Some observations from the team's second scrimmage of the spring:
The defense flew all over the field. All-American safety Rahim Moore laid a massive hit on receiver Randall Carroll as Carroll tried to spin away after making a catch up the middle. Linebacker Akeem Ayers brought down 6-foot-5 tight end Cory Harkey with another big tackle, while defensive end Datone Jones caught up to speedy back Damien Thigpen on an end-around run off the edge. "Everyone is picking it up fast," Ayers said. "We started off slow because a lot of guys didn't know about their assignments. But now two weeks into spring, guys are getting more comfortable."
There were a number of bad snaps -- something Neuheisel called a "huge issue." Ryan Taylor snapped a ball over Kevin Prince's head, and quarterbacks Richard Brehaut and Nick Crissman had trouble of their own in UCLA's new "revolver" formation. To make matters worse, center Kai Maiava went down because of a left-knee sprain. Neuheisel said the injury is not as bad as was initially feared, though it is unclear if Maiava will return this spring.
Brehaut threw a pair of beautiful touchdowns -- one to Ricky Marvray and another to Taylor Embree. Brehaut's day ended on a bit of a sour note when cornerback Sheldon Price intercepted a high pass intended for Antwon Moutra. Prince and Carroll hooked up on a fade route down the left side, as Carroll stopped his momentum to come back for the ball. "With the ball in traffic, he made catches," Neuheisel said. "Obviously that touchdown catch was huge."
Receiver Nelson Rosario, who is competing at the UCLA-Oregon men's dual track meet in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday, was sidelined because of a rash issue early in practice. Team doctors wanted to make sure it was nothing dangerous, so he left to have his blood examined.
Tight end Joseph Fauria (groin) did not participate in the scrimmage. "We hope like heck that we can get Fauria a lot of work next week," Neuheisel said. "He's been nicked up."
Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew attended practice and was vocal throughout the scrimmage, yelling at both offensive and defensive players from the sideline.