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Spring Football News & Notes

As Menelaus noted in his picture perfect post above, BO took most of the reps yesterday with the first team yesterday. This morning we find out the reason: PC tweaked he kneed, and the coaches sat him out as a precautionary step. However, PC should be back in practice on Thursday. From the LA Times:

Both Cowan and Coach Rick Neuheisel downplayed the injury and team officials said an MRI came back negative. Still, it was a reminder how fragile the Bruins were at quarterback last season, when they lost Cowan and Ben Olson to injuries for extended periods of time.

Cowan suited up and Neuheisel was confident he would return Thursday, when the Bruins practice again.

"All I know is there was very little swelling in the morning, so hopefully it is going to be inconsequential," Neuheisel said. "He was out there at practice and he could have gone, but we wanted to give him today. We'll see how he is on Thursday."
As PC set out, BO (along with Kevin Craft) had a chance to impress with the first team. Apparently it didn’t go too well for BO. From the same LAT report on BO’s performance from yesterday:
"He did some good things, but he is still inconsistent," Neuheisel said. "I don't know if I can say anybody has been consistent, but it was too inconsistent today for us to be effective."
Brian Dohn has more on CRN’s take on our offense’s inconsistent spring:
"People not knowing what they're doing. Missed assignments," Neuheisel said in critiquing the offense. "(It's players) going back there and thinking they're doing this, when they should have been doing that. Then you tell them what the call is and, `Oh, I got it.' It's not acceptable. You can't play like that."

Among the issues that plagued Tuesday's practice were missed blocks, botched snaps, poorly thrown passes and misreads from the quarterbacks.

Neuheisel said the players had knowledge of the offense, but not to the necessary level.

"It's thinking they know it, but it's not where they know it so well now they're picturing how it's going to work against the defense," Neuheisel said. "Or thinking they know it and not knowing it so well, (and) how they're going to fit it against the offensive front.

"You think you know it so you don't keep going. You've got to keep grinding. You have to keep pushing in becoming an expert at the position. That's where we got to understand, coaches have to make sure we get that taught."
Don’t get too discouraged though. Chow put the current offensive struggle in proper perspective:
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow cited a familiar, albeit true, refrain heard around UCLA these days. He is the Bruins' fourth offensive coordinator in four years and Bob Palcic is the fourth offensive line coach in four seasons. Lack of continuity from season to season takes its toll on the offense.

"In 13 days we completely put in the offense, and not only that, we put in a style of ball," Chow said. "If you're asking me what we did in 13 days, I think it is a great job. When it becomes second nature, than you can play faster, and I think that is coming. I'm really pleased. I see progress."
As for the defense the main concern over there is building depth in our inexperience secondary. Glenn Love, a redshirt freshman (who is still recovering from a hip surgery) has really stepped up this spring. From the LAT:
Love is beginning to make an impression on defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker despite suffering a broken left thumb early in spring practice. The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Love had a good effort in last Friday's scrimmage, where he intercepted a pass and had a few solid hits.

"He has shown me something," Walker said. "I've been pretty critical with him and Viney, because it is the first time they have really played. I think Glenn has shown us some pop."

Incoming freshmen Anthony Dye, Aaron Hester, Rahim Moore and E.J. Woods are all expected to get a look in the secondary come August. Jonathan Franklin may be included in that group as well, provided he is not playing tailback.

"I know the guys coming in and it's going to be competitive," Love said. "But that helps me. It makes me want to play harder and pushes me. It will help me a lot, actually."
A little talent infusion in the program will always boost competition.

Don’t forget you can watch Love taking on BO and PC this weekend at the Rose Bowl in the season ending scrimmage. If you are looking for details go here. The scrimmage itself starts at 7:00 pm, but you can start the tail gaiting at 3.