) and Carter was too late to make a play. You can’t get pushed around like that. For reference, mesh is two shallow crossing routes that set picks for each other.

And dude – Mazzone called triple slants on the trips side on one play. I know, I know, it’s not that crazy, but I just think it’s really cool and worth mentioning just for the craziness value. If it’s zone, somebody should be open; if it’s man, somebody should be open anyway. Hundley just threw to the wrong guy.

Stanford @ SU 17…Hogan ZR keeper for 13…Taylor alert for 6, Toilolo was open on the backside skinny post…Hogan ZR keeper for 12…Toilolo stick(?) for 6…TO Stanford…Terrell comeback for 13…Terrell in for 12…Spike with 37 seconds left…Hogan scrambles for 4, penalty Stanford, holding (Wilkes)…Hogan throws it away, good decision…Shotgun draw with Wham blocking (trap with the DT initially blocked, as opposed to the DE) for 9…TO Stanford…37 yd FG. 8 plays 62 yards. 17-14 Stanford.

I think 37 seconds is too soon to spike the ball. The extra down could have been useful.

That was Stanford’s first penalty of the night. I don’t typically pay attention to whether the OL was holding or not…and if Stanford is actually holding they need to do a better job of it, UCLA is collapsing the pocket anyway.

I don’t mind the shotgun draw, and I like the combination with the trap (because UCLA’s DL is playing too aggressively). Williamson may be talented, but a 46 yard FG (if a pass falls incomplete) isn’t a great idea, especially not in the rain. Better to set up the FG. Stanford’s exploiting UCLA’s tendencies prevent defense and calling runs during the two-minute drill to catch them off balance, and it worked.

Link to the second half

Now (more in the second half review)…

Disgustingly bad turnout. Turnout that seems reasonable in comparison to the turnout at the Big Ten Championship game, though.

UCLA is pretty good at this coverage thing. There are holes in their zone coverage, of course, and Stanford’s getting better at finding them, but their man is working pretty well and they’re making Stanford string together long drives to score. Power is getting predictable and is turning out to be more boom-and-bust, and if you bust once during a long drive the drive will probably end right there.

UCLA’s offensive gameplan is also really, really good. Stanford’s been playing on their toes all night. The wet field has probably saved a touchdown. With this in mind, UCLA probably won’t be able to string along long drives with screen passes all day. The big plays have kept the scoring drives alive, and those were due more to gap integrity issues, not so much UCLA physically kicking Stanford’s ass.

And let’s remember this: for all his faults, Jordan Williamson’s kicks have made the difference in Stanford’s games against SJSU, Oregon, and now this UCLA game.

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