Coach Mora's post-practice media session (YouTube.com/UCLA)
Thursday afternoon saw the Bruins practicing on Spaulding Field for the last time this spring. With the Spring Game set for Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl, yesterday's session was not a particularly intensive session. As Jon Gold noted in his post-practice report, the team practices in shells rather than full gear, while the scout team saw more action than usual.
In the major news coming out of the session, Coach Mora confirmed that he will not name a starting quarterback at the end of the Spring practices.
"I'm going to announce our starting quarterback on Aug. 16, after two weeks of summer camp," Mora said. "We're planning on having real intense scrimmages on the 15th and the 16th and right after that, it is go time."
... "Noel and talked about it the last couple days and we decided that is the best thing to do," Mora said.
Announcing the starting quarterback on the 16th of August gives him - along with his teammates and the coaches - two weeks to prepare for the season-opening trip to Houston to take on Rice. The decision to push back the decision is likely going to help Prince and Hundley to some degree in their efforts to win the competition - Prince by allowing him to put his recent shoulder injury behind him, and Hundley simply by having more practices available for him to hone his game and catch up to Brehaut and Prince - whether they be the official practices in August, or unofficial passing drills and games with his teammates throughout the next couple of months - which he had started to do in the past couple of weeks.
As far as the Spring Game, Mora and Mazzone have a plan in place for the QB's in terms of the rotation and reps, which we all will learn on Saturday. As far as the game plan, Coach Mazzone is willing to open up a little more on that subject, noting that the game plan won't be anything special. Though after two years of the Pistol, Bruin fans might see even a basic Noel Mazzone offense as earth-shattering.
"We're going to be pretty vanilla," Mazzone said. "Nothing earth-shattering. We want to give them the chance to play with good tempo, make good decisions. We have to tighten a nut over here, put a little oil over there."
Jeff Baca and Devin Lucien were back practicing on Thursday, while Darius Bell was running, but not participating in drills, with his availability on Saturday unknown. Gold passed along an observation from yesterday about a play that Dalton Hilliard nearly made during his return to the defensive side of the ball. Either Mora's discipline is catching on, or Dalton was up late last night watching a TBS airing of Major League.
Dalton Hilliard spent the day at safety again, and had dropped an interception, followed by a nifty breakdance. Then he dropped down for some pushups unprompted.
The final session of UCLA Football's Spring practices will be the Spring Game, being held at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The Rose Bowl parking lots will open at Noon, with the game starting at 5pm. Admission is free, while parking is $10/vehicle.