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Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Practice report: Tuesday quick hits

By Peter Yoon

UCLA returned to the practice field Tuesday for the first time since their last-second 17-14 victory over Oregon State and the emotion of that victory seemed to still be with the Bruins.

It was one of the more spirited and intense practices of the season, with loud yelling, trash talking and intense play. Although it was not a live hitting practice -- the players were in shorts and shoulder pads -- there were some solid hits. A couple of minor skirmishes broke out but no punches were thrown.

"They were out here having fun and I did not want to curtail it," coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I wanted it to be that. Football is supposed to be fun. It’s a hard game to practice but when you get that kind of energy you want to capitalize on it. And I told them that if we have anything less than that kind of enthusiasm from here on out, we’re cheating ourselves."

The defense seemed to instigate the intensity, with the defensive players celebrating every good play they made. The offense responded by doing the same. Several times, players circled around each other yelling and screaming and jumping up and down in unison.

"I think defensively after setting the tone against Oregon State we wanted to keep that going and keep that fun and excitement going," defensive back Sheldon Price said. "It’s good to see that we’re real excited about coming out to practice because a lot of times guys come out flat and stuff like that. But to have this type of practice is good for the program."

Neuheisel said practices like this during a bye week can help take the program to the next level.

"Guys were excited to be on a football team practicing today and we consequently got better," Neuheisel said. "We need that energy throughout the rest of our season if we’re going to make it a successful season."

A few tidbits: