Wednesday Practice

A few guys get nicked up in practice Wednesday, as UCLA tries to get its injured healed up during bye week. The scout team scrimmaged, and Head Coach Karl Dorrell commented on getting the defense more prepared...

There were a couple of injuries in practice today, which Head Coach Karl Dorrell addresses below in his comments.

Justin London alternated between wearing a booty and not wearing one. Aaron Whittington did not practice due to his hip pointer. Craig Bragg is still has his left shoulder in a sling.

Tab Perry sat out some drills due to a slightly injured knee.

Kenneth Lombard dressed, ran a bit, but did not participate in practice.

In the one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive lines, most of the time the defensive line was getting the better of the offensive line, particularly C.J. Niusulu and Justin Hickman.

The scout team conducted a short scrimmage after practice. Freshman quarterback Patrick Cowan had a few nice throws.

Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments.

What happened to Nikola Dragovic in practice?

"He sprained his ankle. We're hoping its not too significant. But he did sprain it pretty good. We'll have the doctors check him out this evening. He sprained in on the outside there, he got it rolled up there on the run drill. We'll see what it's all about when the doctors evaluate it."

How about Jebiaus Brown?

"Jebiaus tweaked his hamstring a little bit, in special teams drills. We don't think it's anything significant, but we did sit him down after that. The other guy, Michael Pitre had a little bit of a neck stinger today. He's had that before. He'll be back too."

Was the scout scrimmage after practice fun to see for you?

"Yeah, they had fun. They don't get a chance to scrimmage, and to do things full speed and tackle. They do a nice job of getting us ready for our opponents. It's good for them to have this time and have a little bit of fun to do our offense and our defense, execute and play. We'll see how they're doing."

How timely was this bye week?

"Very timely. With a couple of guys injured on defense, it's going to help get some of that health back. Justin London, C.J. Niusulu, those kind of guys that have not been fully healthy. It will be a good blow for those guys to be back next week."

Is there some added emphasis on defense this week, going into game preparation next week?

"There is a lot of stuff that we're trying to improve on defensively. Offensively too. We're trying to get our systems down pat so we're not making so many mistakes and lining up properly. Things that you normally do with kids that are new in your system. We're working on that quite a bit this week. Offensively we're doing the same thing, getting our twos ready to go because there is going to be a time when they're going to have to help us at some stretch during the season. It's a good week to get all those young players some more foundation."

Late in the fourth quarter of the Washington game, you ran a misdirection pitch, a play that Oklahoma State ran against you. Was that something that was already in your playbook?

"It was something that was in before, we just used it for the first time in this particular game. It got us a first down."

Defensively, is there anything specific that you're working on?

"Helping those d-linemen grow up a little bit faster. That's the biggest thing. We have some injuries in our linebacker positions. We're trying to get some kids together that haven't had any significant playing time. It's getting our linebackers used to an opportunity that they may be playing here shortly. We're playing catch-up there right now in trying to get some young players ready to go because of our situation on defense."

Are we talking a trial-by-fire as the season goes along?

"That's going to be part of it. As much as you coach against every situation, and keeping them prepared, and getting them as prepared as possible for any game, there are going to be things that happen in any game that you don't expect. You're going to have to be a football player and adjust. They'll have to learn by trial and error. The speed of the game is different than what you get in practice. So as much as you try to simulate it in practice you don't really get it until you play in a game."

Do you anticipate Justin London being available after the bye week?

"Yes. We're going to give him this week off. He's doing all the rehab and doing a lot of straight ahead conditioning and not having him do so much cutting and see how much that can get him ready to go for San Diego State."

How hard do you see Tab Perry working to get back to the level he was?

"He's worked harder, in my opinion. He didn't play at all last year. The only experience I had with him was last spring, and he was only there a short period of time. Judging from where he was a year ago spring and now, he's a totally different player than what I was experiencing before. He's in great shape. He is back, to answer your question. How far does he have to go to get back? He's already back. He feels more comfortable with what we're doing. He was an integral part of our succcess offensively in the very first series, doing a great job blocking downfield and knocking a couple of guys down. So his value in this offense, he's already made that statement."

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