Thursday Practice Report; Starter is Out

The Bruins look sluggish Thursday morning, with the quarterbacks not throwing well and the offense generally a step slow. The defense took advantage and had a dominating day. One of the big offensive starters leaves practice...

Personnel Updates:

The biggest news of the morning practice session is that starting sophomore tailback Tyler Ebell left practice early due to a physical condition.

UCLA cannot elaborate on his condition since Ebell has not signed his medical information release.

A UCLA spokesman said, "Tyler has been feeling sluggish for a couple of days. He left practice early today to have some tests run at UCLA this afternoon. It is expected that he will be at practice on Friday."

Head Coach Karl Dorrell said, "We're doing some things to make sure he's okay. We think he's going to be okay. We just have to do some precautionary things to make sure he's going to be okay."

Running backs coach Eric Bieinemy, when asked about Ebell, said he couldn't comment, but did say, "Tyler's a soldier."

Justin London sat out another practice, and Dennis Link filled in for him at the first-team middle linebacker spot. Brandon Chillar did participate today.

Freshman running back Derrick Williams suffered an MCL sprain and is out indefinitely.

Matt Ware has experienced tendinitis in his knees and only participated in limited drills and no scrimmage Thursday. Marcus Cassel played with the #1 defense in his place.

Wtih most of the players that are suffering little injuries, Dorrell said they're being evaluated day-by-day. "I'm just glad there are no major injuries," Dorrell said.

Freshman offensive lineman Nikola Dragovic has been moved to fullback.

Dorrell wouldn't even provide a hint as to which quarterback could be leading the competition, going as far to be fair as saying that the coaches will flip a coin to see who starts the scrimmage on Saturday. A writer then asked Dorrell, "Which quarterback gets to make the call on the flip?"

Scrimmage Notes:

The offense perhaps had its worst practice of the camp, showing obvious signs of fatigue.

"Everybody's tired right now," Dorrell said. "They're going to hit that part of camp where they come to a wall, and now we have to get them to break through the wall and give a little more."

Neither quarterback, Matt Moore or Drew Olson, looked particularly good today. Their passes both lacked zip, and they both appeared slow in recognizing the open mind. Both threw interceptions – with Moore's getting picked off nicely by freshman safety Eric McNeal and Olson's getting tipped and grabbed by senior defensive lineman Asi Faoa as Olson tried to force a short pass.

Probably the one standout offensive play was an off-tackle blast by freshman running back Maurice Drew. Finding a hole, blowing through it, he quickly got into the secondary and scampered for a would-be touchdown. "That was a very impressive run," Dorrell said. ‘He's doing really well."

The wide receiver competition continues, mostly between Junior Taylor and Ryan Smith for the starting position opposite proven starter Craig Bragg. "Neither Taylor or Smith are really stepping up right now and saying, ‘I'm the guy.' Both have done some things where they've had some inconsistencies. That position is still up for grabs, as far as I'm concerned."

Even sure-handed Manuel White fumbled on a pitch, getting the ball stripped by defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti. Boschetti, in fact, had a good morning, registering a few nice tackles and a few quarterback hurries.

In fact, the entire defense looked good. Defensive back Matt Clark again looked very good, getting good breaks on the ball and covering receivers very aggressively. Jarrad Page was active in the defensive backfield, particularly when knocking down a pass to Marcedes Lewis. Linebacker Wesley Walker looked fresh and active and made some nice hits.

Other Bits of News:

Saturday there will be a youth clinic with former UCLA players on the baseball field from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. The former players taking part include John Sciarra, Wendell Tyler, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook.

Saturday's scrimmage begins at 11:00 a.m. at the football stadium. Cal State Fullerton is charging $5 for the scrimmage.


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