Owls Turn Full Focus to UCLA

Aug. 22, 2012

The Rice Owls began their detailed preparations for the 2012 opener against UCLA with an 18-period workout on the grass practice field north of Rice Stadium on Wednesday.

"It was a good practice, but we have to continue to work on our consistency," Rice head coach David Bailiff said after. "We had two weak periods where we had a lull and we had to jazz them up a little a the end. We want them out here mentally focused so that they are the ones to jazz themselves up. "

After two plus weeks of training and evaluation, the focus shifted firmly towards opener against the Bruins in eight days. Players were assigned to the scout team and issued jerseys to represent the numbers of UCLA players.

" We started to introduce UCLA to them yesterday, but it was more intensive today on what we project that they will do," Bailiff explained. "We watched NFL tape from where some of their assistants were and we watched some Arizona State tape to see what Noel (UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone) did there. You try to prepare for everything, but at the same time you have to worry about our team and be the best at what we do," He added.

On the injury front the Owls received a mixed bag of news from the medical staff. Sophomore offensive lineman Nico Carlson is making a rapid recovery from knee surgery and may find his way on to the field next Thursday.

"Nico has a good chance to be back for the UCLA game based on what we heard after he met with Dr. (LeLand) Winston," Bailiff said. "He was out here moving around and it was not as serious as they thought."

The news was not as good for offensive lineman John Poehlmann (ankle) and reserve defensive tackle Bobby Kiesewetter (knee) who will be lost for the year.



`(John) was in a drill yesterday and got hit from behind. It's the greatest game in the world, but injuries are a by-product. You do everything you can to keep them safe, but you can never fully prevent them," Bailiff said.



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