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UCLA’s 2011 Fall Scrimmage: Additional News & Notes

Jet Ski and co. now focusing on Houston. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Jet Ski and co. now focusing on Houston. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Let's pass on some additional notes to build on P's extensive roundup from yesterday scrimmage this am. I will start with couple of tweets from UCLA Athletics. P already mentioned insomniac and Tyler's appearance at Drake yesterday evening. That of course is worth high lighting again. Here is the tweet from UCLA giving a shout out to one of most beloved member of BN family:

Football. Good to see young Tyler Cordova and his dad Derek on the sidelines during today's scrimmage at Drake Stadium.

There also a cool tweet amplifying a thank you note from Dietrich Riley.

We all thank everyone for their attendance. RT : Thanks to everyone who showed up tonight! Football is on the rise!!

Folks who showed up at practice yesterday are the kind of fans who will get to enjoy the ride most if the Bruin football program make a move this season.

By all accounts it appeared to be somewhat of a vanilla and bland scrimmage yesterday at Drake. That was all by design. The coaching staff wanted to make sure our frontline players got in just enough reps but did not want to leave them out too long to risk any kind of injury, given our previous history (see Dantone Jones and Kai Maiava).

Players didn't mind the conservative "don't show and tell" approach at all:

Jones said he didn't mind. The defense has been applying a great deal of pressure with blitzes from all over the field during practices, but mostly played a plain vanilla style on Saturday because in the era of YouTube and Facebook and Twitter, it's best not to get too deep into the playbook.

"At an open scrimmage you can't really pull out everything you have," Jones said.

On one drive, the offense ran the ball eight consecutive times. This coming from a team with a coaching staff that has vowed to improve a passing attack after finishing 116th in the nation in passing last season and has worked hard at doing so the first two week of training camp.

"We wanted to come in and we wanted to create an identity running the ball," Johnson said. "We wanted to emphasize that."

Of course it would be ridiculous to make any conclusions about UCLA's Houston game plan based on run/pass ratios from yesterday's scrimmage. Scrimmages are always a show for fans. It's a great excuse to go down to the campus, check out the new players, and  celebrating the end of a loooooong summer without football.

Let's all breath a general sigh of relief that we came out of the affair relatively healthy except for the Aaron Hester hamstring injury, which hopefully will turn out to be ok. Little more on Hester's situation after the jump.

Coach Rick Neuheisel talked about Hester's situation and his general impressions from the scrimmage during his post scrimmage debrief:

It will be very interesting to see how the coaches manage the Hester situation wrt our roster. I think our coaches can be flexible given the depth at our safety position. Dalton Hilliard has had a solid camp. So it may not be a bad idea to move Tony Dye to CB position if needed and start with the combination of Hilliard and Dietrich Riley in the back.  I think that will be a pretty solid combination in our defensive backfielf.

Of course Hester could be back sooner rather than later, but given the depth in our secondary (for now - fingers crossed), coaches have some options.

Elsewhere, Coach Bob Palcic was keeping a close eye on our OL unit:

With junior Jeff Baca still out until late-September or early October, the UCLA offensive line remains in a state of flux, though junior college transfer Albert Cid and sophomore Greg Capella worked with the first team at guard in the scrimmage, while sophomore Chris Ward did most of his work with the twos.

"I put stock into every practice, whether it's a scrimmage or not," offensive line coach Bob Palcic said. "I'll be interested in evaluating this film, and I'll have about three more days until I make my decision. But I'm looking for eight guys. As long as I have eight healthy bodies, that's all I need."

How the depth chart for the OL shapes up for the Houston game is going to be interesting to say the least.

Gold also caught up quickly with Brett Hundley after the scrimmage who is anxiously waiting for his return to action this upcoming week:

"It's going to be hard," Hundley said. "I just pray for patience. When I get my shot I'm going to take it and not look back, but I have to wait."

Good things come to those who wait.