Seventeen seconds into an interview, the usual everything-is-fine, we-will-get-this-fixed player pablum was abandoned Monday when UCLA linebacker Oluwafemi Oladejo revealed a rift between the Bruins’ offense and defense.
“I think slowly by slowly,” Oladejo said Monday, referring to the team’s 27-10 loss to Arizona last weekend, “we just started to kind of get disunified.”
It wasn’t a slip-up; Oladejo went on to repeat the theme multiple times while acknowledging that the Bruins’ struggling offense was irritating their better half.
Confirmation came a day later when edge rusher Jake Heimlicher said basically the same thing.
“We need to come together as a group, give a full team effort in order to win football games,” Heimlicher said. “It’s not one side or the other, we can’t be divisive, it takes a whole unit to win.”
Coach Chip Kelly suggested his players’ comments were based on the framing of reporters’ questions, which was an interesting perspective if he listened to the interviews.
The question that prompted Ojadeo’s quote: When you looked at the film, did your impressions about the defense from the game change?
The question that prompted Heimlicher’s quote: What did you learn from the tough loss?
Neither player was exactly baited.
After falling out of the national rankings, UCLA clearly has some issues to resolve. Here are five things to watch when the Bruins (6-3 overall, 3-3 Pac-12) face Arizona State (2-7, 1-5) on Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl.