Eric Kendricks, Damien Thigpen recovering well

— UCLA coach Jim Mora said both linebacker Eric Kendricks and running back Damien Thigpen were doing well health-wise following the team’s 31-26 win at Arizona.

Kendricks returned from a one-game absence, playing through a shoulder sprain and a back bruise to lead the team with 13 tackles.

“He wasn’t ultra effective like he typically is, but he’s a lot better for having gone through the game,” Mora said.

Thigpen was sore after the game and wore a boot for precautionary reasons, but Mora expected him to be OK. The short week makes it a little tougher for him to recover in time for Washington, though.

— Mora said the team will have to adjust for some recovery time when it hits the practice field again Monday to account for the short week. They should get back into into typical game-prep routine by Wednesday.

— He also talked about his decision to accept a holding penalty early in the fourth quarter, when UCLA had a 24-13 lead. Had Mora declined, the Wildcats would have faced a fourth-and-2 at around their own 42-yard line.

“Knowing Rich Rod’s history, which I do know, there’s a pretty good chance he would go for it,” Mora said.

He admitted that he has second-guessed that choice since. Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker ended that drive with a touchdown pass to Nate Phillips, but couldn’t convert for two points.

— UCLA’s six-spot jump to No. 13 in the BCS rankings was the largest of any team in the country. The Bruins are also ranked 13th in the AP poll — which does not factor into the rankings — and 15th in the USA Today coaches poll, which does.

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  • SantaluzMan

    Anybody have an idea why Malcolm Jones was persona non grata on the field Saturday?

    • EncinitasBruin

      Big mystery this season. Especially when he’s averaging 4.5 YPC, second-best among the running backs (James at 5.9). Bigger question: When will James be back 100%?

  • LTEfan

    So the only 2 healthy running backs at this point are Perkins and Jones? Everyone else seems to have an ankle injury.