- Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Kicker Kip Smith had seemingly gotten over the mental road block that led to inconsistencies on the field, but he had a physical setback Tuesday at UCLA's practice.
Smith attempted only one field goal, banked it in off the upright and then headed straight to the training room to get work on what coach Rick Neuheisel said was a "sore hip flexor" in his kicking leg.
Smith returned to the field after an absence of about 45 minutes, but did not participate the rest of the session.
"I was feeling a little tight and I didn’t want to push it," Smith said. "The kick didn’t feel good and I wasn’t comfortable so I didn’t want to push it."
Smith, who made field goals of 38 and 20 yards in UCLA's 27-17 victory over San Jose State, said he felt confident that he would be able to play Saturday against Texas and added that had Tuesday been a game day, he would have played.
"I should be fine," he said. "It’s Texas."
Smith is the only available kicker for the Bruins right now. Backup Joe Roberts is nursing a quad injury and hasn't practiced in a week. After Smith left the practice field, the Bruins continued their field-goal kicking drill with nobody kicking the ball. Punter Jeff Locke is the emergency option and was dusting off his field goal technique after practice Tuesday just in case, but Smith said there was no cause for alarm just yet.
"I’m the only kicker, so it was all precautionary," he said.
21hChantel Jennings and Kevin Gemmell