Johnson on practice

UCLA interim head coach, Mike Johnson concluded his back to the basics program and will now start the game planning in earnest to get his team ready for their Dec. 31st showdown against Illinois. As always, the UCLA coach meets with the media after practice to answer questions.
Was today the last practice where you focus on fundamentals?
Johnson: "Yes, this was the last day of the back to basics. Monday we will get started on Illinois. We will implement the first part of the game plan. Get those guys to familiarize themselves with Illinois. We are not going to saturate them with too much early, but at least get them going on that and get them watching tape, getting them watching their (Illinois) different plays and blitzes. Different things like that just they can get started preparing for that."
How did Kevin Prince look today?
Johnson: "I thought he did good. I thought Kevin did a good job. I thought he came out with good energy. I thought he made the right checks. He got the ball out of his hands. He did a lot of good things. We gave him the day off yesterday and you could tell there was a difference in the way that he practiced today from what he had been doing the last couple of days. So I thought the day off was good for him."
Do you know what happened to Alex Mascarenas over here on the side when he was hit?
Johnson: "No, I didn't even see it, actually. I saw it at the end, but I didn't see it at the beginning. I was over there calling another play and didn't see it, so I have no idea."
Anything more about your future and what you are going to do?
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Johnson: "No, I'm just sitting back and looking at all my options then I will make some decisions here early next week. There's a couple things out there that I am looking at and probably some time next week, I'll know."
Did they know at Akron that they are taking a little time because they are waiting for people to get done with the season?
Johnson: "Yeah, it will happen here pretty quick and I will know more towards the end of the weekend and towards the beginning of next week as to what I am going to do with that and what is going to happen with that situation. It is out there and it is one of the options that I have and I will go from there."
Rick Kimbrel is the publisher of You can email him at or follow him on twitter at @BruinBlitzcom.