Isaako Savaiinaea ready for larger role in Sun Bowl

With inside linebacker Eric Kendricks sidelined following ankle surgery, UCLA will rely instead on true freshman Isaako Savaiinaea.

Replacing the team’s leading tackler won’t be easy, but Savaiinaea has some experience trying to fill the void. After playing nearly an entire half at Stanford on Oct. 19 after Kendricks left with injury, the Hawaii native got his first career start two weeks later in a win over Colorado. He had six solo tackles.

“It was night and day,” Savaiinaea said of the two outings. “There was a big difference (in) … my patience and my feet. I had a little happy feet at Stanford. Just calming that down. Technique. That was the main thing.”

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