Rosen find­ing his rhythm in prac­tice

Los Angeles Times - - INSIDE BASEBALL - By Ben Bolch ben.bolch@la­times.com Twit­ter: @latb­bolch

Jor­dan Lasley sprinted past the de­fen­sive backs, ex­tend­ing his arms to catch a long pass from Josh Rosen with only open field in front of him.

The fi­nal play of UCLA’s prac­tice Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon re­sulted in a touch­down. It also felt like some­thing pulled from the ar­chives of re­cent days. Rosen has com­pleted pass af­ter pass af­ter pass, with only the re­ceiver and the yardage vary­ing.

The Bru­ins quar­ter­back has ap­peared in­creas­ingly locked in with three weeks to go be­fore the sea­son opener against Texas A&M on Sept. 3 at the Rose Bowl.

“Ob­vi­ously, that’s what we’re af­ter,” Bru­ins coach Jim Mora said of the con­sis­tency ex­hib­ited by Rosen. “It’s a good sign. There’s been about three or four days where it seems like he’s found a lit­tle bit of a rhythm; we just gotta keep push­ing him and he’ll keep push­ing him­self.”

Af­ter fa­vor­ing re­ceiver Dar­ren An­drews in the early days of train­ing camp, Rosen has di­ver­si­fied his tar­gets over the last week. He has re­peat­edly con­nected with re­ceiver Chris­tian Pabico and tight end Caleb Wil­son while also reg­u­larly find­ing tail­back Bolu Olorun­funmi com­ing out of the back­field.

Rosen com­pleted 19 of 31 passes for two touch­downs and no in­ter­cep­tions Sat­ur­day dur­ing Fan Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Day be­fore hun­dreds of on­look­ers who lined the ledges of a park­ing lot, a con­fer­ence cen­ter and the new Wasser­man Foot­ball Cen­ter.

There is no doubt Rosen has com­pletely re­cov­ered from the shoul­der in­jury that lim­ited him to six games last sea­son, but his re­ceiv­ing corps is not at full strength. Audie Omo­to­sho did not prac­tice Sat­ur­day, De­met­ric Fel­ton sus­tained an undis­closed in­jury and Theo Howard limped off the field af­ter suf­fer­ing what ap­peared to be an in­jury to his left an­kle or foot.

Howard was able to walk around the perime­ter of the field af­ter be­ing at­tended to by a trainer. “It looked like he was get­ting bet­ter,” Mora said.

Rosen with­stood a fe­ro­cious hit af­ter scram­bling down­field to­ward the mid­dle of prac­tice. The hit trig­gered a shov­ing match be­tween tail­back Soso Jam­abo and de­fen­sive line­man Osa Odighizuwa, who has been one of the stand­outs of re­cent prac­tices.

“He’s re­ally made a move the last few days,” Mora said of Odighizuwa.

De­fen­sive line­man Rick Wade pro­vided one of the high­lights of the day, pick­ing up a fum­ble and rac­ing for a touch­down that he punc­tu­ated by spik­ing the ball. Fresh­man de­fen­sive back Quentin Lake also in­ter­cepted a pass from backup quar­ter­back Matt Lynch.

Quick hits

Mora pro­vided a play-by-play with re­porters as sev­eral of his play­ers used T-shirt guns to launch free­bies to­ward fans lin­ing a ter­race of the Luskin Con­fer­ence Cen­ter af­ter prac­tice. “Let’s see if they can make it up there,” Mora said as Lynch pre­pared to pull the trig­ger. “Oh they can, nice!” Mora said, be­fore an­other T-shirt trav­eled only half­way to its tar­get be­fore float­ing to­ward the ground. “Oh, that’s a dud.” … Tight end Austin Roberts did not prac­tice be­cause of an in­jury, Mora said. … Tail­back Bran­don Stephens, slowed by an in­jury in re­cent days, ran be­fore prac­tice and could re­turn as soon as Mon­day, Mora said. … Kicker J.J. Mol­son made all three of his field goals, in­clud­ing a 35-yarder.

Wally Skalij Los An­ge­les Times

LOOK­ING SHARP in prac­tice, Josh Rosen ap­pears to have fully re­cov­ered from the shoul­der in­jury that cut short his 2016 sea­son.

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