Ahh yes. It’s time for that weird week of camp where it’s not quite game week yet, so there isn’t a level of in-depth game-planning going on yet, but fall camp is pretty much over, so the focus on position battles is starting to fade.
It also means that practice reports will be harder to come by, thanks to UCLA’s media policies. I do get it - we’re really at the point where you want to keep as many cards close to your vest as possible regarding game prep, and UCLA is far from the only team to employ these policies. I just wish they’d open up a bit more of the early practices so reporters have a bit more they can talk about, and thus provide us a bit more information for the Spaulding Reports.
But I digress.
Jim Mora did reveal that game prep for Texas A&M has begun. It’s not full game prep yet - the focus right now is on simpler concepts and some light scout team work before launching into full prep next week.
The big news to come out of practice is that UCLA plans to host a mock game next Sunday at the Rose Bowl. One of the biggest changes Bruin fans will notice this year is that the team has switched sides of the field. Jim Mora discussed this change, noting that it will most help the team “between the numbers”. Really, the change will just help keep the guys a bit fresher during afternoon games, but if UCLA ends up playing a host of night games (a distinct possibility if the team struggles early) then the benefits will be negligible. Still, hosting a mock game will be important for the Bruins, who will now be using a different locker room than before, warm up on the north side of the field near the newly-relocated student section, and get some work in with the new game day Under Armour uniforms.
Kenny Lacy did not participate in practice today, instead being confined to a stationary bike. Mora revealed that Lacy had undergone a minor procedure early Tuesday morning, and they were just taking precautions. Lacy should be good to go later this week.
Mora discussed a few other topics beyond the mock game, including DeChaun Holiday’s potential return (which is a few weeks away still) and early game prep for Texas A&M on September 3rd.
Next up we have running back Soso Jamabo.
Soso was happy with his progress this fall working his way back from injury early in camp, and continually mentioned that he’s looking forward to the start of the season (even getting excited for the mock game this Sunday). He also likes the progress the running attack has made this fall, and had praises for new RB coach Deshaun Foster.
Quessenberry really likes the depth and starting experience along the OL two-deep, which makes one of us. He does at least recognize that the offensive line really underperformed last year, and that any hope the offense has at succeeding begins with solid line play.
Finally, here’s Nate Meadors after practice.
Meadors recognizes that he’s now the veteran of the secondary unit, and is eager to rise to the challenge of being the leader of the unit. He also discusses switching sides on the defense, and that the defense is filled with strong veteran players that should make it easier for newer guys like Darnay Holmes to ease into things.