Practice Moves Inside;Tevaga to Start

UCLA's football team took the basketball courts of the Men's Gym Wednesday to get out of the rain. True freshman offensive lineman Shannon Tevaga will start Saturday against Arizona State...

Shannon Tevaga, the freshman offensive lineman, will start the Arizona State game.

Tevaga will start at strongside guard, and senior Steven Vieira will move over to weakside guard to replace Robert Cleary.

Offensive coordinator and line coach Tom Cable has maintained since the beginning of the season that Tevaga was the most physically ready of the young offensive linemen on the team.

Last week Tevaga played as a sixth lineman in the three-back formation UCLA used against California.

The team practice inside the Men's Gym Wednesday afternoon because of the rain.  It made for a very interesting practice session, with players in full pads, except they replaced cleats with sneakers.  If you're not familiar with the Men's Gym (it's where traditionally the pick-up games for the pro players take place in August), it's three basketball courts side by side.  There was only enough space for the team to practice in shifts - first the offense, then special teams and then defense - and even then it was still cramped.

Maurice Drew returned to the inside-the-gym practice, saying his partially banged-up knee was fine. He said: "They just told me to relax, put ice on it and see how it felt. And it felt good today.  It was swollen  pretty big yesterday. So we just took precautions (yesterday).  It was kind of hard for me to run, because it was hurting. It hurt a little bit last night (Tuesday) and then I had treatment all day because I didn't have school. It hurt a couple of times cutting on the hardwood floor, and it's kind of sore right now, but I'm going to get treatment."

Comments from Head Coach Karl Dorrell:

"Practice was good. Basketball practice was great. Really, we did. We had a good practice, a good session with the offense and a good session with the defense. We got a lot done, considering the limited space."

Did the space inhibit practice?

"You don't have all the space you need. That's the biggest thing. We got a lot of work done, though. We got all the stuff done in terms of your team periods, your game-planning periods. Those were the things we were able to get done. I'm sure the players felt it was a refreshing practice, where they didn't have to practice as long. It worked out pretty long."

Will you be back to Spaulding on Thursday?

"If it stays dry enough, yeah. We need to get back outside. On Thursdays we try to do everything that encompasses a game.  It'd be nice to be back outside, if the weather will let us."

Will Jarrad Page return punts again?

"Yep. But Maurice will get some, too. Page will start. He did a nice job, didn't he?"

Did you do some punting in the gym?

"No, we couldn't do that. We were able to throw the ball, though. We did some seven-on-seven that was pretty good, in limited space."

How is everyone physically?

"Everything is a-okay. Craig Bragg practiced and he looked pretty good. He'll play some in the game. He won't start, but he'll play some in the game. And he'll wear a brace. C.J. Niusulu practiced and looked good today. He'll be ready to go, too."

What came out of his tests?

"They were negative. Both the labs and the x-rays."

What do you think of the play of Ben Emanuel?

"Ben played pretty well against Cal. He had a good start, then had a little bit of lull in the middle, then had a pretty decent game against Cal. He's in that position where we need him to play consistently, particularly with some of the young corners and young safeties. He's done a nice job with leadership on the back end with the secondary. We're at the point where he needs to finish up these last five games on a good note, in a way. He needs to have his performance be consistent for the rest of the year, which will help some of the young guys, and it will help him in the long run if he wants an opportunity to play on the next level."


Bruin Report Online Top Stories