About Clay Fowler

Clay Fowler is a Dallas native, graduated from the University of Texas and worked in Central Texas for two years before joining the Daily Bulletin staff in 2006.

Mora planning strategic introduction to AT&T Stadium

Jim Mora saw enough of AT&T Stadium during his time coaching in the NFL to prompt a strategic introduction of the $1.15 billion facility to his players.

Mora plans to lead the Bruins on a thorough tour of the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium on Friday in an effort to limit it as a source of distraction on Saturday.

“It’s a pretty awe-inspiring place,” Mora said. “We’re going to try and get all the giddiness out of our system. You know, look at the scoreboard and go ‘Ooh, ahh, that’s cool.’ We’re going to walk through the bar, walk around the concourses and kind of take it all in so when we arrive there on Saturday, OK, we’ve done that.”

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Goodman, Wadood probable replacements for Goforth

Asked about the UCLA defense’s surprising allowances to Memphis, head coach Jim Mora mentioned only one player by name during his halftime interview, lamenting the loss of safety Randall Goforth to a separated shoulder in the first half. The Bruins are preparing to play Texas on Saturday without the junior, whose injured right shoulder is such that Mora has all but declared him out.

“We’re leaning towards doubtful and teetering on out,” Mora said after Thursday’s practice. “We’re still waiting on a little information, but I think he’s very doubtful.”

Sophomore Tahaan Goodman is expected to start in place of Goforth, whose 78 tackles ranked fourth on the team last season. Goodman, a four-star recruit who saw some time in the secondary as a freshman last season, replaced Goforth in the second half against Memphis. Also expected to see action is Jaleel Wadood, a true freshman out of St. John Bosco High School ranked the No. 7 cornerback in the country by rivals.com.

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UCLA offense comes through, defense does just enough in 42-35 win over Memphis

Call it versatility. Or confusion.

UCLA would probably prefer to just call it winning.

Two weeks into the season, the No. 11 Bruins are undefeated thanks to a 42-35 win over the Memphis Tigers Saturday night at the Rose Bowl. They couldn’t have achieved their two victories in more opposite fashion.

After the offense produced one touchdown a week ago against Virginia, quarterback Brett Hundley and company found the end zone six times while piling up 540 yards.

The UCLA defense that scored three touchdowns in one game for the first time in 28 years last week gave up 463 yards to Memphis, just 82 fewer than Tigers’ Week 1 opponent Austin Peay of the FCS. Continue reading

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Freshman QB Aaron Sharp makes first appearance after rules violation

UCLA true freshman quarterback Aaron Sharp made his first appearance in Southern California on Tuesday. The three-star recruit from Humble, Texas was expected to remain home until Aug. 31 due to rules violations, but jogged onto the sideline an hour and a half after practice began on Tuesday.

The 6-3, 190-pound dual-threat quarterback, who was originally committed to Kansas State before flipping to the Bruins in January, flew in from Houston but not in time to participate in any drills Tuesday.

Fellow freshmen Jordan Lasley and Dwight Williams debuted on Monday night.

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Left tackle Malcolm Bunche giddy about protecting Brett Hundley’s blind side

Transfer offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche gushed on Tuesday about being chosen to man the most important position on the offensive line in front of Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley.

The graduate student who transferred from Miami (Fla.) in time for spring practice has played every position on the offensive line during his college career and is projected to start at left tackle in UCLA’s season opener.

“It’s a tremendous honor playing the blind side for one of the most explosive quarterbacks in college football,” Bunche said. “I just got to keep grinding, working hard on the position and protect my man Brett.” Continue reading

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Center Jake Brendel sprains MCL; injury deemed not serious by Mora

The prognosis for UCLA starting center Jake Brendel’s knee injury is positive. The third-year starter strained his MCL late in Monday’s practice, but head coach Jim Mora estimated it will only keep him out a few days.

If Brendel is to meet that timeline, he appears to have some quick healing to do.

He was in attendance on Tuesday wearing a bulky brace on his left knee. He walked with a severe limp and was able to only slightly bend the knee.

“He’s not OK, but he’s going to be,” Mora said. “He’ll be out a few days. It’s an MCL. It’s pretty moderate. There’s a lot of guys that are out… but it’s really just the customary bumps and bruises you get 10 days into training camp. We’re relatively healthy.”

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Devin Lucien taken to hospital after suffering head injury during practice

Receiver Devin Lucien makes a catch during UCLA training camp at Cal State San Bernardino. Tuesday, August 5, 2014. (John Valenzuela/ Daily Bulletin)

Receiver Devin Lucien makes a catch during UCLA training camp at Cal State San Bernardino. Tuesday, August 5, 2014. (John Valenzuela/ Daily Bulletin)

Injury concerns for a banged up UCLA football team turned more serious on Tuesday. Wide receiver Devin Lucien suffered a head injury worrisome enough that an ambulance was called to transport the redshirt junior to the hospital in the midst of practice at Cal State San Bernardino.

Arguably the best wideout for the Bruins 10 practices into training camp, Lucien was injured when he hit his helmet on the ground after making a diving catch. He left the field under his own power, eventually making his way to the trainer’s tent.

After he was treated for 15 minutes by UCLA team doctor John DiFiori, a head injury specialist, the San Bernardino County Fire Department and paramedics arrived. Lucien was then immobilized on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.

“I think anytime something like that happens and you seen an ambulance come on to the field of play, it’s tough,” UCLA coach Jim Mora said. Continue reading

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Alford says Anderson, Adams can compensate for lack of athleticism

Of the UCLA trio selected in first round of Thursday’s NBA draft, one was chosen based almost solely on athletic ability. The other two, not so much.

Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams may have to combine their test results to equal Zach LaVine’s 46-inch vertical, but UCLA coach Steve Alford isn’t worried about the criticism of his two sophomores’ athleticism. The 22nd and 30th picks of the draft may be diving into the deep end of the talent pool next season, but Alford is confident they’re in particularly good shape for the NBA above the shoulders.

“I think athleticism is way overrated for the most part,” Alford said. “You can either play or you can’t play and Jordan really understands how to play. You could give me the most athletic guy that we’ve played against collegiately this year and Jordan probably outplayed him because of being smarter and being tougher.”

To the credit of Adams, chosen 22nd by the Memphis Grizzlies, the 6-foot-5 guard was more than just a scorer at UCLA. He set a school record with 95 steals last season, an impressive statistic for someone projected as a potential defensive liability in the NBA.

Alford echoed some of his sentiments about Adams when referencing Anderson, who was selected 30th by the San Antonio Spurs. The third college basketball player in the last 30 years to average at least 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a season, the 6-foot-9 Anderson made a compelling case for Alford’s argument that he is a truly unique player with more than athleticism to lean on at the next level.

“As good a basketball IQ as I’ve coached,” Alford said of Anderson. “Sometimes a lot of people get wrapped up in athleticism and being able to jump over the backboard but do you know how to play the game?”

“I told him (Friday) morning, you don’t change who you are but you’ve got to take advantage of going to a franchise, an organization that really gets it from the bottom all the way to the top. So listen. Listen to people. You’ve always been coachable. Make sure you stay that way.”

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