* Another very good practice highlighted by a sharper, more refined passing game that has taken strides in the last two days. Mike Johnson called it the best passing day the team has had in his tenure.
* Particularly working the outsides well, Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut took a step up in the accuracy and catchability departments, hitting guys out of breaks and with good timing. Since a poor Thursday practice, the wideouts have responded well, particularly Nelson Rosario. In 11s and 7s, I don’t recall a drop.
* Still, Devin Lucien is really becoming the highlight of camp. He had a rather innocuous catch on the run, but I noticed the hands especially. He snatched the ball out of the air on a pretty Brehaut pass, and it was all hands, no body.
* Jacob Brendel got an earful from Jim Mastro and Co. for missing an assignment on an inside zone block, but he made up for it on the next play with a good block.
* Jordon James really is flashing at F-back, and I could see him growing pretty comfortable in that role, especially with Damien Thigpen down. I wonder how James will do with the blocking aspect of the position – he struggled with pass blocking at times last season – but he certainly fits the mold in the finesse department. UCLA opened an 11-on-11 drill with consecutive James possessions, a catch and a run.
* Neuheisel on James: “James is an electric player – kind of what Damien Thigpen brought to the position. It’s nice to have some depth there. It’s been fun to have him there.”
*James on James: “The coaches are doing a great job of just putting everybody in the right position to help this team dominate. (I’ll play) wherever I can. Tailbacks need to be able to catch the ball to survive in this game.”
* UCLA seems to be opening up the book a little more, including a pitch-perfect end-around option touchdown pass from Josh Smith to Shaq Evans.
* In 7-on-7 drills, right after Prince hit Nelson Rosario streaking on what looked like a skinny post, Brehaut hit Ricky Marvray over the middle, getting Mike Johnson to run on the field pumping his fist and saying “Yes!” A few plays later Brehaut missed Stan McKay creeping over and McKay made a nice pass break-up, followed immediately by a Nick Crissman-to-Andrew Abbott interception that then had Johnson none to happy.
* Dietrich Riley, Joseph Fauria, Jerry Johnson and Jared Koster all missed practice with food poisoning. Jordan Zumwalt (concussion), Tony Dye (groin), Taylor Embree (calf), Barr (hamstring), Thigpen (hamstring), Tevin McDonald and Aaron Wallace missed practice.
* Neuheisel said Mike Orloff has a torn meniscus and further ACL damage and will have knee surgery and redshirt. Orloff had a previous knee surgery and the ACL is still loose, with swelling to extensive, to keep working on it.
* Rick Neuheisel said Brett Hundley is running on a treadmill and could return as soon as next week.