Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 11/12/11
Cassius Marsh has had some time to reflect. Two weeks time to be exact. While his teammates have been in the midst of a season high two-game win streak, the Bruins sophomore defensive tackle had to watch from the sidelines. The result of a suspension handed down from the Pac-12 for his involvement in an on-field melee in the Bruins' loss at Arizona last month. "I definitely did learn from that situation and it was a mistake that I made. Whatever my reason for it was, that doesn't matter, it was a mistake and it was stupid and I got punished accordingly," said Marsh. "I think everybody has a little time for some introspection when you have that kind of time off. Cassius understood that what he did was incorrect. He thought he was doing it for the right reasons but the actions merited a suspension," said head coach Rick Neuheisel. "The key is now that he figure out how to respond and I'm fully confident that he will." Marsh will be able to return to game action later today when UCLA (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12 South) visits Utah (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12 South)at 3:30pm on Prime Ticket. It's safe to say Marsh is passionate. About his teammates, about football, about playing the game. Marsh has found, often times, that passion to be a gift and a curse. The gift. That same passion drives him in the trenches. It made him one of the top defensive linemen in his class coming out of Oaks Christian High School in 2010. It has him as a constant in the Bruins starting lineup throughout the course of his first two seasons. The curse. That same passion doesn't always stop when the whistle blows. It's caused him to get into multiple scuffles during practice. His punishment from the Arizona incident was the most severe of anyone involved, primarily because he went well beyond what anyone else did to rush to the aid of a teammate. Depending on how you look at it, he's incredibly selfish or extremely noble. "I do have an intensity issue but it's a part of me and I embrace it. I can control it a little better sometimes but people make mistakes, "said Marsh. With the latest misstep behind him, it's now time to return to business on the field. Marsh will likely be available but not start for the Bruins against Utah. When he sees the field will be a coaches decision. Who knows when it will be when you consider all of the surprises that have taken place on the defensive side of late. Since Marsh's suspension, defensive end Datone Jones has flirted with defensive tackle and wider receiver Randall Carroll has found a new home at cornerback for the time being. It's a defense that, save for the four interceptions against Cal, that hasn't don't anything spectacular but has done just enough to get by. "We're just trying to find a way to win," said defensive coordinator Joe Tresey. Still that's more than could be said about the defense during stretches earlier in the season. By doing so, it's a defense Marsh almost barely recognizes. It's understandable. The last time Marsh took the field, the defense had surrendered 42 first half points to Arizona on their way to a 48-12 loss. It was the moist points Arizona had ever scored in one half of a Pac-1012 game and UCLA's season seemed to be hanging in the balance. When he takes the field with his team today, it'll be on a team that is first in the Pac-12 South. "I feel like a lot of guys have a little bit more swag out there," said Marsh. "It's great to see players step into roles and become playmakers for the team." Marsh is now ready to play his part.
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