SAN BERNARDINO -- UCLA shed some light on who its starting quarterback will be, but the Bruins were literally in the dark at the end of practice Saturday night.
Coach Jim Mora moved the practice start time back a half hour to 6 p.m. and there was very little daylight left by the time newly-named starting quarterback Brett Hundley was finishing up his first day as the official starter two hours later. The facility they are using at Cal State San Bernardino has no lights so the team ran two-minute drills in conditions that made it very difficult to see.
"That was a lot of fun," Mora said. "I think the guys enjoyed it. I think it took some guys back to when they were younger and playing on the streets and you went until your mom called you in, it didn’t matter how dark it was."
The session had an energy level that had been missing the last few days as UCLA has fought through temperatures of 105 and higher. It was 96 at the start of practice Saturday night and was in the low 90s by the time the session was over. Plus, nearby storms left a cloud layer that blocked the sun and kept things even cooler.
"I think the combination of having yesterday off and it was cooler and they are young, they’re kids," Mora said of the increased energy level. "They like to play ball. They like to go out in the yard and play ball and tonight probably took them back to when they were younger. It was a good energy."
Because of expected high temperatures again Sunday, Mora moved practice to 4 p.m., rather than taking the field at the previously scheduled 11:45. The cooler temperatures Saturday night had a major impact as no players left because of heat-related symptoms for the first time in six practices.
Mora couldn't have been happier about that, especially because it led to such an energized atmosphere on the field. And even though finishing in the dark wasn't exactly what he had planned, there is a fringe benefit, he said.
"It may seem silly to people listening, but things like that are things that bring a team closer so it was a good practice for us," he said.
The offensive line, down to seven players at the end of Saturday morning's practice, got a much-needed boost with the return of Colby Cyburt (back) and Torian White (chest pains). Greg Capella (heat), Tre Hale (heat), Alexandru Cheachir (heat) and Alberto Cid (concussion) could all be back on Sunday. "I believe we’re going to get some guys back on the offensive line and we need that desperately," Mora said. ... Linebacker Keenan Graham got in some work at fullback in short-yardage situations. "I don’t know how much he’ll be a part of the first- and second-down package, but he could figure in in third and short and fourth or short or goal line package. He’ll still play defense, that’ll just be a role that he’ll have." ... Safety Dalton Hilliard (heat) returned and did some light work, but did not dress in pads. ... Receiver Shaq Evans left because of a hand injury, but X-rays were negative. ... Defensive back Dylan Price (sports hernia) left camp and is rehabbing in Westwood.