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 won’t commit to starting Conor McDermott at left tackle

UCLA head coach Jim Mora wouldn’t commit to 6-foot-9 redshirt sophomore Conor McDermott making his second consecutive start at left tackle on Saturday.

With injuries and inexperience having limited him to 22 snaps entering last week’s surprise start, McDermott held up impressively for 89 plays in Saturday’s 36-34 win over Cal.

With McDermott’s start shifting former left tackle Malcolm Bunche to guard, an offensive line that allowed 24 sacks in the first six games gave up just one to Cal.

Mora, however, is still cautiously approaching his use of McDermott entering Saturday’s meeting with Colorado.

“Has he done enough to stay in the starting lineup? Yes,” Mora said. “Will he? We’ll see.”

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Schedule lines up to honor David Quessenberry’s battle with cancer

UCLA’s matchup with Colorado on Saturday couldn’t be better timed as far as Buffaloes coach Mike MacIntyre is concerned. It falls on the same weekend as San Jose State’s game at Navy, creating a confluence of the four teams with strong ties to Houston Texans second-year offensive lineman David Quessenberry.

Quessenberry, who was diagnosed with lymphoma over the summer, will be honored when all four teams wear stickers with his initials on their helmets, including Quessenberry’s two younger brothers.

UCLA starting right guard Scott Quessenberry and Navy defensive end Paul Quessenberry are just two of the people involved in the pair of games that have relationships with the 24-year-old David. MacIntyre, in his second season at Colorado, was the head coach at San Jose State when David Quessenberry arrived as a walk-on tight end before transforming into a 2013 sixth-round draft pick.

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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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