first_imgThere are more smiles, more good-natured ribbing and players are havingmuch more fun around UCLA these days, and it’s not all because the Bruins are 5-0 and No. 12 in the nation entering Saturday’s game at Washington State. The early winning created confidence, but the Bruins say it their success goes deeper than results. Several players said more fun during the week carries over to better play on Saturdays. “We play together as a team more (than in 2004),” UCLA sophomore receiver Brandon Breazell said. “We’re more like a family this year. We’re together on and off the field. I see a lot more smiles. After guys make big plays, and we’re celebrating, there are teeth all over the field. It’s a good feeling.” New security measures Wazzu officials announced a change in postgame procedures, blocking off the walkway the visiting team uses to get to thelocker room, which is a couple of hundred yards away from the field. The move comes in the wake of UCLA strong safety Jarrad Page telling the Daily News earlier this week fans shouted racial remarks at him duringthe Bruins’ 2003 visit. “When all visiting team personnel arrives at their lockerroom, we willopen access to the sidewalks,” Wazzu assistant athletic director John David Wicker said. Odds and ends UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said reserve tight end Matt Raney would make the trip in place of linebacker Kyle Bosworth, a special teams contributor out with a broken thumb. … Weather shouldn’t be a factor.Chance of rain is 10 percent, and temperatures will be near 65 degrees at kickoff. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Senior linebacker Spencer Havner, who is one of the team leaders, said UCLA’s better understanding of the importance of game-week preparation is a key reason. “It’s a product of staying focused in practice and getting all your work done, and you’re confident in what you’re doing in the game,” Havnersaid. “Then, mistakes don’t happen as much and you have fun. I remember (NFL quarterback) Brett Favre talking about it. You can be loose on game day as long as you prepared the week before, because itshould be second nature.” center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Third-year Washington State coach Bill Doba noticed the difference watching game film. “I think the biggest thing is just their aggressiveness and they just seem to be having fun,” Doba said. “They seem to be flying around the football.” Wazzu injury update Doba said told reporters Thursday leading receiverJason Hill was “doubtful’ with a thigh bruise. Hill missed last week’s game against Stanford, but still leads Wazzu with 28 catches, 528 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions. Also, Cougars 6-foot-8, 300-pound defensive tackle Ropati Pitoitua, whomissed training camp with a broken leg, returned to practice and could play 10 to 15 plays. last_img