Even after racking up 259 yards from scrimmage on Saturday, the star running back rolled 400 yards as punishment for his fumble.
UCLA football running back Zach Charbonnet spoke with the media following Tuesday morning’s practice session at the Wasserman Football Center. Charbonnet talked about taking a Croatian class, his mindset in physical games like the one against Stanford, getting his teammates juiced up with broken tackles, making up for his fumble and becoming a better receiver out of the backfield.
Taken any language classes
Um, the only class I’ve taken in language is Croatian, but I took that last summer. But that’s the only language class I’ve taken.
Did you take Croatian with Dorian?
I did not take it with him, I think he took it before me. But I took it with a lot of other guys on the team this past summer.
How was it?
It was fun. Yeah, it was fun to be with the guys, the teacher was really nice too, so we had a great taking that class.
Retain any Croatian?
Nah, cao is about it. That’s it.
How much fun are you having in this offense and playing in physical games?
Yeah, I think just any day, being able to come out here and play football, that’s just the fun in it. I think this team showed a good amount of energy, especially making big plays and scoring touchdowns, so I think that speaks for itself.
Any part of you that’s eyeing your yardage total in a game, wanting to go back out to hit 200?
Uh, to be honest, no. There will be people that tell me, but no, I’m not really focused on that, I’m just focused on winning.
Add juice for your teammates when you break tackles? O-line said they enjoyed blocking for you
Yeah, um, I think on top of that, their blocks are doing the same thing to me. All the pancake blocks they’re doing, all the execution that they’re doing on the field, I think we just feed off each other. You know, me and Dorian have spoken about how we feed off each other, I think the line does too. They’re the heart and soul of this offense, so we rely on them a lot.
How much of a priority was it for you to improve as a receiver this past offseason?
Yeah, that was something I put a lot of focus into – that, and then making the first defender miss. But primarily, being able to catch out of the backfield, that’s something I placed a lot of emphasis on.
How do you feel you’ve done so far this season with that?
I think I’ve done a pretty good job in receiving, but there’s still always stuff you can always clean up, minor details, you know you can always fix, become a better route runner. So, you know, I’m just enjoying the process of still learning that.
How have you responded to the things you need to clean up, like your fumble?
Yeah, um, so, you know, I started off the week off rolling. So, you know, after we fumble, 400 yards of rolls, that’s just something to get my mind right. And then just focused on cross-gripping the ball, all those minor little details, you know? And he made a great play too, but I just gotta hone in on just being able to hold onto the ball.
Kam jumping on the ball?
Yeah, that was a big play, that could be a game-changer right there. I’m just glad we were able to get that back.
Having so much success but still focusing on fixing things?
Yeah, I think coach Kelly’s done a great job emphasizing getting better every week. And, you know, I think that’s something, as this team, we’ve also really taken to heart. And I think that’s something that we’ve done a good job of, just finding any little detail we think we did wrong in a game, any little thing on film, just correcting that, and I think that’s taken us to the next level.
CFP rankings coming out tonight, does that register with you?
Uh, I’ve not paid too much attention to that. I’m just focused on being with this team week in, week out, and continuing to win.