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UCLA Football Day 8 Recap: Devin Lucien Taken To Hospital, Offensive Line Injuries, Offense Still Sharp

A recap of UCLA's tenth practice of the fall in San Bernardino which saw several injuries on the offensive side of the ball and put a serious damper on an otherwise good day for the offense.

Harry How

The Bruins wrapped practice #10 this afternoon in San Bernardino and you can take a look here for great stuff from Bruins#1, Bruinette88 and others in the open thread.

I took in practice again in person at Cal State San Bernardino. Here are my thoughts:

The viewing area at San Bernardino is still kind of ridiculously small. There are just better solutions available, the media has about 40 yards of space to themselves (which is between 10-20 people generally from what I can see) down a sideline that could easily be opened up to fans.

Notes from the actual practice:

  • Anthony Jefferson was working at corner in the Nickel with true freshman Jaleel Wadood and Tahaan Goodman at the first team safety spots in that formation. Priest Willis was working with the 2nd team. Not sure if that is adjusting to Randall Goforth being injured or a depth thing. Interesting to see going forward. Both Goodman and Wadood have certainly performed well during camp.
  • On the offensive side, Alex Redmond, Scott Quessenberry and Jake Brendel were still not working with team. Kenny Lacy and Najee Toran were at guard with Ben Wysocki handling the snaps at center. All three had pretty solid days in my opinion.
  • Coach Mora and staff had referees out for the first time I've seen in San Bernardino, they might have been at one of the sessions I missed.
  • In the first team session, the Bruins worked on redzone looks. Highlights being a sack for Eddie Vanderdoes, blowing past Toran and Mossi Johnson was very active for the second string offense, making 3 catches in 6 or 7 plays.
  • After that period, the Bruins were supposed to head to special teams work but there was another Jim Mora reset in the transition between team and special teams. Players weren't moving fast enough for Mora's liking, so he made every head back to where they were and sprint back.
  • The special teams work was on coverage teams. All individual drills, no specific kickoff or punt coverage. After that period, the team went into offensive and defensive individual drills.
  • I did not see Aaron Sharp in individuals for offense, which I thought was odd. Both Jordan Lasley and Dwight Williams took part in the position groups drills yesterday, expected to see Sharp throw. He might not have been there at all, couldn't see the exercise bikes from where they allow fans to watch.
  • Jordan Lasley looks like a pretty fluid athlete catching the ball and running routes, he's working behind Devin Lucien and Eldridge Massington out at flanker.
  • There were a lot of recruits wandering around the field. I'm not involved with that scene enough to be able to identify any. Do believe I heard someone mention 5* Iman Marshall being there.
  • Craig Lee and Jordon James were back out at full speed in practice and working in team drills.
  • Thomas Duarte looks close to full speed conditioning off to the side. Also noticed that Marcus Rios was not dressed out.
  • Normal route work in individuals for the offense. RBs working on pass pro. Defense working with sleds/recovering fumbles for DL, pass drops and coming up to make a tackle for LBs, switching on routes in zone for DBs.
  • Funny moment for the offense, Noel Mazzone actually tackled Nate Iese after Iese jumped over him to catch a pass practicing that TE pop pass he scored against Nebraska with.
  • The team period was working with the offense backed up on their goal line.
  • Steven Manfro started with a nice run breaking a couple of tackles, and on the next play he got stuffed after a quick crash down the line by Myles Jack.
  • Priest Willis had a pass breakup on a deep ball to Alex Van Dyke.
  • Adarius Pickett scored a 20 yard TD after making a decisive cut off tackle against the 2's on defense. Probably the most impressive looking run I've seen a RB make in camp.
  • Ismael Adams blew up a screen, quick break and shed a blocker.
  • Wysocki had a decent day at center, but I saw two bad snaps in this period. Worm burners that Hundley had to pick up before trying to do anything with the ball. Depth hurting without Brendel and Quessenberry. Devin Lucien had a 20-ish yard gain over the middle on one of those snaps, so that was a well-done recovery by Hundley.
  • Aaron Wallace shed Malcolm Bunche on the edge to make a TFL on a stretch play to Paul Perkins
  • Caleb Benenoch did a workmanlike job pass blocking on the edge all day.
  • Brett Hundley also practiced the pooch punt during this team period. Looked pretty solid.
