The stories in today’s issue of the Los Angeles Daily News:
» My game story, on a dire running back situation paving the way for Myles Jack’s four-touchdown night, the most on the ground for UCLA since Maurice Jones-Drew.
» More on Myles Jack, from columnist Vinny Bonsignore.
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said weeknight games are part of the price of generating national exposure for the conference.
More game notes from UCLA’s 41-31 win over Washington, their eighth straight over the Huskies at the Rose Bowl.
– Your latest dose of Myles Jack hype, this time courtesy of Cassius Marsh and Devin Lucien:
The freshman is clearly the Bruins’ most valuable player right now. Without him on offense, they could very well be sitting at 6-4 rather than 8-2. Why doesn’t he play more at tailback?
“(Pass) protection,” head coach Jim Mora said. “It’s undervalued. All you see is a guy carrying the ball, and you have to know who to block. He’s not going to learn now. It’s too late in the process.”
Stanford coach David Shaw said something similar earlier this week, when explaining the need to keep playbooks simple for two-way players. Jack seems to be settling into a clear role a short-yardage back, which is a good way to balance his duties on both sides of the ball.
– Jack also drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for doing this, which is awesome yet sort of gross at the same time.
– You know who doesn’t think Myles Jack is all that? THIS GUY:
– Quarterback Keith Price injured his right shoulder late in the first half. X-rays were negative, but the senior will have an MRI on Saturday.
Redshirt freshman Cyler Miles showed promise as he was thrust into action, throwing for 149 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has size at 6-foot-4, 213 pounds, and showed glimpses of what made him the top-ranked recruit out of Colorado in 2012.
“He’s a really good athlete,” said UCLA defensive coordinator Lou Spanos. “You can see he has a good arm. Shoot, I know we’re going to play him in the years to come. He good composure. He did a nice job scrambling, making plays and then finding open field. He threw some nice balls.”
The Bruins’ defense adjusted late in the game, as safety Randall Goforth and linebacker Jordan Zumwalt snuffed two drives with interceptions in the last four minutes. Miles started 12-of-16 in relief, but finished 3-of-6.
“It was a little chess match,” Spanos said.
The front seven also notched four sacks, their highest single-game total of the season. Washington entered Friday tied as the Pac-12′s second-worst team with 28 sacks allowed.
– Damore’ea Stringfellow absolutely smoked the UCLA secondary, which had been at least decent in almost every game this season. Before Friday, he had just three catches on the season for 20 yards.
This was a breakout. The true freshman from Moreno Valley, Calif., had 147 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. Only two other receivers hit triple digits against the Bruins this season: Stanford’s Devon Cajuste (109) and Utah’s Dres Anderson (106).
“I think he has a chance to be a star for us,” coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He’s a big-time weapon and you can see how good he can be in one-on-one settings.”
A penalty on Washington left guard Dexter Charles erased what would have been a second touchdown.
– UCLA did well against running back Bishop Sankey, holding the Doak Walker semifinalist to 91 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries (3.4 yards on average). The junior’s longest run went for just nine yards. He leads the country with 17 runs of at least 20 yards, and has two 50-yard runs.
“We tried to make it a passing game,” Spanos said. “We applied pressure and hit a couple of balls. All around, it was good by all 11 players.”
– Senior running back Malcolm Jones had a career-high 61 yards on nine carries before leaving the game after a hit to the head. Mora said his status was improved afterward, but judging from the way he wobbled on the field, the former Gatorade National Player of the Year could be done.
– Starting running back Jordon James suited up, but did not play. He should be ready to practice in full this coming week. Right tackle Caleb Benenoch took a hit to either his shoulder or his neck. Receiver Devin Fuller was also injured.