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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : UCLA FYI

Smith gets one kick in

He makes just one field goal attempt at practice before heading to training room. He says his leg felt tight and that he didn't want to push it. Punter Jeff Locke works some on field goals.

September 14, 2011|Chris Foster

Kip Smith attempted one field goal Tuesday, banked the ball off the upright and through, and then walked to the training room.

Just when it seemed UCLA's kicking problems were on better footing, a problem arises.

Smith, who made both his field-goal attempts in the 27-17 victory over San Jose State on Saturday, did nothing the rest of practice. Coach Rick Neuheisel said Smith was "nursing a sore hip flexor and should be fine."

Still, punter Jeff Locke was dusting off his field-goal technique after practice.

Smith seemed fine during while warming up, getting good distance and height on his kicks. His first try during field-goal drills went low and to the right, clipping the upright.

UCLA did the remainder of the field-goal drills without a kicker, as Joe Roberts is still bothered by a quadriceps injury.

"It was just feeling a little tight and I didn't want to push it," Smith said. "I'm the only kicker, so it's precautionary."

Smith was vague on where his leg felt tight. He spent nearly 45 minutes in the trainer's shed getting iced.

"None of my kicks felt good today," said Smith, who made field goals from 38 and 20 yards Saturday. "Warming up, I wasn't getting into it."

Policy shift

Neuheisel said he won't commit to playing both Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut at quarterback against Texas on Saturday, a change from his plan heading into the season.

"While both deserve a chance, I want to make sure I'm not guaranteeing that and put that in front of what the team needs at any time," Neuheisel said. "I will trust my instincts during the course of play."

Will situations dictate that?

"Possibly," Neuheisel said.

Will performance sway his mind?

"Again, the more I say the more I get pinned down," Neuheisel said.

Basically, Neuheisel said, "If you say little, you don't have as much to back up."

Prince, who sat out Saturday's game with a sprained right shoulder, had a strong practice. He said the pain in his shoulder had decreased every day since being injured against Houston.

Dodger blues

The Bruins will get an earful of Tom Lasorda at the hotel before Saturday's game against Texas, as he tries to prod them to victory.

Neuheisel, though, may want to check the scouting report.

The last time Lasorda talked to a team getting ready to play a Texas school at the Rose Bowl? Last December, when he preached to Wisconsin players.

Final score: Texas Christian 21, Wisconsin 19.

Quick hits

Safety Tony Dye was in a red "no-contact" jersey. Neuheisel said it was because of "general soreness." ... Defensive lineman Wesley Flowers was in pads for the first time since suffering a collapsed lung during a Bruins scrimmage at the end of training camp. ... UCLA allotted 7,000 tickets to Texas for Saturday. All have been sold.... UCLA is still compiling paperwork to request a waiver from the NCAA so defensive tackle Brandon Willis can play this season.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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