LOS ANGELES — UCLA has its first night game and first Friday game of the season this week against Washington, which pushes preparations up a day.
The Bruins practiced Sunday evening, giving the players about a day to recover and the coaches time to break down film and put together installs.
“The whole week as normal, just a day in advance,” coach Chip Kelly said on Sunday.
Friday’s game starts at 7:30 and is one of two Friday games on this season’s schedule. UCLA plays at Cal on Nov. 25. This Friday’s game is also the first game of the season to be broadcast on ESPN for the Bruins.
“You lose a day, so I make sure I’m staying on top of things when it comes to recovering,” quarterback Dorian Thompson Robinson said at media availability on Monday, just before heading to a cold tub. “Just making sure I’m staying up on my body and staying healthy.”
The shortened schedule comes ahead of the game against No. 15 Washington. The Huskies, who are also unbeaten, have outscored opponents 176-76 this season and are betting favorites Friday.
They’re led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who threw for 309 yards out of Washington’s 478 yards of total offense on Saturday against Stanford.
“They’re solid in the offensive line,” Kelly said, “but he’s really running the show and think that he’s playing as well as any quarterback in the country right now. He’s extremely accurate. He can make all the throws, he’s got a really strong arm.”
Toia being “monitored”
Defensive lineman Jay Toia did not practice on Monday morning after leaving Saturday’s game against Colorado due to injury. He was helped off the field in the first quarter.
Chip Kelly did not disclose what the injury was during media availability on Sunday evening but did mention that Toia would be monitored as the week goes on.
Offensive lineman Jon Gaines II dressed on Monday morning but was limited during practice.
Team nutritionist fueling recovery
“Recovery” has been one of the Bruins’ most-used words since returning from Colorado on Saturday night. Team nutritionist Ross Shumway has played a major part in UCLA’s recovery process going all the way back to fall camp.
“He’s on speed dial on my phone,” Thompson-Robinson said.
Shumway makes sure the Bruins stay hydrated through the SoCal heat waves and he regularly slings smoothies for Thompson-Robinson. Now, he’s keeping them going during a shortened week of preparation for Friday night.
“Ross has done a great job of fueling our guys and what we’re doing from that standpoint,” Kelly said. “Our school has been great about understanding the importance of that. We always talk about how we fuel, how we train and how we recover.”
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Thompson-Robinson said that he as well as other players have learned under the tutelage of Shumway to better take care of their bodies outside of football to avoid soft tissue injuries and tears.
Nutrition could also factor into UCLA’s well-conditioned, second-half dominance. The Bruins outscored Colorado 24-7 in the second half on Saturday and have outscored all opponents 78-21 in the second half this season.
Game time finalized for Utah
UCLA announced on Monday morning that its Oct. 8 game against No. 12 Utah will kick off at 12:30 p.m. in the Rose Bowl. The game will be broadcast on either Fox or FS1.
Utah is 3-1 this season with its only loss coming against Florida.
The Bruins have had the majority of their kickoff times midday this season, with all games except for Friday night’s game between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.