* Not a very sharp practice on Wednesday, and the coaching staff has to be concerned by some of last season’s bad habits creeping in.
* Not only were the quarterbacks consistently indecisive and inaccurate, but UCLA wideouts weren’t a help with several just crushing drops. Devin Lucien muffed an easy touchdown catch over his shoulder. Randall Carroll dropped one across the middle that was textbook, and got a good earful. Ricky Marvray followed with a drop of his own. Taylor Embree did have a nice grab across the middle though.
* Rick Neuheisel specifically mentioned the quarterback-center exchange as being a disappointment on Wednesday, as the Bruins constantly fumbled the snap.
* I’ve never played or coached college football, so I don’t know how it’s supposed to be done, but I’m surprised at the lack of attention in 11-on-11 work to specific pass plays. I expected – and Rick Neuheisel spoke in a way that led us to believe – that there would be a premium focus on the throwing game, and I don’t see much difference from last year in terms of dedicated practice time. Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s pretty curious.
* Neuheisel said after practice that Damien Thigpen has a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely. Look for a wideout or two to slide over to F-back No. 2 in the meantime. We’ll find out who tomorrow.
* Greg Capella has looked pretty good at first-team guard the last couple days, and I’ll have a story up on him soon. He’s cut a ton of weight and looks really good.
* The downfield blocking out of the wide receiver position looks improved so far, at least in terms of angles and aggressiveness. Marvray had a heck of a block on a Malcolm Jones run.
* I’ll have more on Jones tomorrow, but he’s really opened some eyes the last couple days. He is noticeably leaner and has a nice little burst now, something he lacked a bit last season. Whether it was because of tentativeness or just being unsure of the situation, Jones seemed to force plays to develop too much last year instead of instinctively going, and he’s been much improved in that area so far. Wayne Moses had some pretty good things to say about him: “He’s increased his knowledge of the game. In terms of pass protection now, he’s salty on that. He understands what everybody else does as well as his job. That kind of gives you the overall scheme of things. Last year he didn’t have that. He wasn’t sure what he did, let alone everybody else.”