Miguel Melendez here invading Jon Gold’s blog (username and all). I’ll be filling in for the next few practices bringing you some notes with videos along with complete stories in the paper. If you must know, I’ll be at UCLA on Tuesday and Saturday next week as well. I will say this: next time I plan on parking in residential neighborhood so I can write from campus instead of driving the 50 minutes back home to Pasadena.
* Perhaps the biggest news in Saturday’s practice were injuries to linebackers Patrick Larimore (neck) and Aaron Wallace (neck). Larimore walked off the field early and was visibly upset, punching a tackling bag on his way out. There was no immediate update on the injury, though UCLA coach Jim Mora thinks it could be either a concussion or concussion-like symptoms for both Larimore and Wallace. In other news, Brandon Sermons, dressed in street clothes, might sit out the rest of spring camp with a broken bone in his hand that’ll require surgery. But not so fast … “There’s chance he can be back late next week with one of those big (casts) on,” Mora said. “He practiced with it on Tuesday but they felt the best thing to do — because he had some swelling on his hand underneath the cast — they need to cut the cast, and when they cut the cast he wasn’t protected, so we can’t have him out here in that situation.” It’s basically a wait-and-see approach for now.
** Mora said he wasn’t really looking at numbers during the Bruins’ first full scrimmage of spring camp. He said he was looking more at body language and tempo from players. When asked what he thought of the first two drives that resulted in quick touchdown passes from Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut, Mora needed his memory refreshed. So, yes, he was looking for a sense of urgency and reaction from players in situations.
*** The defense recorded three interceptions: Larimore, Eric Kendricks and Ryan Hofmeister. Bad routes? Bad angles? Poor throw? Good step-in from defenders? Mora couldn’t say, adding that he would need to review tape before giving his input. From my view, Hundley’s throw intercepted by Larimore was Larimore being Larimore: good instincts with a nose for the football; Kevin Prince during overtime drills left the ball hanging int he air; and Richard Brehaut came under pressure.
**** No clear front-runner at the quarterback position, but with six practices remaining Mora said the pressure will be more intense as quarterbacks are asked to do more in situation scrimmages. Brett Hundley picked up some rhythm as the scrimmage progressed, connecting with Shaquelle Evans for a touchdown after tripping for a loss. Jerry Neuheisel looked sharp at times connecting several times with Johnathan Franklin and Malcom Jones. Tyler Scott made a nice grab on a high throw for a completion. …. Sheldon Price blocked a field goal attempt during drills.