UCLA practice report: Wednesday quick hits

The Wednesday afternoon rain stopped before UCLA practiced, but the grass field was too wet to use, so the offense and defense practiced on opposite ends of the artificial surface at Spaulding Field.

It made things a bit crowded at times, but coach Rick Neuheisel said it didn't seem to disrupt practice.

"I thought we really worked hard," Neuheisel said. "We didn’t make any excuses about being in cramped quarters. I thought we had another good practice which is absolutely necessary to play your best when you’re getting ready to play a quality opponent like University of California."

A few tidbits from practice:

  • Kevin Prince looked almost at full speed and was running harder than he did Tuesday as his injured right knee continues to progress. He was not limited in any way for the second consecutive practice and looked sharp with his throws. "Everything was just fine," Prince said.

  • The defense spent a lot of time working on defending the pass, which was a problem against Washington State. The Cougars passed for 311 yards, and the defensive backs worked on defending the long ball Wednesday. "We have to do a better job of going after the football when it’s in the air," Neuheisel said. "We were a little too passive in the coverage and we’ve been working on that."

  • Receiver Nelson Rosario was on crutches again. Neuheisel said he hoped Rosario could "rally" and be ready by game time, but it looks as if Randall Carroll and Jerry Johnson will get more playing time.

  • Linebacker Steve Sloan did not practice because of a sore knee. He had an MRI exam and expected to get the results Wednesday night, but Neuheisel said "I don’t think [it's] significant and I think he’ll play."

  • Safety Dalton Hilliard missed practice for the second consecutive day because of an injured shoulder. Neuheisel said "We hope that he’ll be ready to practice tomorrow, but we’ll have to wait and see."