UCLA's Wednesday practice had to be altered thanks to Mother Nature as the offense and defense took turns playing on the artificial turf portion of Spaulding Field with the grass portion too wet to play on because of heavy rain that fell most of the morning and afternoon.
"The grass field got to a place where we would have ruined it forever if we would have been out there," coach Rick Neuheisel said.
The first-team offense went first with individual drills and then practicing against the scout team. The first-team defense then joined in for a few periods of team drills, seven-on-seven and a two-minute drill. Then the first-team offense left and the defense went into drills and scout-team work.
Neuheisel said it was a minor inconvenience, but that it didn't disrupt the preparation.
"Kids are so adaptable. It’s coaches that cringe over things like this more than the youngsters," Neuheisel said. "We were able to get everybody’s work done."
Neuheisel said he could have had everyone practice at the same time on the turf field, but that would have meant they would have to go sideline to sideline instead of end zone to end zone to fit both units on the field.
It was especially important for the defense to have a full field because Washington State runs a spread offense with four receivers and likes to throw deep.
"With the way Washington State spreads the field and throws the ball downfield, you would have short changed the defense with respect to what they are going to see on the field," Neuheisel said.
A few tidbits:
Safety Tony Dye, who participated fully in practice Tuesday, was back in a red no-contact jersey Wednesday, indicating he had a setback as he tries to recover form a nerve issue in his neck that has kept him out of the last two games. He's listed as questionable for Saturday. "It's definitely frustrating," Dye said. "There is nothing I can do beside just keep getting my treatment and keep getting my rehab and getting on this field. If it were up to me, I’d be on the field right now -- with a normal color jersey."
Sheldon Price (knee), Alex Mascarenas (concussion), Justin Edison (concussion) and Chris Ward once again did not dress for practice and it appears unlikely they will play. Linebacker Glenn Love (hamstring) dressed, but only participated in light drills.
The defensive line was trying some different rotations with Seali'i Epenesa, Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Keenan Graham getting a lot more reps than usual. Epenesa and Odighizuwa got some first-team reps, replacing Datone Jones and Donovan Carter.
Vanderbilt transfer Jamie Graham continues to increase his work load. He played as the nickel back with the first team and was a cornerback with the second string.
Tevin McDonald, who started at free safety in place of Dye the last two games, was back with the first team. Dye, limited by the no-contact jersey, was with the second team.