Thursday Morning's Practice

UCLA gets in a practice in shells Thursday morning before hopping a plane for Illinois. Head Coach Karl Dorrell talks about the improvement of some of the injured defensive players...

Head Coach Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments...

"It was a good practice. Jarrad Page was able to do some stuff today, so he was upgraded to playing. Justin London had a better practice today than yesterday and he was upgraded to playing. IT was a good focused game. I think we're ready to go. We have a tight schedule, get on a bus, get on a plane, and get a victory."

Many people think the most improvement happens from week one to week two. What are you looking to see this week?

"Improvement as well. Offensively if we can take care of the football, we'll be in pretty good shape, with what we need to get done in terms of production and having the success we need. On defense we need some improvement. We need to improve definitely from what we did last week, and do a better job on our run defense. I think with some of those key guys coming back it will help with that and getting everybody on the same page."

When a team sees someone have so much success against you on the run, do you expect to see more of it?

"Oh yeah. They're going to test it and see what we're all about upfront. And we're going to answer the bell with some improvement and being able to do some things better than we did the week before. I'm planning on that. That's definitely going to happen. They're going to test our run defense. And we're going to do what we need to do to be victorious."

How important is a win to get things rolling in terms of momentum for the season?

"Each week is like that. This week is just like the next week. We feel good about where we're at, in terms of the offensive production. We just have to clean up some issues there. Defensively, we're playing with some younger players and they have to play like older players. So we expect much more improvement from that standpoint. If those things that we work on this week, if we're able to do some of those things on Saturday, it's a good feeling that you need to have."

Will Eyoseph Efseaff get a few snaps at defensive tackle?

"He will get a few snaps. He'll play. We'll see what he can do. He's excited about this opportunity. He hasn't been on defense in a while. We're excited to watch him and see what he can do."

Is it probably safe to say that we won't see a game with a score of 6-3 this year?

"I don't think so. They have too good of an offense, with that quarterback. And I think our offense will have a chance to do some great things, too. It will be a good game."

Were the turnovers puzzling for you and are they correctable?

"It is correctable. There were a couple of good hits on the ball on the fumbles we had. But you know, we have to do a better job securing catches and when you're in traffic with a lot of people you have to conscious of protecting the football. With the interceptions that happened, one was a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage. It volleyballed a little bit and came down with the other team. The other one we just got taken right out of our arms. So all of those things we can do a better job with, and we're planning to do that this week."

Note: Defensive tackle C.J. Niusulu was walking and running pretty easily on the side of practice. He will not play Saturday but has a chance to play next week against Washington.


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