* It’s hard to really describe UCLA’s Thursday practice. It was chock full of interceptions and snafus, yet Jim Mora seemed very pleased after practice, seemingly satisfied as the team has moved away from most of the tempo-intensive work and has focused on simply manning a full offense and defense.
* With so many players out – more than 20 currently sidelined – it’s hard to get a good feel for what the Bruins have, and the coaches seem to know it. They’re not exactly in survival mode, but the edge and tenacity of the first few practices – along with a lot of the tackling – has waned.
* Another rather perplexing day out of the quarterbacks. Pretty much the same across the board – fine throw, fine throw, fine throw, whaaaaaa? Each of the top four quarterbacks threw somewhat dumbfounding interceptions, but each also had a rebound throw or two that looked great. Still nothing sorted out.
* The throw of the day was a gorgeous pass from Brett Hundley with perfect timing to a diving Steven Manfro. Hundley threw the pass right as Manfro made his cut, something he struggled with last season.
* Decent amount of focus on the special teams today, with Jordon James looking very natural. If he can hold onto the ball, he should be pretty good back there.
* The offensive line is still trying to find a successful match, and it’s wearing on the coaches. Guys aren’t really living up to their end of the bargain in terms of energy and ferocity in pass protection, and the defensive line had a really nice day.
* Aramide Olaniyan had a really good practice, showing off his tremendous speed.
* Wade Yandall (neck stiffness) missed practice, but Jerry Johnson returned.
* Lastly, on a truly bummer note, Mora informed the media that walk-on defensive back Librado Barocio suffered a torn ACL. I haven’t written nearly as much about Baracio as I would’ve liked so far, because he truly is one of the good kids on the team. Always – always – the last one off the field last season and through camp this year, and I mean always. I made this point in the Lew and Gold Report with BSR’s Ed Lewis tonight – losing him affects everyone on the defense, as his dogged determination had an absolute trickle-down effect. No one wants to get outplayed, outhustled, outmanned by an undersized walk-on. Tough break for a good kid.