Thursday, September 23, 2010
UCLA practice report: Thursday quick hits
By Peter Yoon
Quick notes from Thursday's practice as the Bruins prepare to play Texas on Saturday in Austin:
- UCLA took it's energy level up a notch last week in its 31-13 victory over Houston and coach Rick Neuheisel said it would take a similar intensity to make a good showing Saturday against Texas. "We set a bar last week about what we expect from each other and we’ll have to do the same," Neuheisel said. "And it can’t just be because we’re ahead that we get that kind of energy. We have to get that all the time and have the discipline to have that all the time."
- The way Neuheisel sees it, the Bruins will have to try and play with heavily-favored Texas for the first three quarters and then make something happen in the fourth. "We can’t go in there and hope to hang around," he said. "Hope isn’t a strategy. It’s about energy and intensity and I think we’ll have both."
- Neuheisel said the experience of going to Kansas State in Week 1 should help in dealing with this trip to a hostile environment at Texas. Dropped passes, procedure penalties and turnovers were major problems for the Bruins in their only other road game this season. "Those are the kinds of things you can’t do on the road," he said. "It gets the crowd going and becomes kind of like a tidal wave. You just have to be able to weather that."
- School started Thursday at UCLA, which Neuheisel said caused some distractions but could also help the team in the long run. "A lot of distractions this week as compared to last week with regard to school starting and guys having all sorts of things to do with respect to that," Neuheisel said. "I’m imagining when we get on the plane there will be a lot of sleepy people and so we’ll get some good rest on the way there and get to bed early tomorrow night and get up early and be ready to rumble because it’s going to take that kind of fight."
- The starting right tackle spot is still a game-time decision. Micah Kia is still limited by a sore ankle, but Neuheisel said he would be ready to play. Mike Harris started there last week. Receiver Taylor Embree was also still limited by a strained hip flexor but should be ready by game time.
- The start of school also meant that members of the marching band are back on campus so the football team could continue it's tradition of bringing some band members out to play during the end of Thursday practice and letting one of the band members catch a kickoff and run it back. "Nothing like band music to remind you it’s college football season," Neuheisel said.