Anthony Barr wins Lott IMPACT Trophy

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr won the Lott IMPACT Trophy today, his first major national honor this season. The award identifies the best defensive player in college football, but also weighs personal character. The other finalists were USC’s Devon Kennard, Wisconsin’s Chris Borland and Iowa’s James Morris.

Barr is also a finalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik Awards — given to the top lineman on either side of the ball and the top defensive player, respectively. The senior lost the Butkus Award for best linebacker to Alabama’s C.J. Mosley.

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Myles Jack doubles up on Pac-12 freshman of the year awards

Talk about versatility. Today, UCLA’s Myles Jack was named both Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman Player of the Year — becoming the first to take both since the awards were introduced in 2008.

The linebacker/running back earned a starting spot on defense by the Bruins’ second game, and finished the season tied for fourth on the team with 70 tackles. His 10 pass breakups ranked second in the Pac-12, and first nationally among linebackers. Continue reading

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Notes and quotes: UCLA claims L.A. with 35-14 win

A roundup of the coverage in Sunday’s edition of the L.A. Daily News:
– UCLA’s 35-14 win over the Trojans gave the team rightful claim to the city, at least for another year.
– Brett Hundley had his way with USC’s defense. Will he come back to do so again?
– The Bruins’ defense held the Trojans to 314 yards, the lowest output of any UCLA opponent this season.
– The loss takes pressure off USC athletic director Pat Haden to hire interim coach Ed Orgeron.
– Columnist Tom Hoffarth shares the story of his old USC jacket, a gift long lost.

Some thoughts from the victory:

– Might as well start with some quick “we run L.A.” quotes …

– Jim Mora is clearly moving UCLA along the right path. Continue reading

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Jim Mora talks injuries, offensive line and weight goals


– Running back Jordon James (ankle) and left tackle Simon Goines (knee) likely won’t play on Saturday at Arizona. Reserve running back Steve Manfro (ankle) is also not yet healthy enough to return.

Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel had surgery on his right thumb, and has had his hand wrapped all week. He will still be able to hold kicks, but not pass. Walk-on Mike Fafaul will likely sub in if Brett Hundley gets injured. Continue reading

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Anthony Barr surprised Buffs quarterback pushed him

For the first time in his defensive career, UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr went a full game without recording a tackle for loss.

He still made sure Colorado remembered him. In the fourth quarter of the Bruin’s 45-23 win over the Buffs, the All-American crushed true freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau at around midfield, drawing a 14-yard penalty for roughing the passer.

After popping back up, Liufau got in Barr’s face and shoved him back, just one of several chippy moments between the Bruins and the Buffs.

However, Liufau is listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. Barr is listed at 6-foot-4, 245 — and said during the summer that he was up to 255. On the next play, the latter hit the former again, this time incurring a 15-yard penalty.

Asked how many quarterbacks had ever pushed him before, Barr said: “Not many. Not many. That was also a first.”

What words did they exchange? “Nothing nice.” Continue reading

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Linebacker Anthony Barr named Bednarik semifinalist

Anthony Barr will need to clear off extra shelf space in a few months. Arguably the Pac-12′s best player, the UCLA linebacker is a near-lock for multiple individual awards this season.

His latest mention comes as a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football. Through seven games, Barr has 13 tackles for loss (sixth in the nation) and four forced fumbles (second). His six sacks rank third in the Pac-12.

You can see all 16 semifinalists after the jump, a list that curiously does not include South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Continue reading

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Anthony Barr praises Marcus Mariota’s toughness

Quarterback Marcus Mariota earned himself a bit of additional respect on Saturday. After taking some big hits from UCLA linebackers in Oregon’s 42-14 win Saturday, his demeanor impressed even Anthony Barr.

“I think people don’t give him enough credit for his toughness and his competitiveness,” the Bruins’ All-American said. Continue reading

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Oregon 42, UCLA 14: Reassessing Bruins after Eugene blowout

For a half, UCLA looked like it had a chance to upset Oregon. Then, reality set in as the Ducks unleashed 28 unanswered points, running away with a 42-14 win. A few thoughts from the Bruins’ trip to Autzen Stadium.

1. UCLA isn’t there yet. Everyone knew before the start of the season that the back-to-back Stanford-Oregon ringer would test the Bruins’ mettle. They didn’t exactly rise to the occasion. Jim Mora put it best with an expressive outburst after the loss: Continue reading

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At a glance: No. 12 UCLA at No. 2 Oregon

No. 12 UCLA (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) at No. 2 Oregon (7-0, 4-0)
Location:
Autzen Stadium, Oct. 26, 4 p.m.
TV: ESPN (Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: An already-fired Rick Neuheisel coached his final game, a spot in the 2011 Pac-12 Championship game that came by way of a USC postseason ban. UCLA lost 49-31 against No. 8 Oregon, as LaMichael James rushed for three scores — tying LenDale White with 52 career touchdowns.

He scored one more in a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, taking sole possession of second in conference history.

Key storylines: UCLA is trying to rebound after its first loss of the season, a 24-10 loss at Stanford in which its offense struggled as much as ever in the Jim Mora era. Continue reading

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