Defensive coordinator Joe Tresey had trouble finding the coaching box in the team’s season opening loss to Houston. He came running through the press box minutes before kickoff screaming, “I missed it!”
Tresey didn’t concern himself with finding the box for the first time at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, choosing instead to call plays from the sideline. Coincidentally, UCLA won the game.
“There’s a comfort level with me being down there and able to talk to them and being able to make adjustments,” Tresey said. “Sometimes it’s better to look into someone’s eyes and get a read on how they feel.”
Senior safety Tony Dye said he asked Tresey to come down to the sideline so he could feel more comfortable. It’s nothing new for Tresey as he’s alternated from the sideline to the box throughout his coaching career which has included stops at Georgia Southern, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and South Florida.
He insists it has nothing to do with trusting his defense.
“This is a whole new system for them and I can articulate it very fast and I don’t have to transfer the information on a telephone,” Tresey said.
As a result of the switch, linebackers coach Clark Lea has become Tresey’s eyes in the sky. It’s Lea’s first time going upstairs.
“It was different but there’s still an easy line of communication,” Lea said. “It’s fun for me to pick up the phone if they made a big play.”