Weekly Q&A — 10/22/13 Answers

Q: Let’s say UCLA wins the South again: If we were to play UofO a second time, and they beat us and went undefeated, advancing to the National Championship game, would we automatically be selected to play in the Rose Bowl as the Pac-12 runner-up?

A: Not automatically, and not likely. First of all, UCLA must win nine games and be among the top 14 teams in the BCS rankings to qualify for an at-large selection. The Bruins would have at least three losses if it loses to Oregon twice, so staying that highly ranked would be difficult. Also, no more than two teams from the same conference can make it unless two non-champions somehow end up No. 1 and 2. UCLA would need two close losses to Oregon, and be a more attractive candidate than Stanford assuming both are at-large BCS qualifiers.

A top-12 team from the MAC, C-USA, Mountain West or Sun Belt would also automatically qualify and take up a BCS bowl slot. Fresno State (Mountain West) and Northern Illinois (MAC) are both undefeated and currently rank No. 17 and 18, respectively. Continue reading

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UCLA offensive line likely to start three true freshmen


With three days left until a visit from UCLA, No. 2 Oregon’s defense may already be salivating.

Two weeks ago, the No. 12 Bruins started two true freshmen on the offensive line for the first time in school history. This Wednesday, Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said true freshman Scott Quessenberry will likely join the mix at left guard.

Primarily a center, Quessenberry played some guard in fall camp, but was redshirting this season until the line’s recent rash of injuries. He has practiced there this week after the loss of left tackle Simon Goines, who injured his MCL in a 24-10 loss at Stanford. Protecting quarterback Brett Hundley’s blind side now falls to All-American Xavier Su’a-Filo, who shifts over from left guard. Continue reading

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LB Isaako Savaiinaea trying to shed ‘high school habits’


When linebacker Eric Kendricks left at halftime of UCLA’s 24-10 loss at Stanford, true freshman Isaako Savaiinaea moved up to first-string. Rated, the No. 1-ranked recruit out of Hawaii said he needed a series to fully acclimate himself to the game.

“I got into a lot of high school habits,” he said. “That’s what I’m working on this week, just fixing my technique. … Playing high. In high school, you could just throw linemen around.”

After notching five tackles, how much Savaiinaea plays at Oregon on Saturday remains to be seen. Kendricks’ tests for kidney damage turned up negative, and he is expected to play through bruising on the surrounding tissue. He participated fully in Wednesday’s practice, taking the red non-contact jersey he wore a day earlier.

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UCLA will appeal to stay in Jackie Robinson Stadium

UCLA baseball title celebration

The Bruins will fight to keep their home.

UCLA announced Tuesday that it will appeal a ruling that forces its baseball team out of Jackie Robinson Stadium. U.S. District judge S. James Otero ruled this August that the Department of Veterans Affairs had misused its West Los Angeles campus by leasing land to various tenants, including the Bruins’ national championship team.

The land was deeded in 1888 for providing a home for disabled veterans. By not using it to provide health care for veterans, Otero’s decision stated, Veterans Affairs is in violation of federal law. The ACLU sued VA in June 2011 on behalf of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries.

In addition to Jackie Robinson Stadium, parts of the 387-acre property are leased out to 10 other companies and businesses, including the Brentwood School, a hotel laundry and film studio storage lot. Continue reading

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Kyle Anderson named to Bob Cousy Award watch list

Under Steve Alford, UCLA point forward Kyle Anderson said his ballhandling duties have increased “90 percent.”

On Tuesday, he was named to the 46-man watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given each year to the top point guard in college basketball. Anderson averaged 9.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a freshman, and was the only Pac-12 player to rank top-10 in both the latter two categories. Continue reading

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Linebacker Eric Kendricks probable for Oregon

At least one of many ailing Bruins is expected to play against No. 2 Oregon this Saturday.

Inside linebacker Eric Kendricks — second in the conference with 9.33 tackles per game — will play against the Ducks, UCLA coach Jim Mora said Tuesday. The junior was taken to the hospital at halftime of the Bruins’ 24-10 loss at Stanford this past weekend, but was released after tests showed no sign of major injury.

Kendricks has bruising on either his kidney or the surrounding tissue, and started the week of practice in a non-contact red jersey.

“Eric Kendricks, it’s going to take a lot to keep that guy down,” Mora said. “He’s a friggin’ great player. He’s a tremendous competitor, heck of a leader. He’s got the spirit that you love on your team.” Continue reading

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At a glance: No. 12 UCLA at No. 2 Oregon

No. 12 UCLA (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) at No. 2 Oregon (7-0, 4-0)
Location:
Autzen Stadium, Oct. 26, 4 p.m.
TV: ESPN (Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: An already-fired Rick Neuheisel coached his final game, a spot in the 2011 Pac-12 Championship game that came by way of a USC postseason ban. UCLA lost 49-31 against No. 8 Oregon, as LaMichael James rushed for three scores — tying LenDale White with 52 career touchdowns.

He scored one more in a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, taking sole possession of second in conference history.

Key storylines: UCLA is trying to rebound after its first loss of the season, a 24-10 loss at Stanford in which its offense struggled as much as ever in the Jim Mora era. Continue reading

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Basketball notes: Bruins behind in defense, rebounding

– Steve Alford said UCLA has been doing a lot of work using 15- and 20-second shot clocks, and is ahead of where they should be on offense — albeit turning the ball over too often. However, the team is behind defensively, especially on the backboard.

“Our two best rebounders have probably been Kyle (Anderson) and Tony (Parker),” Alford said, adding that the team has been much better on the offensive glass.

The Bruins were last in the Pac-12 last year with a -1.6 rebounding margin.

– Five-star power forward Kevon Looney was on campus for the last of his five official visits. He will announce his decision on Oct. 31, with Duke being the favorite. Continue reading

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