Jim Mora: If doctors clear Brett Hundley, he’ll play at Arizona State

Brett Hundley’s status remains unclear for UCLA’s Thursday night game at Arizona State, but the star quarterback appears to be making some progress.

The redshirt junior dressed for practice again on Sunday. He entered without anything covering his injured left elbow, but was spotted with a brace over it later.

After vowing not to reveal any injury updates until the 7 p.m. kickoff in Tempe, head coach Jim Mora deferred to the team’s medical staff when asked about Hundley.

“All of our players that are out, what we try to do is try to make the best decision for them based on the knowledge that we have,” Mora said. “We depend on our doctors to give us good information. We’ve got the best doctors in America, in my opinion.”

“If they clear him and they say that he can play, just like everybody else, we’ll play him.”

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Jim Mora stays quiet about UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley

Jim Mora is going to keep Arizona State guessing.

With a week to go until his team visits the Sun Devils at 7 p.m. next Thursday, the UCLA head coach declined to offer any information on quarterback Brett Hundley — or the status of any other injured Bruins. Hundley injured his left elbow during the first quarter of UCLA’s 20-17 win against Texas last Saturday, but was seen entering practice on Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, Mora said that the team had picked a backup quarterback (that he declined to name publicly). On Wednesday, he tried to back off from even that statement. He praised Jerry Neuheisel’s performance against the Longhorns — one in which the redshirt sophomore threw a game-winning 33-yard touchdown pass — but did not commit to him as the next one on the depth chart.

“Just because Jerry went in that game doesn’t mean that’s our backup quarterback,” Mora said. “We’ve never determined who’s No. 2, 3, 4. We’ve got a whole bunch of guys. Next time someone has to go in, it could be Asiantii (Woulard). Heck, Asiantii might start the Arizona State game. Who knows?”

Mora did say he was sure that new JUCO transfer defensive end Takkarist McKinley will play at ASU, and could contribute 10 to 15 snaps.

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Jim Mora: No status update on Brett Hundley’s elbow injury

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (17) watches action against UCLA from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 13,  2014, in Arlington, Texas. He left the game after an injury in the first half. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (17) watches from the sideline on Sept. 13, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. He the Bruins’ eventual 20-17 win after a first-quarter elbow injury. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)

After injuring his left elbow early in UCLA’s 20-17 win over Texas, star quarterback Brett Hundley’s status won’t be official one way or another until the Bruins take the field again.

“I’m not going to tell anybody anything until kickoff versus Arizona State,” head coach Jim Mora said Sunday. “Nobody. Nothing.”

Hundley reportedly suffered a slight hyperextension of his left (non-throwing) elbow that will hold him out one week, but Mora said the redshirt junior had not yet had his MRI. He may be examined on Monday, but Mora didn’t give a firm schedule.

UCLA (3-0) has a bye week ahead, and will travel to Tempe to play the Sun Devils on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. PT. That’s ideal timing for the Bruins, which can now give its Heisman contender more time to recover — as well as give backup Jerry Neuheisel more practice reps if needed to fill in. Continue reading

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Report: Quarterback Brett Hundley’s elbow injury not serious

When UCLA lost quarterback Brett Hundley to a left elbow injury in the first quarter of a 20-17 win over Texas on Saturday night, its hopes for a banner season teetered on the brink.

The good news for the Bruins is that they don’t play again until visiting Arizona State on Thursday, Sept. 25. The bye week ahead should give the star quarterback more time to recover.

FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported that Hundley suffered a slight hyperextension of the elbow at AT&T Stadium, and should be ready in a week.

Head coach Jim Mora said after the game that the team decided not to put the right-handed Hundley back in the game after he had his elbow X-rayed. He will be further evaluated with an MRI once the Bruins return to Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Jerry Neuheisel’s big game pushes UCLA to 20-17 win over Texas

Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel is carried off the field after UCLA’s 20-17 win over Texas on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014.

» Despite losing Brett Hundley to an elbow injury, UCLA beat Texas 20-17 after backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel threw a 33-yard go-ahead touchdown to Jordan Payton.

» UCLA started both halves on offense after Texas accidentally asked to start the game on defense following the coin flip.

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UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley injures left elbow against Texas

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, with his elbow wrapped before the start of the second half.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, with his elbow wrapped before the start of the second half.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley injured his left elbow on a scramble during the first quarter of the Bruins’ Saturday game against Texas.

The redshirt junior landed awkwardly at the end of an 11-yard run with just under five minutes left in quarter, putting his weight on his left arm. Trainers examined his left elbow, rubbing it with a salve. A UCLA spokesperson announced that Hundley’s return to the game is “probable.”

(UPDATE: Shortly before the start of the second half, Hundley’s return was ruled “very doubtful.” He was on the sideline with his elbow wrapped.)

Subbing in redshirt sophomore Jerry Neuheisel, the Bruins mustered a scoring drive immediately after the exit of their star quarterback. But after Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 47-yard field goal, UCLA gained just four yards on six plays on their next drive — one that ended with a sack.

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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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Receiver Jordan Payton hits career highs in UCLA’s win at Virginia

Watching Jordan Payton play football can sometimes feel like watching a battering ram dressed in pads and a helmet.

UCLA’s junior receiver doesn’t jump the highest. He won’t wow anyone with pure speed. But you can be damn sure the 6-foot-1, 213-pound wideout isn’t going down on the first tackle.

Payton caught eight passes for 98 yards on Saturday, setting new career highs and playing a key role in the Bruins’ 28-20 win at Virginia.

His capped the game in fitting fashion. With 3:07 left in the fourth quarter, the Bruins were backed up on their own 18-yard line. On third-and-9, quarterback Brett Hundley zipped the ball to Payton, who shook off a defensive back and took off for a 35-yard reception. With a fresh set of downs, the team had enough time to run down the clock and escape its season opener unscathed. Continue reading

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