Tuesday Practice Update

UCLA's starting safeties both sit out practice Tuesday; tight end Keith Carter gets closer to playing; Head Coach Karl Dorrell and quarterback Matt Moore both talk about Moore's status, and Dave Ball talks about national honors and sacks...

Safety Jarrad Page remains doubtful to play on Saturday because of an injured shoulder, being held out of practice Tuesday and more than likely out of all contact for the remainder of the week.

"He's still doubtful," Head Coach Karl Dorrell said. "He's sore and we don't think it's in his best interests to give him any contact right now. He's doubtful, but we'll see how he does tomorrow."

Page said that the x-rays came back negative for any breaks, but that he sprained the AC joing in his shoulder and bruised a bone. "I don't think I'm going to do much of anything this week. I'm still going through the stuff mentally but just don't think I'm going to hit this week. I want to play on Saturday, but I don't know if I'll be able to."

Would it be a good week – playing Arizona – to take off and fully recover? "You don't want to take anybody lightly, but you don't want to get it hurt worse. If I'm able to play on Saturday I want to play."

The other safety, Ben Emanuel, sat out practice Tuesday after suffering some concussion symptoms in the game Saturday. Dorrell said, "His symptoms are subsiding, but he still has some residual effect. The doctors wanted to hold him out in practice. He was held out today, but will probably do some work tomorrow."

Emanuel said he believed he was fine and would play Saturday.

Dorrell talked about the possible replacements and depth at safety. He named Kevin Brant, Nnamdi Ohaeri, Eric McNeal and cornerback Keith Short as possibly getting time at safety. "We could use a number of guys this week to see what their strengths are, and how much of the defense they really know. By end of week we'll have a pretty good plan on who will be the replacement as needed. Short probably felt a little different being in the middle of field rather than on the edge. In a couple more days of working he'll feel more comfortable."

Linebackers Justin London and Brandon Chillar were slightly dinged but Dorrell said it was nothing serious.

Tight end Keith Carter appears to be getting closer to playing. Dorrell said: "He practiced more today. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. That's usually how we know with him, how he feels the day after a heavy day. Hopefully he won't have that setback tomorrow. The doctors want a week of no symptoms after practicing before he plays. We're still probably looking at next week, not this week."

Quarterback Situation

Dorrell said that Matt Moore had a good day of practice on Tuesday. "He looks a lot better. He had a lot better Tuesday than he did last Tuesday. I think he'll get a chance to play more than he did a week ago. We're going to continue to get him more reps. He had a good practice today."

When asked if, when Moore is 100%, will he get the starting job back, Dorrell responded: "The plan is to evaluate that situation when he gets to that point. We're hoping to get him back in the fold."

Moore said his knee was 95%, that he was still experiencing some restriction in his range of motion when he runs. "I feel fine. It's not completely there yet, but it's not like I can't play."

Moore said his timing and rhythm are close to being back, even though it's still a "little off."

When asked if the coaches had told him he wouldn't lose his starting job to injury, Moore said, "They never told me that. I read that."

But Moore wanted to play down any controversy over the starting position because the team's winning. "We're on a roll right now and it's the last thing to worry about. I'm taking it one day at a time. I've never had to deal with an injury before. I'm worried a little bit about getting the job back but at the same time I'm not worried because we're winning. That's where you have to be unselfish."

On whether he thought he'd play meaningful minutes this week, Moore said: "I really don't know. I couldn't tell you."

Preparing for Arizona and More

Coach Dorrell was told by a member of the media that one of his players said after the Washington game that Arizona was a "sure-fire win." He commented: "I hope that's not the total sentiment on the team. I played against teams just like this, and all they need is a spark, and all of a sudden they're in a football game and then things start going their way. We don't want those things to happen to them when they're playing us. We don't want to misjudge any situation. We still haven't won a game on the road. Our challenge is going into somebody's backyard and coming out with a win."

Defensive end Dave Ball, who leads the nation in sacks, will be putting pressure on Arizona's true freshman quarterback, Kris Heavner. When asked if he's looking especially to load up on some more sacks going after a freshman QB, Ball said: "He's pretty elusive actually. He doesn't take a lot of sacks without the first and second guys going at him. We have to keep doing what we're doing, the defensive line working hard as usual. I don't think we'll really have to worry, and hopefully everything will fall into place."

Ball said that he and his brother Mat, were feeling "it" against Washington in the second half: ""I think both my brother and I were feeling it at that point. Plus, we couldn't have done it without the coverage guys making (Washington quarterback Cody Pickett) hold the ball, since he was holding the ball longer than expected. So we were able to get around the corners and have our day with them."

Dorrell said that the tale of two halves for UCLA in the last two games has been both a combination of the team getting on track and half-time adjustments" :We've made good adjustments. I think it's also something that sparks the team, and riding that momentum. We need to just do that in the first half, in thh first quarter, where we sustain a level of play where we did in the second half of this last game. Each week we've gotten better at doing those kind of things so hopefully this week when it will happen sooner for us."

Ball said he was honored to be named the national defensive player of the week and commented: "I'm very fortunate. I've had a lot of people helping me along the way. It's not like I went in there not knowing I was going to be successful. I have a great line coach and a great defensive line to help me, so I'm fortunate."

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