A few interesting bits out of Coach Neuheisel's post-practice talk with the media yesterday. The first bit to come up was Aaron Hester's suspension for the 1st half of the Utah game, news that freesia noted in yesterday's roundup. Neu talked a bit about the punishment that he handed down as a result of the remarks that Aaron made regarding the SPTR's after last week's win over ASU.
"It was internal discipline, but he Tweeted it and so now it’s out in the domain," Neuheisel said.
"You just can’t do that," Neuheisel said about criticizing the officials. "It’s not something he should talk about, it’s not something that anybody should talk about. Those guys do the best they can and certainly there is frustration at times, but we can’t condone that so he’ll miss the first half of the game and hopefully he’ll have the right attitude to help us in the second half."
While the suspension was levied earlier in the week - becoming public when Aaron tweeted the news on Tuesday - it may become all for naught, as he has been listed as doubtful for Saturday's game due to the ankle suffered in Tuesday's practice. Randall Carroll is expected to make his first start on defense in Hester's place.
While Aaron may miss this weekend's action, we may be welcoming back another injured Bruin DB. After his injury against Texas and a few weeks of expectation by most Bruin fans that he would sit out as an injury redshirt, Tony Dye has been medically cleared to play in a game, and might play on Saturday. Tony has practiced with the team this week, and has progressed toward game shape and awareness quickly enough that his availability on Saturday will likely be a game-time decision. As far as sitting out the final 3 games and taking an injury redshirt, Dye and his family talked to Neu, and told him their preference that he come back to play if cleared.
And in what might be considered a get for the 2012 Bruins team and the next UCLA Head Coach, Xavier Su'A-Filo has officially returned to UCLA, having registered for classes for the 2012 Winter Quarter. Throughout his religious mission, XSF and his family have remained committed to UCLA; this act is simply, but significantly the formalization of that commitment. Let us be among the first to welcome you back to Westwood! Together with guys like Baca, Capella, and Yandall returning, that could be a pretty solid line for a new coach to work with.
After addressing the specific player news, Neu talked about the practice and the game ahead. He thought the team had a good practice, and realizes the inconsistency that his teams have shown on the road during his time leading the program, something that he thinks the team is ready to put behind them. When the obvious subject of the weather out in Salt Lake City came up, he cited the WSU game 2 years ago in Pullman that the Bruins won as considering the weather not to be much of a factor. For that matter, he could have brought up the Eagle Bank Bowl win from 2 years ago as another cold-weather game that the Bruins have won recently.
Peter Yoon wrote pieces on Anthony Barr and Randall Carroll for the ESPN LA blog. Barr is now feeling fully game ready after playing a limited number of snaps the last 2 games, the first in his return from September knee surgery. That required not just getting his knee back to full health, but catching up with the offensive changes that occurred during those missed weeks.
When he came back, it felt a little like starting over. The offense had evolved a little bit and Barr had to catch up on all the new wrinkles, but more importantly he had to re-acclimate to playing n a game.
"There were a little bit of nerves, but they started going away and I was good to go," Barr said. "I just tried not to do too much. Just do what they asked me to do the best I could. That first game back I was rusty and it wasn't my best game, but I had a better game last week."
With a couple more updates from the latest injury report; Jordan Zumwalt sat out of practice again on Thursday, and is listed as questionable for Saturday, while Chris Ward is out. His knee injury is looking more like a season-ender, with surgery to repair his left patella expected to happen shortly.