It's an indication of the depth of the Bruin defensive line: Coaches are reluctant to play Ken Kocher on Saturday against Kansas, even though he has made a swift recovery from a separated shoulder suffered against Alabama.
The senior tackle has not practiced this week. That's enough reason for his backups, Anthony Fletcher and Sean Phillips, to steal his playing time.
"There is so much learning and teaching in practice that if you aren't going through it, you aren't going to play," said Don Johnson, the defensive line coach.
Defensive end Stephen Sua is in a similar situation. The senior reserve missed practice this week because of a concussion suffered against Alabama and probably will not play against Kansas.
With starters Kenyon Coleman and Dave Ball and reserves Rusty Williams and Asi Faoa playing well, there is no rush for Sua to return.
Faoa's playing time will increase, now that coaches know he will be with the team all season. The sophomore pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor assault charge Tuesday and will not serve jail time until at least January.
"It might be a factor in his playing time," Johnson said. "He's done very well in practice."
Kansas running back Reggie Duncan and quarterback Mario Kinsey have more legal troubles than the June purse-snatching incident that resulted in their suspensions last week.
Duncan was charged with misdemeanor theft a year ago, as a result of an incident at a Lawrence discount store. After learning of the alleged purse theft, prosecutors are seeking to revoke a diversion agreement and set a trial date of Nov. 30.
Kinsey faces misdemeanor charges of possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. He was arrested May 25 in his hometown, Waco, Texas. A court date of Feb. 21 has been set "for a plea of guilty" according to a McClennan County District Court official.
In the purse-snatching incident, the police report indicated the players, who are roommates, allegedly used a credit card taken from the purse to order a pizza delivered to their apartment.
Coach Terry Allen said Duncan, a 5-foot-9, 220-pound sophomore, will start against UCLA and Kinsey, a redshirt freshman, will play.
UCLA has a guarantee of $400,000 for the game, which Kansas will nearly recoup from the $330,000 Fox Sports Net will pay for televising it. "We're getting UCLA for 70 grand," said Richard Konzem, Kansas associate athletic director. "That's not bad."
The Bruins will arrive in Kansas City at 1 p.m. today and conduct a walk-through practice at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence at 3.