Because of a Thursday night game this week at Arizona, UCLA's practice schedule has been moved up two days and the Bruins held a Sunday evening practice.
The Bruins usually take Sunday and Monday off, but the scheduling for Thursday night's ESPN game throws a bit of a wrench into game planning week. Monday's practice will take place at 6 p.m. accommodate the players who have classes on Monday afternoons.
"It’s always a little bit of a change from your normal routine and routine is everything in football, but I’m hopeful that our hunger to play well in this kind of setting will offset that," coach Rick Neuheisel said.
Despite the departure, the practice seemed to have the same energy level as a normal day at Spaulding Field and Neuheisel came away from the session happy.
"A very crisp practice," Neuheisel said. "I was pleased with the tempo, I was pleased with the way the kids are into it as well they should be. It’s exciting around here. We’ve got a big game on national television and if we can keep this thing rolling and play well this weekend, we can be in the thick of things so we’re excited about the opportunity."
A few tidbits:
Some of UCLA's injured players began trickling back. Cornerback Sheldon Price was pretty much full speed as he makes his way back from a sprained knee. Receiver Nelson Rosario was back from a sprained foot that kept him out of practice last week and receiver Shaquelle Evans was in a red no-contact jersey as he completes the school's concussion protocol. Offensive lineman Albert Cid, held out after feeling shortness of breath last week, was also back.
Safety Tony Dye, still fighting through a nerve issue in his neck, was dressed and in a red no-contact jersey but did not participate in any drills. Safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion) did not dress.
Receiver Randall Carroll again came to practice with two jerseys and did some work at cornerback with the first-team defense against the scout offense. He switched back to the offense when the first team offense went up against the first team defense.
The first incarnation of the two-minute drill didn't last very long because on the first play, quarterback Kevin Prince hit Evans on a short crossing route and Evans turned up the left sideline and outraced safety Tevin McDonald to the end zone for an 80-yard score. They reset and Prince connected with Cory Harkey for a gain of about 35 yards. After two more short gains, Tyler Gonzalez drilled a 32-yard field goal.