Wednesday Practice News

It's mostly updates on the injuries to Rod Leisle, Matt Ware, Manuel White and Keith Carter, and the status of Xavier Burgess. Defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti also talks about playing without Leisle Saturday...

Head Coach Karl Dorrell answered questions after practice Wednesday.

On the status of Matt Ware and Rodney Leisle: "Both did their rehab today. All the rehab they did today was in the training room, running on the treadmill and stuff like that, but nothing physically out here. That means they're not playing this week, and that means we're trying to get them ready for next week."

On the status of tight end Keith Carter, who wasn't dressed out for practice: "He had another test done today, in regards to his hip. He doesn't think it's quite responding the way it should be, so we're going to wait and see what the doctors say. He had another CT scan, so we'll try to get another determination about what it is this evening. He isn't ready play. He took a setback and is pretty sore again. That's why we're doing these test again."

When asked if Carter could get a medical redshirt for the year, Dorrell said: "That's something we can't really evaluate until after the season. I don't think that's something we're thinking about at this time."

On Manuel White's status: "His injury is a cracked bone in his shoulder blade. It is an injury where he doesn't have to have surgery, so he'll be immobilzed for his recovery. I think it's a six to eight week period before he can start doing rehab again. I don't think he'll have a chance to return for a bowl game. I think the immobilization will be at least six weeks and then the rehab, and however long that takes, so I'd say no."

Backup linebacker Xavier Burgess, who was arrested Monday evening for verbally threatening a UCLA parking attendant, was released from jail Wednesday. Dorrell commented on his status: "He won't be going to Stanford. There is still a pending investigation into his situation. And as far as what I'm going to do in terms of any disciplinary action on my part, I'm not going to do anything until we get all the facts."

On the running back rotation without Manuel White: "Maurice Drew and Tyler Ebell are the one-two punch right now. They're getting the majority of the reps, and Akil Harris is taking some reps, too, as our third tailback. I think Jason Harrison is pretty close to full speed. He's probably 85 to 90%, so he'll be ready to go pretty quickly, too."

On Matt Moore's performance in practice: "He did good. I think we're doing a little too much with our package right now and want to cut back a little bit. I think he did good, another solid day."

As of practice time Wednesday, Dorrell believed that his house was out of immediate danger of the Stevenson Ranch wildfire: "I think everything is okay. I think the fire went around the contours of our subdivision. It burned all the brush. I think all the homes are okay. That's the last I heard before coming out to practice. It went around the southern part of our subdivision and went straight to the 5 Freeway."

Defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti answered some questions after practice.

On playing against Stanford's offensive line: "They have a couple of guys that have been there a long time so you know they're going to drive up their leadership. We have all seniors on our line, so we're going to be ready, spend a lot of time in the film room. It's just a matter of containing their quarterbacks and stopping that run."

On adapting to the loss of Rod Leisle: "We're focused and excited about Saturday. We lost Rod relatively early last game. I think we did a helluva job rallying together at halftime, saying, ‘Enough is enough. Let's shut this stuff down.' Which I think we did. No points in the second half last week. We have the Balls, we have Asi Faoa, David Tautofi, we have seniors and guys that are ready to play and step it up. Rodney's still there with us every day in practice. He's not going anywhere. He's still there with us."

On potentially moving to Rod's position, the three-technique: "I'm going to go where coach needs me most. If he wants me to play the three-technique, I'll play the three. I think to start out the game I can be either one, nose or three-technique. Hell, I'd prepare for defensive end if they want me to."

On the differences of the position: "At the one-technique, the nose, you're right over the ball. You're going to see a lot of different blocks, a lot of double teams. The three-technique, the further you get away from the ball, the more ability you have to roam a little bit. Maybe I'll get to play the three-technique and hopefully make the best of it. If I get to play the nose, hopefully I'll be blowing people up and letting our linebackers come in and make tackles, like I've been doing all year. Maybe it's a little more glamorous. But you still have to bang. Either one, you still have to hit. You still have five guys in front of you and you have to hit them hard."

On playing with C.J. Niusulu as Leisle's replacement: "C.J. is aggressive. He gets off the ball quicker than anyone on the defensive line...besides myself. No, he's aggressive and plays hard. He carries his weight real well and can throw it around. The more he plays, the better he gets. When he steps in, I'm really confident with the way he plays."

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