UCLA defensive coaches worked into Wednesday night and Thursday morning, subtracting from the game plan they will use against Tennessee because free safety Shaun Williams has been subtracted from the lineup.
Williams, who suffered a sprained ankle in a punt-protection drill Wednesday, is out for the Tennessee game and there is doubt about his ability to play against Texas a week later.
Coaches have pushed Glenn Thompkins into the starting lineup at free safety and moved backup roverback Wasswa Serwanga into a backup free safety role for Saturday. They also have taken a look at freshman Marques Anderson at cornerback for the situations in which they are expected to need an extra defensive back against Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning.
For the second day, Coach Bob Toledo talked to the assembled squad about life without Williams, the Bruins' best defensive player. And Toledo plans to talk more tonight.
"They've got a lot of pride, and they respect Tennessee," Toledo said. "They usually play better against teams they respect."
Other changes for Saturday's game are in the offensive line. Temperatures expected in the high 90s at the Rose Bowl will necessitate the Bruins playing more linemen than the six who got time at Washington State.
Chad Sauter has been moved back into his starting spot at left guard, replacing Sean Gully, who struggled at Pullman. Gully will back up Andy Meyers at right guard, and freshman Brian Polak will back up Sauter at left guard.
Tackle Dan Cotti, who did not play at Washington State, will get time at both tackle spots Saturday in an effort to keep Kris Faris and Chad Overhauser fresh.
Los Angeles schools have been given 18,000 tickets for Saturday's game to reward top students. . . . UCLA has won three consecutive home openers, one of them over Tennessee, 25-23, in 1994.