For some reason, the notebook I wrote for today’s paper never made it online. I am trying to get it straightened out, but here is what I wrote:
By Brian Dohn
UCLA tailback Raymond Carter is reserved, by nature, but he admits to some anxiety these days.
It has been nearly two years since the red-shirt freshman played in a football game, and after a year-long rehab from reconstructive knee surgery, only a few days remain until the season opener against No. 18 Tennessee at the Rose Bowl.
“I think I’m ready and I’m really excited to be out there Monday night,” Carter said. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I just can’t wait to get out there. When we get out of that tunnel, I’m going to feel all that excitement. That’s all I’ve been thinking about this whole week, getting out there on Monday night.”
Carter, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on the second day of training camp last August, backs up senior Kahlil Bell.
“I haven’t played in almost two years in a real game, so I’m hungry to get out there and play and help this team win,” Carter said. “It feels like it’s been a long time since I played in a game.”
Kia to play
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said left tackle Micah Kia, who broken his left hand last week, will play against Tennessee. Kia still needs to be fitted for a cast that will allow more flexibility in his fingers.
But Neuheisel said he believed Kia, a starter much of last season, will start ahead of Brandon Bennett, who is yet to play a college snap.
“You always like the experienced guy being out there,” Neuheisel said. “But able bodies are important, too.”
More OL talk
Offensive line coach Bob Palcic had to monitor the number of snaps starting left guard Scott Glicksberg took in training camp to keep him as healthy as possible. Glicksberg separated his right shoulder last season, went through spring practice with the injury and continues to play with the separation.
“I know they told me they wanted to make sure they didn’t wear me out during training camp, so they eased up on my reps,” Glicksberg said. “It’s something that bothers me once in a while, but I get over it pretty quickly.”
The coaching staff’s concern is whether Glicksberg’s shoulder will hold up throughout the season.
“That remains to be seen,” Palcic said.
Glicksberg was in and out of drills during Thursday because of illness, so converted defensive tackle Jess Ward filled in.
The waiting game
The original schedule had UCLA playing Saturday against Fresno State, but in the offseason the scheduled was altered so the Bruins could open the season against the Vols on national television. But with college football kicking off Thursday, players and coaches are getting antsy about stating the season.
“It’s hard to have to wait until Monday,” Neuheisel said. “But that’s the way it is, and we’ll be ready to go.”
Bruins freshman quarterback Nick Crissman, who was running the scout team offense, could be headed for surgery after an MRI showed irregularities in the labrum in his right shoulder. He is scheduled to undergo more tests, but could become UCLA’s fourth quarterback (Ben Olson, Patrick Cowan and Osaar Rasshan) to undergo surgery since the end of spring practice.
Odds and ends
Rasshan, who was sitting out practices this week with a sore knee, ran the scout team offense in Crissman’s absence. …Center Kai Maiava, who is sitting out under NCAA transfer rules after arriving from Colorado, suffered torn meniscus and a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee, but he said surgery wasn’t expected.