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  • UCLA Football: Mora's Transitive Property

    UCLA's Spaulding Field

    Scott Robinson

    Coming across the play was LB Isaiah Bowens, just recently lining up with the one’s due to the barrage of injuries befalling upon the line-backing core. One second before the tackle, the RB rolled to the ground with his helmet directly impacting Bowens’ knee.

    The sound of helmets and pads cracking was next, quickly followed by a handful of trainers jogging in concern towards the player lying on the field. Bowens’ hands clutched his knee, while he rolled on the ground.

    It was a rough play, with a rough ending: Bowens’ injury looks like it may be one that will put him on the sideline for a while. He required two helpers to get off the field. When Coach Mora was asked about him after practice, he said:

    I don’t, obviously, know the severity of it yet, but it’s a knee sprain… They took him in, and we’ll see where he is…

    Just a few plays before, Bowens laid a powerful hit on RB Malcolm Jones—sending Jones to the ground with an audible thud, heard even fifty yards away.

    But that’s football; Physical, painful and costly. An MRI is expected to determine Bowens’ extent of injury.

    Good thing Coach Mora has a few players in the fold coming this summer to shore up the LB depth issues, because as of today, the following are out: Jordan Zumwalt, Patrick Larimore, Anthony Barr, Aaron Wallace and now, Isaiah Bowens.

    Seeing Bowens’ spot, after his injury, was both Ryan Hoffmeister and Jared Koster. Already in the mix was LB Aramide Olaniyan, who followed up a strong Tuesday with another great practice.

    Olaniyan picked up a fumbled ball by RB Jordan James; A difficult play considering he was in the midst of tackling only to adjust for a scoop of the ball.

    But beyond Olaniyan is nothing but a question mark. Hoffmeister and Koster might have trouble seeing the light of day once the new crop comes to town.

    The 2012 recruiting class is looking ever more important as the injuries pile up. From the class, expected to compete for some field time at LB are: Aaron Porter (6’2 / 230), Kenny Orjioke (6’4 / 225), Jeremy Castro (6’3 / 245) and Nate Iese (6’4 / 235).

    Wise decision, not conceding the year of 2012.

    Feels Good…

    Coach Mora was at it again at practice, this time delivering a few choice words to OG Alberto Cid. During the 11-on-11’s LB Eric Kendricks got into it with OT Brett Downey, pushing and shoving—And just when it appeared to be sewing up, Cid came in tow and then the “gassers” began.

    Heard from the bleachers was Mora, again in the trending Johnny Cash get-up:

    You’re killing your football team!

    Mora then ran up and paced alongside Cid, who at the time was also last of the “gassers.”

    Sprinkled with a few other expletives, Mora hollered in his ear: “We’ll run all day long, I don’t care.

    Showing quiet leadership was OG Xavier Su’a-Filo, who then made his way closer to Cid between the lines. A little more verbally supportive was QB Brett Hundley, who then side-stepped in stride with Cid, encouraging him to finish out.

    Seems like matters of importance are firmly aligned with an appropriate adverse response; If one throws punches, then they’ll hear swear words and then run “gassers.”

    Call it the Mora football transitive property: “A” to “B” to “C.”

    Spring Trimmings

    Noticeably shorter was the QB rotation, with Prince, Brehaut and Hundley seeing the majority of snaps through the day. Again, situations were at the forefront.

    We worked on a ton of situations… We did short yardage, we did goal-line, we did 2:00, we did 4:00, we did red-zone… just a bunch of situations. Good to see these guys grasping concepts that we’re throwing at ‘em…

    Further separation, however, continued when QB Hundley took the reigns during the 11-on-11’s. While heading off against the first defense, Hundley tossed a nice ball to RB Johnathan Franklin, who sped up the left sideline for a touchdown.

    Later, against the two’s, Hundley showed nice footwork while faking a handoff and moving left to hit a wide open RB Malcolm Jones in the end-zone.

    Prince had a rough go at it today.

    One minute, he looked pretty good: On one round in the 11-on-11’s, Prince threw a dart of a ball to WR Devin Lucien. It was on the money, but surprised was Lucien, who handled it but then dropped the ball.

    The next minute, however: He threw another pick-six to DC Aaron Hester.

    During three situational plays (i.e. 4th and 1; 4th and 5; 4th and Long) Prince missed every time. First, he rolled right (incomplete). Second, he tried over the middle (incomplete). And the last throw put up was nearly intercepted.

    Brehaut’s day was also mixed. A few times he found RB Steven Manfro, who, in typical fashion, would make the first guy miss and add another ten yards to the catch. On another instance, Brehaut threw a perfect spiral to WR Tyler Scott; But it appeared Scott was thinking about the impending defender’s tackle—His head turned early and the ball bounced off his hands.

    Lastly, QB Jerry Neuheisel, while going against the second defense, continued to show good decision making. A QB-keeper into a wide open space between the hash-marks was good for 15 yards. Then, on the very next play, Neuheisel hit WR Jackson Reeder—with perfect placement. Neuheisel’s ball was received on Reeder’s right shoulder, the only lane available for the completion and away from the adjacent corner.

    Practice Notes:
    Remember to ask for players or coaches to report on! Tweet us who you'd like us to cover at @BruinsBall!

    Requested Players:

    -O-Line (Thanks, @USMale7—I’ll get Rios &Hilliard to you Saturday): Torian White sat out today with what Mora called a “bothered” hip/groin, putting RT Brett Downey back with the first group. For the majority of snaps, the line was comprised of the following:

    LT: Su’a-Filo
    LG: Jeff Baca
    C: Jake Brendel
    RG: Alberto Cid
    RT: Brett Downey

    However, this line is a definite work in progress. Coach Klemm is continually seen instructing the team—A contrast to other group specific drills, where there is usually less talking and more doing. I would chalk that up to a learning curve issue—New terminology (especially for OT Alexandru Ceachir) and new technique. On Tuesday a lot of emphasis was put on balance, as the linemen were run through what looked like a “limbo” tent—not running any higher than four-feet tall. Today, there was more a focus on team blocking, with walk-through’s and consistent explanation.

    -Dalton Hilliard: Beginning to see less time with the other RB’s taking shape. For the time being, it appears Franklin is the starter (anticipated), and then behind the subsequent group of James, Jones and Manfro. Hilliard, when in, does have an un-matched level of lateral quickness—A tool complimenting what will be a multiple back look come fall.

    -Jordan James: This guy continues to show very nice timing with his cuts up-field. James went untouched into the end-zone during a goal-line situation. I’d say he looks a lot stronger this year than in years past. Also continues to show some serious potential as a receiver out of the back-field. His speed, cutting ability and receiving is nicely paired with Coach Mazzone’s playbook.

    -Steven Manfro: Had another “ooooh, aaaaaaah” moment today; This time juking LB Jared Koster from his shoes. Manfro caught and stepped once to his left, Koster bit, and then broke right up the middle for almost 20 yards. Also took one to the house during 7-on-7’s, receiving a nicely thrown ball by Brehaut. To be sure: Manfro in space will be very exciting to watch.

    -Xavier Su’a-Filo (Thanks, @P_Mike04): Judging based on his bettering performances against DE Datone Jones during the 1-on-1’s, I would say most of the rust is now gone. Bulking up this summer will be important; He has the strength in the waist and abdomen, but making sure he’s back up to par with his arms I would imagine is of the most importance, being blind side and all. Don’t get me wrong, however: Su’a-Filo is the best lineman out there, no doubt.

    UCLA’s next practice is this Saturday, April 28th at 1:00PM.

    Follow Spring Practice here on and Twitter: @BruinsBall

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