UCLA links: Bruins likely short-handed at linebacker

Hawaii wide receiver Kalakaua Timoteo, center, drops the ball and gets leveled by UCLA linebacker Josh Woods, left, and hit from behind by defensive back Mossi Johnson (21) at the goal line, Woods was penalized for targeting and ejected, during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. UCLA won 56-23. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

The Pac-12 issued a statement Monday evening acknowledging the officiating error that left a crushing hit on Kenny Young unpenalized, but UCLA head coach Jim Mora said the public comment from the conference did little to rectify the error as one of the biggest leaders on the UCLA defense is working through the concussion protocol before the team’s game against Memphis on Saturday at 9 a.m.

“It was clear, it was concise, it was beyond reproach that it was a violent, flagrant target and for some reason the process failed,” Mora said of a blindside block that knocked Young out of the game in the first quarter.

Young’s status is uncertain as he works through concussion protocol, but fellow linebacker Josh Woods will surely be out for the first half against Memphis for the targeting call that he drew in the fourth quarter against Hawaii. Mora said there is no appeal process for rescinding the suspension.

More on the two controversial calls that could leave the Bruins without two of their starting linebackers. 

UCLA doesn’t officially discuss injuries during the season, so when it comes to the statuses of other players, here’s what we know and can speculate:

  • DT Boss Tagaloa watched last Saturday’s game from the stands. He did not play very much in the second half against Texas A&M the prior week, and Chigozie Nnoruka said he knew early on in the prep for Hawaii that Tagaloa was going to be out, so the sophomore starter likely picked up a injury against the Aggies.
  • S Adarius Pickett looked to sustain a non-contact right knee injury early in the second half against Hawaii. Darnay Holmes tackled a receiver near the sideline and Pickett jumped over the pile to avoid any late hits, however, he landed awkwardly on his right leg and immediately grabbed at his knee. Non-contact knee injuries are never a good sight.
  • Young and S Jaleel Wadood both suffered head injuries. They’ve been entered into the concussion protocol, according to Mora on Monday. UCLA typically treats head injuries with extreme caution, so I would think that the team will be patient for those players.
    • Mora added that both players were able to make their ways off the field and recovered their senses quickly.
  • RB Soso Jamabo watched last Saturday’s game from the sideline in sweats. He had a few problems with his back during training camp and that could have flared up again.
  • I did not catch WR Jordan Lasley on the sideline at all Saturday, so his absence was likely not due to injury and is something concerning off-the-field problems.