UCLA Thursday: Notes

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The final practice of 2011...

  • Freshman DT J.R. Tavai was the only player that did not practice.  Lane Kiffin expects everyone else to be available to play.  "This is a big game, so I think guys will play no matter what," Kiffin said.
  • The team has a great energy about them as they prepare to close out the season Saturday.  At the end of practice, the speakers blared a Frank Sinatra song and Monte Kiffin broke out a robot dance routine about which LB Chris Galippo said, "That was more like origami."
  • Woods-Kalil-Jersey.jpgFor the last few plays, the offensive line and wide receivers switched jerseys, so they could run some pass patterns.  As you can see in the picture, Matt Kalil's #75 is a little big on Robert Woods.
  • For the most part though, the play on the practice field was pretty intense including a sweet one-handed TD catch by TE Xavier Grimble.
  • The senior class is limited to only two starters at this point of the season, but they have shown great leadership in helping the young guys along. "There aren't very many of them, but they're very strong," said Kiffin about the senior class.  "[They] were very critical to what we've done in the offseason to get us to this point."
  • Galippo will not start Saturday, but he'll be a key contributor in his final game at USC.  "It's a little bittersweet, but I am ready to move on and open up the next chapter in my life," he said.
  • Galippo promised a leave-it-all-out-there mentality going into the season-ending rivalry game.  "Anything it takes to go 5-0 against these guys and end our season right."
  • The coaches make sure that every player has somewhere to go for a Thanksgiving feast, but they don't want them to eat too much.  "We talk to our big guys," Kiffin said with a smile.  "It's going to be hard to monitor them unless we go from house-to-house.  We're just going to have to trust them, but I don't think that's going to go very well.  They are very tired of eating really healthy."
  • What is Lane Kiffin thankful for this Thanksgiving?  "Our quarterback," he quipped.  The head coach will get out of Heritage Hall this evening for a turkey dinner at home with family.
  • Here is Kiffin's presser in which he talks extensively about the 2006 upset at UCLA when he was the offensive coordinator...

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