* It was a good first post-camp scrimmage for UCLA today, highlighted by the return of Brett Hundley and the success of Jeff Locke in the kicking game.
* Hundley’s return obviously became the story of the day, and while he saw rather limited action, it’s clear that he’s ready to play a role in the offense. How big a role is to be determined, but Rick Neuheisel reiterated that he could be in some specific packages. Hundley saw some reps with the first-team offense in 11-on-11 drills, but trainers kept him locked down for much of the day. He did have this to say about his role:
“If I didn’t miss two weeks I think I’d have a pretty good shot at (the starting spot). Missing two weeks, surely when it’s camp, is a big thing. That hurt. If I would have had the two weeks, I can’t go back and say I would have done this and that, but I mean, obviously, I would have had a better chance at starting. It is what it is. I’m going to be patient and when the time comes I’m going to take it and never look back.”
Hundley on weighing a redshirt year vs. a package role:
“That’s the one thing were sort of thinking about. I guess the question it comes down to is, is it worth playing that many snaps a game, or is it worth me redshirting and learning the offense and coming back next year as a redshirt freshman? That’s the one thing me and my family will talk over and then we’ll talk to Neuheisel about it. Obviously if I play, there’s still a chance throughout the season for me to start. I don’t ever keep that out of my mind. If things happen to go wrong, I can easily get a shot at starting. It’s a big game right now. We’re sort of just talking it through and sort of seeing what’s going on. After this week we’ll know a little better what’s going to happen. We’re going to figure out (whether) it’s worth playing 10, 15, 20 snaps a game or redshirting or just coming back next years as a redshirt freshman.”
* There were a number of false start penalties, perhaps attributed to the fact it was a major installation day. The defense wasn’t immune too, with Datone Jones flagged for an encroachment penalty.
* Nothing too intriguing on the starting quarterback front as neither were particularly good in the throwing game. The offense as a whole looked pretty sound today, though, and both players saw first-team reps, though the lion’s share went to Kevin Prince. Prince struggled a bit in the two-minute drill with the first team, taking a sack that drew Neuheisel’s wrath.
* Locke followed both two-minute drills with field goals to close practice, and it’s becoming clear that the kicking situation is even murkier. We could see Locke on punts and field goals/PATs and Kip Smith on kickoffs. Special teams coach Angus McClure said it was a mechanical issue with Smith, that he’s hurrying too much. On his successful kicks, he’s about 1.31 seconds. On the misses, he’s as fast as 1.10. That’s a jitters deal, and if Smith can work those out over the next couple weeks, he should be OK.
* Tony Dye is expected to return tomorrow, but as always, it’s a fluid situation. Taylor Embree still out.
* Tevin McDonald returned today, and Aaron Hester also practiced, and Neuheisel said his injury was more of a scare than anything else.
* Wesley Flowers suffered a punctured lung in the scrimmage and was hospitalized Saturday night. It was far worse than they’d anticipated. He’ll be out several weeks, and can’t fly for a few weeks. He won’t be traveling to Houston.