Brett Hundley (again) says he is likely declaring for NFL draft

When Brett Hundley announced in January that he was coming back to UCLA for his redshirt junior season, he made clear that this would be his last run with the Bruins.

“We won’t be here doing this again next year,” the quarterback said then.

Since then, he’s said a few more times that nothing has changed. But just in case anyone is keeping track of how often Hundley needs to tell everyone he’s gone, here’s the latest.

“There’s a really good chance that was my last game against USC,” Hundley said on The Jim Rome Show today. “The conversation keeps coming up. I’ve got my degree. I’ve done everything I wanted to do here. I’ve left something really, truly great, and I feel good. That’s probably my last one against USC.”

Hundley has a chance to beat Stanford this week and Oregon in the Pac-12 title game — two teams that have haunted him — but said after practice today he isn’t worried about how that affects the scope of his career.

“I think I’ve done a lot throughout my career here,” he said. “Hopefully, we pull out this win on Friday. You can’t worry about what you have done, what you haven’t done.”

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Notes: UCLA’s win over USC featured several milestones

Brett Hundley celebrates UCLA's 38-20 win over USC on Saturday, a game in which he threw for three touchdowns and ran for another.

Brett Hundley celebrates UCLA’s 38-20 win over USC on Saturday, a game in which he threw for three touchdowns and ran for another.

» I mentioned it in my story from UCLA’s 38-20 win over USC last night, but it’s worth repeating again: For the first time ever, the Bruins’ football program has three straight nine-win seasons.

Several times before, UCLA had gotten close. The Bruins had back-to-back nine-win seasons in the mid-1950s, but those were bracketed by a eight- and seven-win campaigns. Tommy Prothro opened his tenure a decade later with eight, nine and seven wins. And from 1982-88, Terry Donahue had five nine- or 10-win seasons broken up by seven wins in 1983 and eight wins in 1986.

Last month, Jim Mora got particularly defensive about the Bruins’ lackluster midseason performances, and challenged everyone to find a stretch of UCLA football that’s better than this one — considering youth and turnover. With UCLA potentially in line to win 11 games for the first time, his argument looks stronger by the week.

» How much has the rivalry swung? UCLA hasn’t won three straight games over USC by double digits since 1952-55, when Red Sanders coached the Bruins to 13-0, 34-0, and 17-7 victories.

» Brett Hundley finished the game against USC with all types of new UCLA records, passing Cade McNown to become the new career leader in total offensive yards (11,353) and extending his own mark of 300-yard total offense games to 19. He had his 10th career 300-yard passing game, and needs just one more to tie McNown. He ran for his 28th career touchdown, which breaks his tie with John Sciarra and puts him alone in second behind Gary Beban (35) among Bruin quarterbacks.

But despite finishing 22-of-31 for 326 yards and three touchdown passes, it was not an overly impressive game for the redshirt junior. He didn’t see the defender on his early interception near the sideline, and it was the type of coverage that had cost him turnovers before. A lot of his longer passes also benefited from yards after the catch by his receivers, or poor coverage by USC, or both.

It’s clear, however, that he trusts his offensive line more and more — something offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone confirmed after the game. He has good reason. UCLA has allowed 32 sacks this season, but just eight in its last five games. That stretch coincides with when Conor McDermott taking over as starting left tackle.

» The defensive line played its best game of the season, finally generating the type of pass rush that defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich had promised would come for most of the season. Continue reading

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UCLA wins third straight over USC in emphatic fashion

Receiver Devin Lucien and the rest of the Bruins celebrate UCLA’s third straight win over UCLA on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

For anyone looking to relive UCLA’s 38-20 win over USC on Saturday night, check out the photo gallery our staff photographers Hans Gutknecht and Keith Birmingham shot by clicking through above. Here’s the rest of the game coverage from LANG:

» Mark Whicker’s column on just how quickly UCLA has turned around the Los Angeles football rivalry.
» Brett Hundley’s three touchdown passes made him the first UCLA quarterback to win three straight over USC since Cade McNown.
» A closer look at linebacker Eric Kendricks’ key interception, one that stood up to video review.
» UCLA’s win over USC sets up a potential rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship on Dec. 5.
» On the opposite sideline, first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian flopped despite his USC pedigree.

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VIDEO: Brett Hundley on what USC rivalry means to his UCLA legacy

If UCLA beats USC on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, Brett Hundley would leave the program with three straight rivalry wins under his belt. That’s something that former Bruin quarterbacks Gary Beban (Heisman winner) and Troy Aikman (first overall NFL draft pick) can’t even say.

“It would mean a lot to look back and say I’ve been undefeated versus Southern Cal,” Hundley said. “But at the same time, right now … the focus is on us and getting the victory.”

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Quarterback Brett Hundley named a Maxwell Award semifinalist

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley hasn’t had the dominant season many expected him, but he’s still regarded as one of the best players in college football.

The redshirt junior was named today as one of 20 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, arguably the sport’s most prestigious honor not involving a stiff-arming statuette. Only two other players were picked from the Pac-12: Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, now regarded as the Heisman frontrunner, and USC running back Buck Allen.

Hundley is second in the country in completion percentage (71.0) but has only thrown for 389 yards and two touchdowns in his last two outings — games in which he faced passing defenses ranked 90th (Colorado) and 121st (Arizona) nationally. He has also lost a fumble in four straight games.

After UCLA’s 17-7 win over the Wildcats on Saturday, Hundley said that NFL draft expectations had affected his playing style earlier this season, making him more reluctant to run.

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UCLA relies on defense in close win over No. 14 Arizona

UCLA’s defense swallows up Arizona receiver Austin Hill in a 17-7 win at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 1, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

» UCLA’s defense put together its best showing yet in a 17-7 win over No. 14 Arizona. The Bruins will need more of that to stay in the Pac-12 South race.
» What was billed as a shootout turned into a gritty game, one that saw quarterback Brett Hundley run the ball 24 times.
» Notebook on Paul Perkins joining the 1,000-yard club, the Bruins’ first red-zone miss, and bowl representatives.

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