Thursday Practice Update

The Bruins got in their light practice Thursday before taking off for Tucson today. We have updates on the status of various players, including Jarrad Page, Matt Moore and Keith Carter, all of which changed since Wednesday...

Sophomore safety Jarrad Page didn't practice Thursday and will not make the trip to Arizona. Kevin Brant will start at strong safety. Safety Ben Emanuel, and linebackers Justin London and Brandon Chillar all practiced and will start on Saturday.

Head Coach Karl Dorrell commented about Page and the safety situation: "He (Page) didn't practice. He's not going to make the trip. We'll go with (Kevin) Brant, (Eric) McNeal, (Keith) Short and Nnamdi Ohaeri, so we'll have to find a way to get it done with those guys. They've had a good week of practice and we feel good about what they've done. Page is still real stiff and sore and if you can't tackle in his position, you can't really do anything."

When asked if he'd be back for the California game, Dorrell said, "He wasn't coming around as quickly as we thought."

On Ben Emanuel: "He practiced, and he's going to be fine. We were concerned about a mild concussion earlier in the week, but he's going to be fine and is going to start."

On the offensive personnel: "Everything is status quo. We're hoping to get Matt (Moore) some time in the game. As to when, we'll talk about that between now and Saturday, but we hope to get him some time in the game so he can get his feet wet again."

On the offense's first half struggles: "If I knew the reason why, we'd fix it in hurry and start better all the time. I think that's something we will continue to search and trying to do a better job of preparing them earlier game. We're trying to do a better job of making sure we're doing the right things early to get our momentum going. We still have to be able to do some things early in the game that create some momentum where you have the atmosphere where you think your offense can move the football."

On Kevin Brant: "(This week in practice) he looked great. He knows all the coverage adjustments and has done a nice job."

On the team's focus coming off the Washington win and going into Arizona game: "The focus has been good. I'm trying to raise our expectations and the way we do things more and more each week. I'm never satisfied, but we had a good week of practice and I just want to make sure we stay focused and do the job we need to do to be successful. Tuesday and Wednesday were good practices and I was really encouraged by that. Today is kind of a tune up day, but I was very encouraged where we were after that game. We're heading in the right direction, but we have to continue to stay on those little things we've been preaching for so long."

On Eric McNeal: "He's going to get his opportunity to do some things for us (on Saturday) and he has done a nice job on special teams and that's where he's made a nice breakthrough for us. This is a chance where he'll get a little more time and we'll see what he does. Playing experience helps, him getting on the field, particularly on special teams, will help him get some confidence and a comfort level on playing. Those are the things we are hoping to see."

On Keith Carter's recovery: "We're taking him (to Arizona). The doctors mentioned that he's had a good clean week of practice, and we might give him a few plays and we're very encouraged by that. He'll be taking Jarrad's spot on the 60-man travel roster. That's a positive. That's a big positive with him. He's been working real hard trying to get himself back, and this is his first week with no setbacks of any sort of doing the physical work. We all were concerned what type of injury it was. Either you don't get a chance to play or you wouldn't, and we didn't know the extent of the injury. We were pleased with that bit of news. He hasn't practiced everything, but he knows our run game and some of our base passes we do. The more reps he gets the more he'll get familiar with everything."

On kicker Justin Medlock: "He's doing well. Is his confidence rising? I'm hoping it is. It's hard for me to tell with him. He's doing a great job. He's done some good things on kickoff and only missed one field goal, and he's been perfect ever since."

On interim Arizona coach Mike Hankwitz and differences Dorrell has seen in the Wildcats: "Not really (any difference). If any that he'll make, they'll be subtle changes as the season progresses. He's a heck of a football coach, I've coached with him before, and I'm happy he's getting this opportunity."


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