CM – UCLA’s offensive line is being reshuffled and preparing for pressure from Colorado


While quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson continues to recover from a hand injury, the UCLA offensive line has had to adjust and re-mix due to injuries.

The Bruins’ attacking linemen have prided themselves on their ability to adapt and play in multiple positions over the past two seasons. The line has used three different players in the middle this season, but seems to have settled in with Duke Clemens in the middle.

« (Kelly) handles the injury report, but everyone needs to know what we (on the offensive line) are doing, regardless of our position, so we can do it, » said UCLA offensive lineman Jon Gaines II .

Gaines started the season at the center but moved to the right guard after Sam Marrazzo, who started all seven games at the center in 2020 before sustaining an injury in the season finale, was able to return.

After Marrazzo suffered another injury, coach Chip Kelly and offensive coordinator Justin Frye decided to use Clemens in the center.

Gaines was guarded on the right side of the line, but the Redshirt junior moved on to the right tackle as Alec Anderson became « unavailable » for the past few weeks.

Anderson appeared to be limited in training this week and did not travel with the team to the Pac-12 South game in Utah. Anderson left the Oregon game shortly after being slow in getting up and off the field but was able to return. Atonio Mafi has stepped in again as a security guard.

Gaines continues to play each position comfortably, pointing to his familiarity with communicating with his fellow linemen and adhering to the primary goal of « staying in front of your man ».

« I think preparation is part of it, because when your number is called you have to perform no matter where you are, » said Gaines. « You’re up against someone who’s trying to attack the running back and who’s trying to fire the quarterback so you have to do your job. »

The running backs Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown stay healthy, but didn’t cause as much offensive spark as they did at the beginning of the season.

The Bruins have stormed more than 200 yards in five games this season and led everyone to a win. The Bruins have lost four games, including the last two, after opposing defenses managed to keep UCLA’s backcourt below the 200-yard mark.

« We were definitely not happy with the way we played the ball and during this bye week we really made it a point to get through the whistle and keep opening those holes because our running back is going to get us always get it right, « said Gaines. “It’s up to us to know where we’re going and to get guys out of the way because our running backs are great.

« You can see they miss people all season and it’s our job to get them to the second and third levels. »

Kelly used the bye week to get the Bruins ready for the game against Colorado early and will spend most of this week making it happen. But the Bruins (5-4, 3-3) had to watch the Buffaloes defeat Oregon State 37-34 in double overtime on Saturday.

« We got some basic stuff down (last week) but we’re always waiting for the last game to come so we can (rate what they did) and see how that works for us what Oregon State did to make them successful. « at so we can take advantage of (that against Colorado), » said Kelly. « That’s part of the process. »

Colorado (3-6, 2-4) gave up a 20-10 lead in the third quarter to come back and go up with 2:24 penultimate 27:24 just to watch the Beavers it at the last game of regulation on an Everett equalizing Hayes 60-yard field goal.

After the teams swapped touchdowns in the first overtime, Hayes missed a 38-yard attempt that allowed Colorado kicker Cole Becker to play the homecomer with his victorious 43-yard shoe.

« This movie is obviously very valuable, » said Kelly. « There are many things we can do that Oregon State has done, so we’ll keep trying to do that this week. »

Edge rusher Carson Wells and defensive end Mustafa Johnson were named Player of the Game by Colorado coach Karl Dorrell in Saturday’s Buffaloes win. You will be defensive against the UCLA this week.

« (Wells) shows up at opportune times and it’s good to see he’s still making games for us, » said Dorrell. « He had a sack in the game that I think was good for stopping a drive and was very disruptive in many ways. »
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Wells was one of the team’s leading tacklers on Saturday with a total of seven tackles and the sack. Johnson had only three tackles, including one for a loss, but was praised by his coach for the pressure he put on Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan throughout the game.

Dorrell led the Buffaloes to an opening 48-42 win over the Bruins on his coaching debut in Colorado last season. Dorrell coached the Bruins from 2003 to 2007 after playing receivers at UCLA from 1983 to 1986.

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