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Spring Football Roundup: May 25-27

May 28, 2021
(Photo: Jesus Ramirez)

With fewer than 100 days remaining on the 2021 season countdown, UCLA football held its final two training sessions of the spring on Spaulding Field.

Thursday's finale to the 15-practice stretch that began April 23 was aired by Pac-12 Networks as part of its "UCLA Football Spring Showcase" broadcast. Ashley Adamson and Evan Moore broke down the shortened 2020 campaign and looked ahead with Yogi Roth, who was on hand to conduct interviews with different figures from in and around the UCLA Athletic Department.

Head coach Chip Kelly talked with Roth about the importance of spreading out the on-field sessions with the team's Aug. 28 season opener (12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN) with Hawai'i at the Rose Bowl fast approaching.

"We'll be back out here before you know it. They've got finals coming up, then they've got a week off and then we start summer program on June 20 and then we're in camp at the end of July," Kelly went on to tell the assembled media members via Zoom. "It's going to be right around the corner we'll be back out on the field. There was really good carryover from last season to this spring and we're really hoping that we'll have great carryover from this spring to when we hit the ground for preseason camp for the summertime."

Charbonnet/Genmark Heath Availability | Kelly/Knight/Thompson-Robinson Availability

Graduate student Qwuantrezz Knight, who returns for a second season, agreed with Kelly, pointing to the progress he has seen from a defensive unit that was at or near the top of the Pac-12 in multiple categories, including interceptions and sacks.

"Fifteen practices in, I'm just really amazed at how much growth we've had as a whole defense. Last year, it was guys just running to the ball, not really knowing where they fit within the scheme," Knight said. " I feel like this year, with the experience we have coming back, we've got a lot of guys that know exactly where they need to be and we've got a lot of guys playing fast and just executing their jobs and being dominant like we need them to be. So, I'm just happy with the growth we've made."

Thursday also saw the announcement of game times and broadcast details for the Bruins' first three games of the 2021 season – all of which will be played at the Rose Bowl. Following their opener against the Rainbow Warriors, UCLA is set to meet LSU Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m. on FOX and Fresno State Sept. 18 at 7:45 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.

"I think everybody's going to be excited," said quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. "I know we've been excited for spring ball and now that's over and now we're going to be excited for fall camp. I think everybody's excited to get on the field at the Rose Bowl and get to see everybody and stuff like that. We're just as excited as everybody else is."

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