UCLA still waiting to name a starting quarterback

UCLA head coach Jim Mora speaks to reporters during NCAA college Pac-12 Football Media Days, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Burbank, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

UCLA head coach Jim Mora speaks to reporters during NCAA college Pac-12 Football Media Days, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Burbank, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

At this point, just about everyone is tired of asking questions about UCLA’s starting quarterback. And rest assured, Jim Mora is tired of fielding those questions.

So when Mora accidentally let slip that Virginia would be blitzing a guy who has “never taken a snap” — well, reporters latched onto that like piranhas. Of the Bruins’ three quarterbacks, only five-star recruit Josh Rosen has never stepped on the field in a college game.

The UCLA head coach insisted afterward that it was simply an honest faux pas — that he’d meant to say a quarterback who has “never started a game.” As always, he insisted that the competition between Rosen, returning backup Jerry Neuheisel, and former walk-on Mike Fafaul (now on scholarship) is still alive.

“What I am after is competition,” Mora said. “Competition brings out the best in everybody. It’s trying to balance wanting that great competition, and wanting to have that synergy that’s so important on offense. That’s where it gets a little tricky. Hopefully we do a good job of that.”

“I would like to decide sooner rather than later,” he added later, “but I can’t force it to happen.” Continue reading

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UCLA plans to redshirt offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry

UCLA is planning to redshirt offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry, who underwent surgeries on both shoulders this offseason.

Quessenberry had started 19 games through his freshman and sophomore seasons, playing guard in all but one of those appearances. Head coach Jim Mora said he was unsure whether or not the former three-star recruit will switch to center when he returns in 2016. Quessenberry started the 2014 season opener against Virginia at center in place of Jake Brendel, who is now a redshirt senior.

Even without Quessenberry, the Bruins return plenty of game experience in the trenches, including Brendel and his 39 career starts. Five other linemen have combined for 73 starts.

Offensive tackles Caleb Benenoch and Simon Goines were also limited by injuries in spring, but project to be ready for at least part of preseason camp at Cal State San Bernardino. Linebacker Kenny Orjioke and running back Steve Manfro are also on track to be healthy this season.

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USC picked to win the Pac-12 in 2015 media poll

USC is the favorite to win its first conference title since 2008.

The Trojans were chosen to win the Pac-12 in 2015, receiving 21 votes in the media poll released on Thursday morning. Oregon, the national runner-up last season, came in second with 17 votes.

Those two teams were the overwhelming favorites in their respective divisions. Oregon had 37 votes to win the Pac-12 North, while Stanford finished second with eight. USC’s 32 votes to win the Pac-12 South dwarfed Arizona State’s seven and UCLA’s six.

Here’s the full poll: Continue reading

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