Battle in the trenches highlights Thursday

The Bruins finished practice Thursday by scrimmaging in goal-line and short-yardage situations and then by trying to escape when they are pinned deep in their own territory.

The defense appeared to get the best of the offense, though not by much.

"There were some good offensive plays, but I was pleased to see the defense rise up and make some plays," coach Rick Neuheisel said.

The offense scored three touchdowns in the goal-line scrimmage that lasted about 10 plays, though a Johnathan Franklin touchdown run was called back because of holding. When the offense was backed up, the defense produced at least two safeties.

"I think we won more than we lost, but it was good competition all the way around," defensive line Coach Todd Howard said. "But for us, we're never satisfied. We don't want to break even, we want to take ground. We want to push those guys back every play."

For the linemen battling in the trenches, the short-yardage scrimmage is a highlight of training camp.

"It's fun, man," said defensive lineman David Carter. "You just go out there, tell the dude across from you that you are stronger than him and go at it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It’s a proof of your manhood down there."

The big winners, Neuheisel said, were the team trainers, who weren't going to be getting any additional work after the physically-demanding drills.

"It’s always nerve wracking when you’re in third and ones because of all the bodies on the ground," Neuheisel said. "I'm just thankful everybody got up."