On Wednesday, the UCLA Bruins began their game preparations for Rice with three key additions, all on the offensive line. Jeff Baca, Greg Capella and Alberto Cid returned to practice after suffering concussions in camp in San Bernardino.
When asked if they were ready to go, Mora simply said, "Yup."
Mora had hinted Capella would be back first, but Baca and Cid also returned to practice, although in limited action.
Also returning to the practice field was Ellis McCarthy, doing a "good job." McCarthy did not participate in team drills, but did continue work in individual drills. It's good to see players making their way back to the field, especially on the O-Line, where the depth seemed to become a point of concern.
Also of concern is the mixing and matching on the O-Line due to injuries, especially for Xavier Su'a-Filo, who has been moving around the line. While he is ready and willing to play wherever he is needed, he does not have game experience at guard.
"Tackle, you just have more space to operate," he said. "You have more space with your defender. And [as a] guard, you don't have so much. You have guys on either side of you. That's really the only difference."
Let's hope that the line solidifies in the next week before Rice, or Brett Hundley will not have a fun debut.
Marking the end of "camp" mentality, the Bruins began their game prep for Rice, practicing against the scout teams on offense and defense. We're only ONE WEEK from our first game of the season! Are you ready?! Tomorrow's practice will be a walk-through at the Rose Bowl, which will be closed to the public and media. Coach Mora is already in game mode, and using some of his NFL coaching experience to dodge questions about injuries and personnel after practice.
As for other practice notes, our wide receivers had a case of the drops during 7x7's with some nice gains to Steven Manfro and Darius Bell. Jacob Ruffman notes that Devin Fuller is "really good. Like, really good." but unfortunately cannot elaborate on exactly how good but it's a positive sign for the true freshman. Also of note is that Anthony Barr was a non-factor in practice while taking caution with a lighter than usual cast.