Dorrell's Practice Comments

Head Coach <b>Karl Dorrell</b> provides an update on the progress of the team after practice Wednesday, including the status of a new injury, and that of middle linebacker Justin London...

Comments from Head Coach Karl Dorrell:

"We had a very good practice. I'm very pleased with what we saw today. We did have a minor issue happen with Mike McCloskey twist an ankle in our inside run drills. He missed half the practice. We're hoping that's not anything significant with his ankle. Justin London practiced the whole practice and he's excited about the work he's put in. He'll get some playing time this week. And we're closer and closer to full strength. We're happy with that. We have a great opponent this week that's had some rest. I'm sure we're going to see some things different than what they've shown so far this year. It's a great challenge in the Pac-10 each and every week."

Is McCloskey bad enough that Saturday could be in question?

"We want to make sure it's not. We're going to get him x-rayed to make sure there's no broken bones. Do the normal procedure. He thinks he just rolled it over. We know it's not a high ankle sprain. But we want to make sure we've taken all the precationary steps to eliminate all the issues."

How is Kenneth Lombard?

"He's out. He hasn't been able to practice. He needs more rest on that shoulder. I don't anticipate him being ready for Saturday. The same thing with Nikola Dragovic. Dragovic has a high-ankle sprain and Lombard has a shoulder."

And Aaron Whittington is ready to play?

"Whittington is practicing, and he's in good shape."

With Arizona's defense, are there patterns in what Stoops does defensively, carried over from Oklahoma that you're familiar with?

"There are certain structures that are fundamental. He's very very sound. I'll tell you that. His defenses are always very, very sound. That's why they're good defenses. That's what he's done at Arizona, putting in a defense that's pretty good. It's characteristic of what he does. There is a pattern of how he does it, and a pattern of how you coach against it. It's a great challenge for our offense to play against a great defense like this. We'll see where we're at against a great opponent."

Did you talk to the team about last year's game against Arizona?

"We talked about it earlier in the week. It was the same elements of the game, when we played them after their bye. They had a great offensive game plan against our defense. Our defense was feeling pretty good about themselves heading into that game, and we're humbled. We were fortunate enough to win, but it was one of those wins you were just lucky to get out of. We definitely talked about that. Any team that has a bye, they're going to be energized and excited about their Pac-10 chances. They're looking for a great road win and to start something special in their program. We're hoping to stay the course with what we're doing."

Is it important, for a young team like yours, not to feel too good about what they've done?

"You can't feel too good this early. We're about 25% there. There are a lot of games left. This is a very experienced Pac-10 and there are some really good, high-level Pac-10 programs that we have on our schedule. There are a lot of teams – I think three or four – in the Pac-10 that are in the top 25. It's exciting to see. It's getting exposure. They're good teams, so there is going to be a great challenge each and every week."

Is the passing game a primary concern?

"You're missing Craig Bragg. So you're missing a good part of your passing game. We have some young players who need to step up and fill those shoes. It's good to get Tab Perry back in the fold. He's done a nice job, scored a touchdown and had a few catches in the last game. It's hard to replace a Bragg, when he's been so productive for us the last three years. We have some very talented young players that have to grow up very, very fast."

Are you hesitant to use Justin London early in the game? Will you wait and see how the game is going?

"I want to watch him practice one more time. Tomorrow I'll see how he moves around. He's excited that he was able to do the stuff today, and I can tell. It's like, ‘I'm a football player again.' We want to be cautious still. But we'll see what he does tomorrow. If he is still really feeling good, he'll get some time in the game. We'll make the determination of how much at game time."


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