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Spaulding Roundup: A "Classic" Oklahoma Drill, "Loud" Pops & Other Notes From First Day In Pads

Bruins had their first practice in full pads yesterday. They started the practice with a "classic Oklahoma Drill." As described by What's Bruin Blog:

The tone for practice was instantly set as the Bruins started with the classic Oklahoma  drill, squaring off a defender against an offensive lineman in a one v. one, sumo style match. There were some great match ups, particularly showcasing the new freshmen class. DE Owa Odighizuwa squared off against OL Chris Ward, initially it looked like a game of tug and war, trading off yardage but Owa made a final push and overpowered Ward.

Here is a little video to get you a sense of what took place:

If that doesn't get your blood pumping, not sure what to tell you. More notes after the jump.

Guess "loud" pops were audible all over Spaulding Field yesterday afternoon. From Blair Angulo:

-- True freshman Dietrich Riley impressed again, this time flattening fellow first-year Anthony Barr  -- all 6 feet 5 of him -- with a vicious hit near the sideline. Barr caught a ball off the edge but gained minimal yardage after Riley met him and lowered his shoulder for the loud tackle.

-- The other loud hit came near the end of practice, when freshman linebacker Isaiah Bowens completely dropped ball carrier Tobi Umodu on his back. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough stormed toward Bowens yelling, "That's what I'm talking about!" Umodu was in good spirits, but appeared a bit shaken by the blow. When the team began its conditioning drills minutes later, Umodu got tangled up with Johnathan Franklin as both ran toward each other from opposite ends. The two laughed it off.

Gold adds more color in his post-practice notes on Inside UCLA:

* Hundley (DB coach Tim Hundley) on Riley: "No one here is ever going to let experience supersede ability; if he's ready to play, we're going to play him. There is no question he has some physical plusses. It's all about getting things figured out. But freshmen play these days, they really do, so if he's ready to go, we're going to play him."

* After the Riley hit, I heard a fan remark, "Wow, now that's a freshman there."

* Nick Crissman had a nice touch pass to Ricky Marvray for a touchdown over Damien Thigpen, but Thigpen has looked solid at cornerback.

* Sean Westgate and Steve Sloan worked with the first-team defense.

* Nate Chandler had an absolute beast of a bull-rush today, busting through the line for an easy sack. Chandler has really good hands, and I think his time on the OL might actually pay off for him on defense.

The official blog also has a pretty nice narrative of the action on Day 5:

The offensive line started the day looking crisp, making all of the correct calls, picking up blitzes and protecting the QB. We hope that the noticed improvement in the O-line's day to day performance translates into an impressive showing come game day. Aided by the offensive line's excellence, coupled with tremendous skill the run game really began to shine today. Veteran RB Johnathan Franklin demonstrated his abilities, particularly in the redzone, working hard to turn the corner on an outside run for several big gains.

The defensive backfield again reminded people why should be considered elite. They were shutdown from all angles. Aaron Hester had another great day, breaking up several passes.

Practice ended with a short 2 minute drill scenario. The offense was placed on their 40 yard line with a minute left and one time out needing a field goal. While they were able to get two first downs in the drive they were forced to attempt a 47 yard field goal after being stuffed by the defense and the clock winding down. Kai Forbath had the day off to allow freshmen kicker Kip Smith an opportunity to get some reps. Despite connecting on all his PATs and field goals during special teams period, Kip missed this attempt. Either way Bruins Win!

Kevin Prince sat out on Day 5. Guess he is scheduled to come back sometime on Sunday or Monday. I will try to do a standalone post compiling all the notes on nicks and bruises later on today.

Right now it sure sounds like a great time out in Spaulding. You can check out Day 6 - the first two a day practices - today. The first practice is going to be from 9 to 11 am. The second one from 4 to 6 pm. I wouldn't miss this kind of action if I were out living in LA.