WESTWOOD—Camp is finally over, and being a senior, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy about the fact that it is my last college football training camp ever. Getting to spend time with your teammates every day is definitely something I look forward to, but practicing under the turf-burning heat is not. UCLA officially broke camp on August 24, but it was during the scrimmage on August 21 that let Bruin fans know they are going to have something to look forward to in the upcoming season.
For years the offense has lived in the shadow of the defense at UCLA and at every scrimmage they showed everyone why. Of course the offense would make a big play here and there, but for the most part the defense dictated the entire scrimmage. Throughout the game, the Bruin offense set out to show fans that the defense is not the only part of the team that knew how to play great football.
With Kevin Prince out, it was up to backup quarterback Richard Brehaut to lead the Bruin offense, and he refused to squander his opportunity. Only a few plays into the scrimmage, Brehaut launched a beautiful deep ball to receiver Nelson Rosario down the sideline, and with cornerback Aaron Hester running with him stride for stride, Rosario made a spectacular one-handed catch to set the tone for the offense. Brehaut was able to find his receivers all night and hooked up with Taylor Embree and Randall Carroll for touchdowns. Junior College transfer quarterback Darius Bell also got in on the action when he connected with Anthony Barr for another touchdown pass to end the day on a high note for the offense.
It may seem like the offense had everything going for them in the scrimmage, but the defense had its share of big plays too. Safety Tony Dye was able to come up with an interception, and defensive end Iuta Tepa was causing havoc in the backfield all afternoon. Now that camp is over, it’s time for us to get ready for Kansas State.
It’s very clear, based on how both sides of the ball performed in the scrimmage, that UCLA is ready to contend for a conference championship, but now we have to go out there and earn it. In fewer than six days we will be on the field against the Wildcats in our first game of the season, and it’s up to us to determine what the outcome will be. As a team we still have to get a lot better before we play our first game, and we have to make sure that come game time, we are ready to execute our plays and keep our opponents from executing their plays.
The first game of the season is always exciting because you can’t wait for the season to start. Practice and conditioning is not fun, it’s more like work and preparation. Playing the game on Saturday is the fun part and the only way to make sure your team keeps having fun is to win. We are all aware of what we are capable of and we can’t wait to show the country what they should expect from the Bruins every Saturday until January.