Football Practice Update

With two and a half weeks before the Bruins take on the Trojans, the football team is taking it slowly, using this week primarily to get healed up. Head Coach Karl Dorrell commented after practice Wednesday...

The football team is taking things fairly lightly in this first of three weeks before the USC game.

They practiced this week for just an hour and a half a day, and gave many of the walking wounded time off to heal.

Still not practicing were tight end Marcedes Lewis (tailbone), running back Maurice Drew (ankle), safety Jarrad Page (hamstring), and safety Ben Emanuel (foot).

Head Coach Karl Dorrell answered some questions after Tuesday's practice.

How are the injured?

"Still the same. Mending, getting better a little bit. Marcedes Lewis was a little bit more today. He looked good running around. I think in another week or so he'll be back to full speed. The only real difference from yesterday to today was Paul Mociler is back. It was a 24-hour flu bug. So we're getting better. We're working on our technique and getting our legs back."

So most of the guys who are injured will sit out this week and return next week?

"Jarrad Page still has his hamstring. He won't practice tomorrow. We'll try to give him more time with that. Ben Emanuel's foot is still pretty sore. He did some stuff on the treadmill and did some work in the weight room. They probably won't do much tomorrow. We're gradually bringing those guys back. Maurice Drew is the same way.  We don't want him doing a lot of cutting right now when we have as much time as we have for this game. He's running straight-ahead stuff on the treadmill and getting his treatment. Other than that we're trying to get our guys back healthy, and in the meantime cleaning up a lot of the things we can get better at."

Is there a part of you that wants USC to be undefeated going into your game?

"I haven't really thought about it that way. The game is the game. It's always a big game, regardless of what record you are. It makes it a bigger game that they're the #1-ranked team in the country. We still have to prepare for them the same way whether they win or lose. So it's not really going to change our mind from what it is going into the football game."

How has Matt Clark played for the season?

"He's played pretty well. He's had a pretty solid season. He's been really consistent. His worst game, and it was just an average game, was the Washington State game, the whole year. He really played well, and covered well, and did some good things throughout. He really didn't have a bad game for that game. There were just some plays that you wish many people in the secondary would have made in terms of turning the momentum changed by in your direction. He's had a very solid senior campaign, and it's good for him to finish his career out with a good one."

Do you remember your first impression of him?

"The only thing I remember was a guy who had pretty good feet, good quickness, and ran pretty well. The biggest thing I would have concerned myself with was that people were going to try to attack him because of his size. That's just the offensive coach in me, in terms of measuring up personnel. You know what? People have tried to do that all season long this year and he's held up pretty well. He's made tremendous strides from last year to this year, and we're looking to him to have another great game to finish his career here at UCLA."

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