Anthony Barr will need to clear off extra shelf space in a few months. Arguably the Pac-12′s best player, the UCLA linebacker is a near-lock for multiple individual awards this season.
His latest mention comes as a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football. Through seven games, Barr has 13 tackles for loss (sixth in the nation) and four forced fumbles (second). His six sacks rank third in the Pac-12.
You can see all 16 semifinalists after the jump, a list that curiously does not include South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Continue reading →
Wrecked by injuries, UCLA started three true freshmen on its offensive line in a 42-14 loss at Oregon.
Reinforcements are working back. Sophomore Simon Goines (knee) and Conor McDermott (shoulder) both practiced Tuesday, albeit without pads. Goines, who started at right tackle before moving to left, was still limping and had his right knee wrapped.
(Starting left tackle Torian White’s season ended on Oct. 3 when he broke a bone and tore a ligament near his ankle.)
“They develop a sense of urgency to get back,” head coach Jim Mora said. “I feel that with a lot of guys. You look at our injury report and it’s pretty vast. You see a bunch of guys that want to get back out here and do whatever they can, whatever they can.”
Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who played through a back bruise with the help of an anesthetic shot on Saturday, was at practice without pads. Continue reading →
Scott Quessenberry became the 18th true freshman to play for UCLA this season, starting at left guard to fill out a battered offensive line. He performed well in a 42-14 loss at Oregon, especially considering his experience: also the Bruins’ backup center, Quessenberry played tackle in high school too before working at guard in fall camp.
“The team needed me this weekend,” he said. “If the team needs me, I’ll be there to step up. If my name’s called, I’ll be right there. It doesn’t much matter. Was supposed to redshirt, it’s gone now. Doesn’t really matter.”
Freshman Kenny Clark earned his first start at nose tackle in Saturday’s 42-14 loss at No. 2 Oregon, beating out senior Seali’i Epenesa. Head coach Jim Mora wasn’t sure if the change would be permanent, but Clark’s move up the depth chart hasn’t resulted in a big uptick in reps yet.
“We ran a lot of different packages this game,” Clark said. “I think I got the same amount of snaps I got any other game. I think this (upcoming) game we’ll probably be running more of our base packages, and I’ll probably be playing a lot more.”
– You can also read more about Clark’s wrestling background here.
UCLA forward Travis Wear was hospitalized this afternoon due to appendicitis. The 6-foot-10, 230-pound senior did not practice Monday. He is currently treated at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and his timetable is uncertain.
Wear was the Bruins’ third-leading scorer last season, averaging 10.9 points in 32 games, starting all but one. He also averaged 5.2 rebounds.
The team, entering its first season under Steve Alford, has an exhibition against Cal State San Bernardino on Wednesday. The season officially opens against Drexel on Nov. 8.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota earned himself a bit of additional respect on Saturday. After taking some big hits from UCLA linebackers in Oregon’s 42-14 win Saturday, his demeanor impressed even Anthony Barr.
“I think people don’t give him enough credit for his toughness and his competitiveness,” the Bruins’ All-American said. Continue reading →
After whiffing on several point guards and losing former four-star commitment Trevon Bluiett, UCLA finally has one name on its 2014 recruiting board. The newest Bruin is 6-foot-10 forward Gyorgy Goloman, a Hungarian native who will make his United States high school debut this season in Florida. Scout.com first reported the news.
Goloman has a three-star rating on Scout.com, but is not rated on Rivals.com. He had offers from New Mexico, Richmond and Davidson.
Quarterback Brett Hundley didn’t go into great detail on what went wrong in his 64-yard passing performance Saturday, mostly framing the 42-14 loss at Oregon as a learning experience.
“There’s always those stepping stones that you’ve got to cross over,” he said. “That you’ve got to cross over to really become great at any position. These are games that I really believe I can learn from, and hold dear to.”
Hundley said the hit he took at Utah early this month hasn’t had a lingering effect on him either physically or mentally. The quarterback’s vision went blurry after his head hit the turf at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Asked about offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone’s contracting playbook, he stuck to script and said the Bruins just need to execute what’s called.
– The notebook in today’s Daily News covers Hundley’s possible decline in confidence, as well as injuries (Eric Kendricks, Ellis McCarthy, etc.) and some changes in defensive starters.
A 42-14 loss at Oregon knocked UCLA down five spots in the latest Associated Press poll, the Bruins settling in at No. 17. (They fell to No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll.) The Ducks stayed at No. 2 and held on to three of 60 first-place votes.
Stanford is one spot out of the top five after a gritty 20-12 win at Oregon State. Arizona State rejoined the rankings following its bye week.
For a half, UCLA looked like it had a chance to upset Oregon. Then, reality set in as the Ducks unleashed 28 unanswered points, running away with a 42-14 win. A few thoughts from the Bruins’ trip to Autzen Stadium.
1. UCLA isn’t there yet. Everyone knew before the start of the season that the back-to-back Stanford-Oregon ringer would test the Bruins’ mettle. They didn’t exactly rise to the occasion. Jim Mora put it best with an expressive outburst after the loss: Continue reading →