  • Team went to 1-on-1's next. Watched the skill guys this time. Here is just a list of the matchups and results that I kept track, probably missed 4 reps or so, but mostly from walk-on type of guys.
    1. Fabian Moreau breakup on a jump ball to Devin Lucien.
    2. Jalen Ortiz breakup on Alex Van Dyke.
    3. Fabian Moreau break up another ball on Lucien but was called for PI.
    4. Priest Willis and Eldridge Massington draw, short gain caught right away.
    5. Jayon Brown and Charles Dawson had a physical battle that ended with both on the ground.
    6. Mossi Johnson and Myles Jack had a similar matchup. Fun watching those two go at it. Jack does not like to lose.
    7. Jalen Ortiz picked up an INT on a Van Dyke fade. Ran a better, more physical route.
    8. Lucien beats Moreau on a comeback route. Fun matchup to see.
    9. Massington runs last Fisher, Fisher PI.
    10. Priest Willis breaks up an out route to Logan Sweet.
    11. Moreau beats Devin Lucien
    12. Logan Sweet OPI on Ishmael Adams. Big push off.
    13. Jalen Ortiz went 3-0 versus Van Dyke. Looked good at corner.
    14. Brown pass breakup on Dawson.
    15. Jefferson near INT on Massington. Broke underneath but couldn't hang on to the ball.
    16. Tahaan Goodman and Jordan Payton were about even the 3 times they matched up. Couldn't call a winner.
  • Redzone team period next, UCLA's defense went 1st strong base: Owa, Clark and EVD up front. Aaron Wallace, Kenny Young, Eric Kendricks, Myles Jack at linebacker. Anthony Jefferson, Ishamel Adams, Tahaan Goodman and Fabian Moreau at defensive back.
  • Jordan Payton TD. Incompletion to Lucien with Adams on the coverage. Kenny Young stuffs Manfro in the middle, solid fit. Mossi Johnson TD jumping over Goodman. Paul Perkins with a short TD run.
  • Jerry Neuheisel up 2nd at QB (but the 2nd QB up rotated throughout practice between JN, Mike Faufal and Asiantii Woulard).
  • Eli Ankou had a pair of TFLs. Looks like quality depth behind Clark, EDV and McCarthy.
  • Adarius Pickett picked up another short TD, giving Justin Combs a little pop on his way across the goal line.
  • Nate Iese jumped over Isaako Savaiinaea for around a 15 yard gain.
  • Defensive backs forced a couple of throws out of bounds just by blanketing the receiving options.
  • Jordan James looked like himself on a run up the middle. Nearly scored a TD.
  • Devin Lucien back-to-back TDs against Eric Zumwalt (who is a 3rd string DB, but the catches were still both solid).
  • Ahmad Harris caught a TD as well.
  • The offense clearly won the redzone period. Defensive coaches were really upset. Team took a 10 minute water break which was smart since it was around  95 degrees most of the practice.
  • Nice drive by Jerry Neuheisel in 7-on-7 out of the water break. Ended with a Jordan Payton TD catch in the back of endzone. Neuheisel directed Payton to go to the end line. Looked decisive running the offense. Woulard also looked much improved today. Feel better about the backup QB situation after watching these guys two days in a row.
  • After that drive, the wideouts got in a funk. The next two drives had four drops, 2 in Woulard's drive and 2 more in JN's.
  • Tyler Scott, Mossi Johnson, Eldridge Massington and Charles Dawson were the drops culprits. Judge excellent breakup on Perkins in endzone.
  • Van Dyke had an awkward borderline drop on a throw that was a little ahead of him but should have been caught probably. Van Dyke followed up with a catch on a short route. Ran a clean, good route.
  • Next period was more of a straight team session. Lots of pressure by the defensive line because the OL started looking tired and lost a couple guys.
  • Deon Hollins got tackled by Benenoch on the first play, the Owa had pressure on 3 straight plays after that (I would have whistled it dead twice for sacks, but they have to play through).
  • Najee Toran came up gimpy and had to leave practice. Benenoch shifted down to guard and Poasi Moala came in at RT.
  • Drop by Dawson after a big hit by Adams closing in on a shallow route outside.
  • Nathan Starks was in the shade with #73 (not sure who that is). Heat related, I would guess.
  • I did not see what happened, but Devin Lucien got taken off the field on a stretcher. He made it to the off the field to the shaded area somehow. Looked like he landed poorly on a diving catch. Appeared to be head related since they had him strapped down on the way to the ambulance.
  • The end of practice seemed less than important after that. But Fairbairn did hit every FG that I saw from between 30 and a 47-ish yard FG to end practice.

Really good day for the offense in my opinion despite being at far less than full strength. Hope all the best for Devin Lucien, as he's shown in many interviews and through his play on the field to be an outstanding representative of UCLA. He was looking the best he had ever looked as a Bruin, so hopefully this is just a precaution and he'll be back out at practice in a couple of days.

Until next time, Go Bruins!