UCLA football will face Kansas State in Cactus Bowl

UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen passes against the USC Trojans during the second half of an NCAA college football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. USC Trojans won 28-23. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

UCLA was selected to play in the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State on Dec. 26 in Chase Field in Phoenix at 6 p.m. PT.

The Bruins (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12) inched into a bowl with a 30-27 win over Cal in their regular season finale to earn their fifth bowl game in six years, missing one last year for the first time during the Jim Mora era.

UCLA has never played in the Cactus Bowl.

More on UCLA’s bowl game.

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UCLA loses last OL commit Trey Stratford to Stanford

UCLA seemingly wrapped up its offensive line recruiting class by July. Now, the Bruins are without a single offensive line commit for the 2018 group after three-star prospect Trey Stratford flipped to Stanford on Sunday.

Stratford committed to UCLA on June 24 as UCLA’s fifth offensive lineman for this class. The group started to fall apart in November though as junior college transfer Jason Dickson and Northern California product Blake McDonald backed out when whispers of Jim Mora‘s job security started to pick up after UCLA lost to Washington. Chris Bleich flipped to Florida last week, citing coaching uncertainty, then Stratford announced his pledge to Stanford.

The Bruins also recruited Corvallis, Ore., prospect Marco Brewer, but the three-star recruit was charged with rape during the summer and didn’t play high-school football as a senior.

Stratford seemingly doubled-down on his UCLA commitment only a few days ago in a now-deleted tweet that said he was planning to sign on Dec. 20 during the early signing period and was excited to play for “his future coach” Hank Fraley. Chip Kelly‘s new coaching staff is not yet set, but there have been indications that the new head coach is expected to retain several of Mora’s former assistants.

With less than three weeks before the signing period, UCLA’s recruiting class is in major flux. The Bruins have also lost running back AJ Carter, a three-star prospect from Louisiana. Carter said told the Shreveport Times he has backed off his UCLA pledge and is now looking for an offense that suits his skill set more.

Four-star safety Cam’ron Jones also seems to be exploring his options. The Texas native recently received an offer from Mississippi.

Despite many changes around him, cornerback Stephan Blaylock told the Long Beach Press-Telegram he is still with the Bruins.

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Chip Kelly starts building coaching staff with familiar faces

Philadelphia Eagles defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro is seen during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Chip Kelly is relying on some former assistants to fill out his coaching staff at UCLA.

Kelly is expected to hire Cal defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro for UCLA’s defensive coordinator spot and add former Oregon assistant Don Pellum to the staff in some capacity, according to sources.

Both coached with Kelly at Oregon, with Azzinaro following Kelly through both of his stops in the NFL.

More on how Kelly is building his coaching staff.

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More possible bowl situations for UCLA

UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) along with teammates safety Adarius Pickett (6), Mossi Johnson (21) and Scott Quessenberry (52) prior to a NCAA college football game against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

UCLA will find out its ultimate bowl fate Sunday.

With the Bruins tied for seventh in the Pac-12 with Oregon, it seems the most likely situation ends with the Ducks going to Phoenix for the Cactus Bowl and the Bruins heading off for an unaffiliated game. A possible destination for that game is Dallas, where the Bruins may play in the Heart of Dallas bowl on Dec. 26. The Heart of Dallas Bowl also has a recent history with the Pac-12 as it hosted Washington in 2015.

Here’s more on what looks like the most likely situation for UCLA’s bowl game.

But if you like to get creative, here’s what to look for this weekend:  Continue reading “More possible bowl situations for UCLA” »

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Josh Woods named to Pac-12’s all-academic second team

Oregon quarterback Braxton Burmeister, left, breaks a tackle by UCLA linebacker Josh Woods during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

UCLA linebacker Josh Woods was named second-team all-academic by the Pac-12 on Thursday.

The junior from Upland High has a 3.33 GPA while majoring in sociology. To be eligible for the conference’s all-academic teams, a player has to have a minimum 3.0 GPA while appearing in at least 50 percent of his team’s games. Injuries and illness do not count against the game appearance criteria.

Woods had 30 tackles in seven games with 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury against Oregon.

Offensive lineman Michael Alves, long snapper Johnny Den Bleyker, fullback Giovanni Gentosi, receiver Theo Howard, cornerback Nate Meadors, defensive lineman Marcus Moore, receiver Christian Pabico, quarterback Josh Rosen, tight end Jordan Wilson and linebacker Kenny Young were named honorable mention all-academic.

A full list of the conference’s all-academic teams

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