As JoeBruin15 reported, Coach Mora said there would be no injury report on Brett Hundley until it is time to play the Sun Devils. Today Coach Mora kept his word and gave no updates on injuries to Brett or any other UCLA players. There is however some news on the Hundley situation. According to Chris Foster, Hundley showed up in uniform with no extra support on his elbow:
Hundley, who injured his elbow against Texas on Saturday, was in full uniform. He did not have a bandage or brace on his left arm as he entered practice.
How much work he would do in practice was unknown. The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and Orange County Register decided two years ago not to attend practices because the newspapers would not submit to the terms from UCLA.
Further adding to the secrecy was UCLA banning all other outlets from attending practice this week, including two fan websites and the Daily Bruin reporters.
We do, however, have information on ASU quarterback Tyler Kelly who will be out with a foot injury. I know we wish that both teams were at full strength for this rematch of the last year's very disappointing game.
Jim Mora, on ASU's Taylor Kelly a few weeks ago: "That's a big-time player that no one ever talks about. That kid is something else." (1/2)— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) September 15, 2014
There are other Bruin injuries we are watching, especially in the secondary with Randall Goforth, Fabian Moreau, and Anthony Jefferson having been hurt. Goforth will likely be out for a while and options including surgery are being considered to repair his separated shoulder according to Ryan Kartje. Chris Foster is reporting that Goforth also suited up today, but based on the number of times he left and rejoined Spaulding believes he was just conditioning. We also haven't heard when Simon Goines will return (even though Mora was asked) and are wondering about Malcolm Bunche's status, who returned to Saturday's game, but who according to Ryan Kartje, was seen later on crutches and in a boot. We will have to wait and see if Coach Mora chooses to update the press on these injuries in the coming days.
On the injury issue, Ryan Kartje asked some interesting questions about whether or not the Pac-12 should have an injury policy. He says Coach Mora is more tight lipped about injuries than most other Pac-12 coaches and explains the reason you can see reporters sitting on a bench outside of practice:
As a reporter whose job is to report these injuries, the lack of transparency on the subject can be predictably maddening. It’s why yours truly and two other major newspaper beat writers sit on a bench outside of UCLA’s practice at Spaulding Field every day, despite the fact that media is welcomed inside. Those who sit inside to watch are not allowed to report on injuries. Those of us who sit outside have free reign to comment on whatever happens outside the gates.
Kartje says that he (and Mora) support a league wide policy similar to the NFL's:
Requiring coaches to release a weekly injury report, a la the NFL, would level the playing field, while removing the headache and uncertainty that injuries cause. It would also eliminate, as the NFL originally intended, any chance that injury information could be exploited by those on the periphery of the game (i.e. gamblers and bookmakers) who stand to benefit from certain pertinent information being withheld. A uniform injury report wouldn’t solve all the issues – NFL coaches have already mastered how to manipulate the word "questionable" – but it would keep things from becoming a paranoid mess, where those in the know stand to unfairly benefit, as they are now.
What are your thoughts?
Now, to what we did learn about practice today from Jim Mora:
Huge thanks to Ed Lewis from BruinSportsReport for the video
- The big news is that JUCO transfer DL Takkarist McKinley practiced today and Mora plans to play him against ASU a week from Thursday. Mora anticipates he will get 10-15 snaps.
- On the qb front, besides not knowing if Hundley will play, Mora also wouldn't confirm that Jerry Neuheisel will be the back up qb nor deny that Asiantii Woulard will get playing time. I guess we'll all see when the game begins. Ryan Kartje put it this way:
Jim Mora wouldn't rule out that Asiantii Woulard could play next week against Arizona State. Can't say for sure that he wasn't trolling tho.— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) September 17, 2014
- Regarding Jerry, Mora said he showed what they've seen in practice: poise, accuracy, understanding, confidence, good decision making. Regarding Asiantii: "Just 'cause Jerry went into that game, doesn't mean he's our backup quarterback... Asiantii might start the Arizona State game."
- Mora said they are really excited about both Nathan Starks and Paul Perkins, but was really concerned about Jordan James' fumble despite his looking better during the rest of the game. "You can't fumble at that point in the game". With regard to Perkins, Mora says he's always caught the ball well and is now setting up blocks well, has better vision, is running hard, and is falling forward.
- Focus in the next couple of days will be on correcting "us" rather than looking at the other team, although the coaches are prepping for ASU. Mora says he could talk for at least 45 minutes on things they need to get better at.
- They had a "younger guys' scrimmage" today which Mora will watch later. As for recruiting, the coaches all went to games in Texas Friday and went to schools Monday and Tuesday and some are out today. Friday, they'll all be at high school games. This has been a week where they've been able to get out of state, but they don't want to neglect the in-state guys.
Let's take a look back at the great game Jaleel Wadood had against Texas. Jack Wang interviewed Wadood after the Texas game:
About five minutes before UCLA's 20-17 win over Texas on Saturday, true freshman Jaleel Wadood found out he was getting his first start.
"I think I made the first two tackles of the game," Wadood said. "Right after those, I was like, ‘This is football.' I just went out there and played my game."
Technically, he made UCLA's third and fourth tackles of the game, following plays by star linebackers Eric Kendricks and Myles Jack. But for the 18-year-old, they sure felt like the first ones.
Here's the video:
via Inside UCLA with Jack Wang
Jaleel gives himself a B+. What do you all think?
Petros and Money did a wonderful interview with Rick Neuheisel on Monday, where Rick gets to give a much more detailed account of his thoughts and feelings during the game. Neu also compliments Coach Mora's handling of the moment in such a way that helped ensure Jerry felt confident. Rick is so classy and Petros gives him kudos for "not leaving the cupboard bare" at UCLA. Rick also talks about the transition Jerry went through when his dad left. Rick advised Jerry not to leave and Jerry is really glad he stayed. From Rick:
There's nothing like having your child succeed, and achieve a goal that he or she has had ... if you're kid's happy, you're happy and when they get the chance and the green light goes on and they answer you are the most elated person...you're just really thrilled for them.
That's it for today, but don't forget to catch "The Drive" tonight. You just might need some tissue!