Sunday Night Practice Report

It might have been the most interesting practice of the fall, with the team going live for about an hour, giving us a chance to really see how the offense and defense look...

It was probably the most exciting and interesting practice so far this fall with the team going live for much of the Sunday evening session.

It's, of course, UCLA going against UCLA, so when you say that the offense looked good it makes you wonder a bit about the defense, and that was probably the takeaway of the night. The offense did put together some decent drives, starting from the end of the new Spaulding turf field, or from mid-field or the defense's 20-yard line. It was really one of the first prolonged chances to actually see Noel Mazzone's offense in action, and it moved the ball pretty effectively.

Quarterback Brett Hundley went 13-for-24 for 4 touchdowns and one interception in the hour-long live period, looked fairly good, with a few lapses, mostly throwing into coverage. Hundley's pick in the live period was a pass he shouldn't have thrown into some pretty thick coverage in the endzone where it was intercepted by freshman linebacker Kenny Orjioke. Hundley also had an interception in a non-live period on a screen that was tipped by Owamagbe Odighizuwa and then picked by Jordan Zumwalt. Perhaps his best throw was on a deep ball to Shaquelle Evans, in which the receiver snatched it away from Ishmael Adams to compete a 50-yard touchdown. Hundley looked very dangerous when he took off up the field on a scramble.

Richard Brehaut, who is now clearly the second-string quarterback, mostly struggled. We didn't keep his stats, but he did throw an interception to Adams on a deep ball that he threw into double coverage. Jerry Neuheisel struggled, perhaps having one of his most difficult sessions.

The offense was successful, though, without a stellar night from the quarterbacks. The offensive line held up pretty well, creating some good holes in the running game and providing decent-enough pass protection. The starting OL was the same as it's been for some time.

The running backs had a good collective night, with Johnathan Franklin, Steven Manfro, Damien Thigpen, Jordon James, Paul Perkins and Malcolm Jones all having moments. Franklin squirted free on a number of runs, Manfro caught a couple of passes and turned up field explosively, Thigpen and James juked a few would-be tacklers, Perkins had two consecutive touchdowns, one where he juked linebacker Eric Kendricks, and Jones had a nice 8-yard touchdown run where he broke a couple of tackles.

Most of the skill guys, actually, had good nights. Among the receivers, Devin Lucien might have had two of the best catches, pulling one down in the corner of the endzone over Adams for a touchdown. He did drop a ball when he was wide open on a slant, though. Kenny Walker caught a few nice swing passes and created some yardage with his quickness and moves.

Walk-on Roosevelt Davis had a few plays where he spun and juked his way to some running room, and probably received the most "ooohs" from the crowd for the night.

The defense, however, did have some good individual moments, besides just the picks by Zumwalt, Orjioke and Adams.

-- Safety Anthony Jefferson had a nice break-up in the endzone on a would-be touchdown.

-- Safety Brandon Sermons had a very impressive four-yard tackle for loss.

-- Linebacker Anthony Barr had a nice tackle for no gain on Franklin.

-- Linebacker Aramide Olaniyan had at least one sack.

-- Linebacker Nate Iese had a great stop for a short gain, and then combined with Dalton Hilliard, playing linebacker, on the next play for another tackle for short yardage.

There generally was good pressure on the quarterback throughout the night.

Kicker Kai'mi Fairbairn had a pretty good night on field goals. He made 30-, 33-, 45- and 53-yarders, while missing 39- and 50-yarders.

Perhaps the best takeaway of the night: It seemed like the team escaped the live hour unscatched, without suffering an injury.

The team switched up their jersey colors tonight, with offense in white and the defense in blue, which is an indication that the season opener on the road is getting closer.

Cornerback Aaron Hester returned to the field after being sick. Safety Stan McKay was still out with illness. Other than than there were no other changes in the status of the injured. We heard also that offensive lineman Torian White plans to have his procedure to help fix his arrhythmia during the bye week in October.

UCLA-committed wide receiver/defensive back Jermaine Kelly watched practice. Kelly looks noticeably bigger in the shoulders since we saw him at the B2G camp in July.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories