Practice Report, Neuheisel Video

Coach Rick Neuheisel talked after practice Thursday about a few little injuries, and the good day for the defense, while the quarterbacks have a solid day, with some defensive standouts...

The defense had a really solid practice and at this point is playing with more verve that the offense. At one point early in team, defensive end Damien Holmes got locked up with tight end Joe Fauria and after a tiny scuffle someone made a rather loud comment about their energy level.


The offense had to make do without F-back Anthony Barr, who tweaked a hamstring, forcing some changes at the injury-depleted position and slowing things down some. That really shouldn't be an excuse, though it did come up after practice. Jordon James got reps there and looked good – he could come in handy there, considering they need to find ways to get him on the field.

There were a few more drops – Randall Carroll on back to back plays had bad ones. John Young and James also dropped very catchable passes. But quarterbacks Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut also made some nice throws in there. Brehaut for a second day in a row made a nice throw on a deep ball, this time to Shaq Evans, who beat Brandon Sermons.


In 7 on 7, Prince checked down more than Brehaut did. He hit his first four passes, all of them under the coverage, then a fifth in his next series before Young dropped a ball in the flat. Brehaut also hit his first four, including the deep ball to Evans and a nice shot to freshman Devin Lucien. In the next series he came back after the back-to-back drops by Carroll and hit freshman Raymond Nelson with a nice ball down the field.

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Coach Rick Neuheisel did get on the offense between two of the early periods, trying to elevate the energy level.

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Safety Dalton Hilliard had a really strong practice, blowing up some plays at of behind the line of scrimmage working against the run. Patrick Larimore and Sean Westgate also stood out.

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Barr sat with the hamstring and receiver Taylor Embree also missed most of the practice with a calf issue. Center Kai Maiava and running back Malcolm Jones also came off the field with injuries, but they were able to return to practice. Freshman defensive lineman Brandon Tuliaupupu (arch), linebacker Mike Orloff (knee), guard Casey Griffiths (hamstring) remain out.

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Jake Brendel, who had some trouble with his snaps on Wednesday, was much better. Greg Capella continued to work at guard, so Brendel is getting a lot of reps with the 2s and 3s.

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The first play in team there was a bad snap, but that was Kai Maiava.
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The offense did pop some nice runs - Malcolm Jones popped one in red zone, Johnathan Franklin made a nasty cut through the line for a nice gain and James had a nice run to the left. Freshman Steven Manfro made a nice run through the line, but it looked like he might have been taken down at the line by defensive tackle Tre Hale if it were a live situation.
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Kicker Kip Smith and Joe Roberts really struggled with their field goal attempts before practice. Roberts hit one ball that knuckled – not pretty. Smith missed three in a row before hitting his final attempt.

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Brehaut in run game had a nice zone read gain where he caught Holmes crashing too hard. He went right by him for a nice gain and has really improved with the read and footwork.

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The freshman tackles Torian White and Will Oliver stayed after practice for a little bit working on some fundamentals, and offensive coordinator Mike Johnson had that jugs gun fired up and the receivers working on catching the football.

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Jamie Graham got a little work in special teams, returning punts. He can run a little, no doubt.

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There were a few recruits at the practice including defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy from Monrovia and receiver Travis Talianko from La Canada St. Francis.







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