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Second-half Adjustments and Signs of Life from Brian Price

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Second half means second-half adjustments and I am excited to see how both teams respond. Critical of Brian Price's pro potential as I have been, he was very disruptive in the first half. A single block couldn't hold him on the line of scrimmage and he was regularly fighting his way into Washington's backfield. UCLA in turn was watching all that disruption result in nothing. How would each team adjust?

1. 1st and 10 at UCLA 50 Chris Polk rush for 5 yards to the UCLA 45.

LDT, 3-tech. Price does not fire off the snap with abandon and his once great push now looks marginal. Patience doesn't help him. He turns on the motor and charges hard into Cody Habben, but Habben reach blocks him right and well away from Polk.

2. 2nd and 5 at UCLA 45 Jake Locker rush for 3 yards to the UCLA 42.

LDT, 3-tech. A virtual repeat of the last play, with Price lowering his RPMs off the snap and Habben reach-blocking him away from the play. Locker keeps it and runs outside-left for three.

3. 3rd and 2 at UCLA 42 Jake Locker pass complete to Devin Aguilar for 8 yards to the UCLA 34 for a 1ST down.

LDT, 1-tech. Washington double teams Price for the first time. This is critical. If Price is to become a run stuffing tackle in a gapping, Tampa-2 type system, he must own double teams. The double team stops Price cold. He begins to pursue right, Locker moves to his own right and away from Price (though Price is never close) and finds Aguilar for the first.

4. 1st and 10 at UCLA 34 Jake Locker pass complete to Jermaine Kearse for 34 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.

LDT, 1-tech. Huskies send another double team Price's way, and if before he was stopped, this time he's stonewalled and forced back. No push. No separation. Touchdown.

(And then...)

1. 1st and 10 at WASH 33 Jake Locker pass complete to Chris Polk for a loss of 2 yards to the Wash 31.

RDT, 1-tech. Price dominates Tolar and Tolar is so possessed he can't escape to pull out in front of the screen. Finally, Tolar unabashedly throws off Price in a questionable-at-best block, attempts to pull in front of Polk and watches as his assignment, Kyle Bosworth, runs downhill and tackles Polk for a loss of two.

2. 2nd and 12 at WASH 31 Jake Locker rush for 13 yards to the Wash 44 for a 1ST down.

RDT, 1-tech. Price pursues right. Locker keeps it on a read option and runs to his right, hurdles and jukes for a first.

3. 1st and 10 at WASH 44 Chris Polk rush for no gain to the Wash 44.

RDT, 1-tech. Price explodes through Toral, but instead of continuing bullheaded into the backfield, he tackles Polk through Toral, stopping the rush for no gain.

4. 2nd and 10 at WASH 44 Jake Locker pass complete to Johri Fogerson for 1 yard to the Wash 45.

RDT, 3-tech. The right defensive end drops into cover and Price assumes a wide rush to compensate. He pushes through tight end Kavarrio Middleton and pressures Locker into a dump off swing pas to Fogerson.

5. 3rd and 9 at WASH 45 Jake Locker pass incomplete.

NT in a three-man front. Price stands up, stands (reads?), and begins to move to his right. That's right folks, it's another whacky nose-tackle zone blitz. Pressure arrives and Locker slings it away to avoid the sack.

(Punt)

Halfway through the third in a close game, Brian Price is starting break through.