Video: Jim Mora, Conor McDermott, Scott Quessenberry, Kenny Young

Head coach Jim Mora talks about the injury situation, Mique Juarez (spoiler: no update) and Conor McDermott.


Left tackle Conor McDermott talks about facing Myles Garrett, how his extra time before college helped him and working with Nate Iese.


Center Scott Quessenberry talks about getting ready for Texas A&M’s defensive front and preparing for the Kyle Field crowd.


Linebacker Kenny Young talks about Texas A&M, his recruiting history with the school and Noel Mazzone.

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First look: UCLA vs. Texas A&M

UCLA's quarterback Josh Rosen runs a play during practice at the UCLA Intramural Fields in Los Angeles CA on Monday, August 8, 2016. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register)

UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen runs a play during practice at the UCLA Intramural Fields in Los Angeles CA on Monday, August 8, 2016. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register)

No. 16/24 UCLA Bruins (8-5 in 2015) vs. Texas A&M (8-5)
Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 3, 12:30 p.m. PT, Kyle Field (College Station, Texas)
TV: CBS (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce)
Radio: AM 570

Scouting report: Like UCLA, the Aggies struggled against the run last year. Texas A&M was ranked 107th in the country in run defense. With a new quarterback and offensive coordinator, the Aggies are trying to move on from a last year’s disappointment and this offseason’s dysfunction. … Texas A&M has a talented group of receivers as it returns all three starters: senior Josh Reynolds, junior Rickey Seals-Jones and sophomore Christian Kirk. The trio combined for 176 catches, 2,476 yards and 16 touchdowns. … The defensive line has a pair of dynamic defensive ends in Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. Together, they had 19.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss last year.

Series history: The two teams have split their four all-time meetings 2-2. They haven’t met since 1998, a New Year’s Day meeting in the Cotton Bowl that UCLA won 29-23. UCLA has never played the Aggies in College Station (or even at the Rose Bowl). When the teams played in 1940, 1951 and 1955, they played at the Coliseum. Continue reading

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UCLA links: Kennedy Polamalu puts his players first

UCLA running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu is close to being promoted to offensive coordinator. (Brad Graverson/Staff)

UCLA offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu (Brad Graverson/Staff)

If you ask UCLA players about offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu, the first thing many will comment on is his energy. His energy makes his players gravitate toward him. It makes them want to play for him. Perform well for him.

In remaking UCLA’s offense this year, Polamalu had a simple priority in mind and it had nothing to do with whether he wanted it to be called pro-style or not. It was just about his players.

“I love these kids,” Polamalu said. “I don’t want to let them down.”

READ MORE FROM MY FEATURE ON POLAMALU

Other links:

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By the numbers countdown to kickoff: 5 days

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.

10 receiving touchdowns by Thomas Duarte last year, which led the team
9 returning starters on defense
8th in the Pac-12 in rushing defense last year
7 second-half turnovers for Josh Rosen last year
6 different starting combinations on the offensive line in 2015

5 STRAIGHT LOSSES TO STANFORD UNDER JIM MORA

For another season, we ask: Is this the year the Bruins vanquish the Cardinal?

Under head coach Jim Mora, UCLA has never beaten Stanford. It’s five straight losses in four years.

The Bruins are so committed to the cause that they’ve shaped themselves to specifically beat Stanford. They pledged to get bigger to stop the run. The focus on power running was geared to help the offense control the clock and help the defense get used to facing such a bruising scheme.

“It’s time to beat Stanford this year, so I’m glad we’re making the changes we’re making,” linebacker Kenny Young said. “It’s going to help us a lot.”

UCLA’s struggles against the Cardinal even predate Mora. The Bruins haven’t beaten Stanford since 2008. The eight-game losing streak is the longest losing streak UCLA has against any one conference opponent at any time. The next such streak was a seven-game slide against USC from 1999-2005. The final two USC wins of that streak were later vacated.

With Kevin Hogan gone, the door is ajar for another team to snatch the top spot in the conference, although the Cardinal were still voted the media favorites to win the league. They do after all still have Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 243 yards against the Bruins last year.

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By the numbers countdown to kickoff: 6 days

Conor McDermott and Josh Rosen celebrate his touchdown late in the fourth quarter in their game against Washington State Saturday. (BILL ALKOFER, OC REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Conor McDermott and Josh Rosen celebrate his touchdown late in the fourth quarter in their game against Washington State Saturday. (BILL ALKOFER, OC REGISTER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Countdown the days to UCLA’s season-opener against Texas A&M with key stats facing the Bruins this year.

10 receiving touchdowns scored by Thomas Duarte last year, which led the team
9 returning starters on defense
8th in the Pac-12 in rushing defense last year
7 second-half turnovers for Josh Rosen last year

6 DIFFERENT STARTING COMBINATIONS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE IN 2015

The Bruins were hopeful about their depth on the offensive line heading into last season, but by season’s end, things looked dim.

Injuries made for a rotating cast of characters on the offense line and six different starting combinations in 2015.

By the Foster Farms Bowl, the Bruins were so thin on the line that they leaned on a walk-on, Cristian Garcia, and a former defensive lineman, Najee Toran, for support. Garcia got the start at left guard during the bowl game

“We make it work,” offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said. “This is why we have guys who can play multiple positions. Just plug guys in and keep it moving.” Continue reading

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