Dorrell After Practice Wednesday

Head Coach Karl Dorrell talks about the players he's plugging into quarterback and running back as a result of all of UCLA's injuries, and how UCLA will try to contain Arizona State's quarterback, Rudy Carpenter...

Karl Dorrell spoke to the media after practice Wednesday.

"Good practice. I think w'ere getting close and getting ready to go. We had a couple guys got dinged up today, which was unfortunate. Kenneth Lombard had blurry vision and stuff. He got hit and got his bell rung, so we got to see what's going on with him. Brigham Harwell I guess tweaked his shoulder in the pass rush drills and I guess we'll see what that's all about too. But other than that it was a good week. So far it's been a good week of practice. I think their energy and spirits rising and getting ready for the challenge and that's good to see. We're excited about this weekend, and the offense is getting a step better and defensively we're getting our spunk back and we'll be ready to go on Saturday."

 How did Osaar Rasshan ook today?

"He did good. He's progressing pretty well. He's had two good days. We'll get a chance to keep tightening things up tomorrow and he looks good. Making progress."

 Is Chris Markey a guy you can count on for 20 to 25 carries?

"He looked good today (but) easy. Easy there. I'm hoping he's available. We're counting on probably Chane Moline being our lead guy right now, and we're going to have Craigh Sheppard play. Chris will be available if he continues to progress like he's doing right now, I'd say it'd be good to have those three carry the running load. It's good that he did some work today and he looked OK so we'll see if he can keep it up."

What do you like that you've seen from Sheppard in the last week or so?

"You know what I like most about him? He's a hard working kid. He had a really good camp in August before he pulled his hamstring. And he made notice at that point in time. And then he got hurt and went down in the depth chart. He's making the most of his opportunity right now, which is, well, we need him. We need him to step up and make some plays and he's doing that for us right now."

Will Jess Ward have a chance to play this week?

"Yeah, he was a little sore today but that's expected given he hasn't had much work. He did a lot of work yesterday. So usually the day afte rhe's going to be a little bit more sore. But he should be available and ready to go on Saturday."

Who's going to be the backup on Saturday, will it be MacLeod Bethel-Thompson or Chris Forcier?

"We're going to slash those two guys, meaning it could be either one of those guys. So we'll make a determination at some point. You know we only have three left, so we're going to get all three of them an opportunity to be ready to go. Mac, he knows our offense the best. He hasn't gotten as much reps as he normally would get because we're trying to catch Chris up. So given how we're reducing the package, Mac's pretty good with knowing what he would need to know given a chance for him to play. We're going to utilize hopefully both those guys in an opportunity but we'll make a decision about that later."

How desperate are you guys to hold onto Forcier's redshirt?

"We're not desperate about that at all. We're desperate about this weekend. And playing well and doing what this team needs to do which is improve our football and stay alive in our conference. And that's more of a big concern to me than anything else."

Can you envision playing more than one quarterback?

"I don't want to comment on that, because it's just bad luck. I'm losing guys and I don't want to think that way. I'm going to roll with Osaar, OK, that's what we're trying to do right now. Let's see if we can do that for a game. Don't wish any more bad luck on me."

 Have you talked to Patrick Cowan? Is he better?

"Pat's better, he's feeling good. This is the first day he hasn't had a headache so I think his concussion's subsiding right now. But this issue is I don't know when the doctor's are going to release him to come back in terms of practice and playing. So we want to make sure we're doing the right thing medically and unfortunately for us that's not good but his health is more important than anything."

How difficult is it to get a pass rush against Rudy Carpenter?

"He's a very elusive quarterback. He's very athletic. He can move well in the pocket and he throws well on the run. So he's not easily contained. And he's pretty effective when he runs out of the pocket and running down field whether it's with his legs or whether he's trying to find someone making a play down in coverage. He's a dangerous player. We want to try to disrupt him, that's the goal. Try to disrupt his timing and to throw him off a bit to where he's second guessing and thinking about things a little bit. He's a good player and he makes that offense go."

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