UCLA has been beset by injuries this season, especially in its linebacker corps. With just four games left in the regular season, what can the Bruins do to patch things up?
UCLA will likely have its top two running backs in uniform again against Colorado this weekend.
Paul Perkins, who was the Pac-12’s leading rusher in 2014, and backup Nate Starks have recovered from their injuries enough to suit up for Saturday’s noon kickoff, head coach Jim Mora said Thursday.
“I would assume that both of them would play,” he said. “It looks like they’re both on track to play. I’m not too worried. I was more worried about Paul earlier in the week, but he’s done fine.”
Perkins injured his left knee in the second quarter of last week’s 40-24 win over Cal, after running for 73 yards on 11 carries. Starks was sidelined with a concussion that he sustained two weeks ago at Stanford.
How much the two backs play remains to be seen. The Buffaloes have what is statistically the weakest rushing defense in the Pac-12, allowing 209.5 yards per game and an average of 5.06 yards per carry. Continue reading “UCLA RB Paul Perkins, Nate Starks ‘on track’ to face Colorado” »
UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott is “very questionable” to play against Cal this Thursday after spraining his knee, head coach Jim Mora said Sunday.
Arguably the best player on the Bruins’ offensive line, the 6-foot-9 redshirt junior missed the second half of this past Thursday’s 56-35 loss at Stanford. He was able to walk unassisted, but with a limp, after the game and had an MRI the next day.
“He was actually walking without a limp (today),” Mora said. “He has a brace on. We’ll just have to see.”
If McDermott doesn’t play, redshirt freshman Kolton Miller will be in line to make his first career start.
UCLA lost two other starters at Stanford. Continue reading “UCLA LT Conor McDermott ‘questionable’ after knee sprain” »
UCLA’s 56-35 loss at Stanford last night exposed even more of the Bruins’ flaws. The game story is here, and below are some more thoughts on what happened at Stanford Stadium.
1. Was this UCLA’s worst loss under Jim Mora? The game ended less than 24 hours ago, so there’s certainly some temporal bias to account for here. Still, I don’t remember seeing an uglier outing by these Bruins.
The 49-26 loss to Baylor in the 2012 Holiday Bowl would be at the top of the conversation, but that — like losses to then-unranked Oregon State and Cal the same year — can be chalked up in part to first-season growing pains. Back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon in 2013 were thought of as part of UCLA’s developmental process.
But Thursday night? That felt more damning, another brick in the wall keeping the Bruins on the side of “good” rather than “great” — the side of nine-win seasons rather than playoff berths. UCLA’s eight-game losing streak to the Cardinal is now its longest to any opponent, surpassing the Bruins’ seven straight losses to USC from
1997 1999-2005. Losing 31-10 at the Rose Bowl last year, when Stanford had a down season, stands as a major missed opportunity to get over the hump.
2. Can the defense be repaired? Errors by the offense (Josh Rosen’s pick six) and special teams (Christian McCaffrey’s 96-yard return) dug UCLA into an early hole, but what truly did the Bruins in was their porous defense. Continue reading “Three thoughts on UCLA after a blowout loss at Stanford” »
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack suffered a season-ending knee injury on Tuesday, and his absence could derail the No. 9 Bruins’ high aspirations this season.
“You can’t replace him,” said outside linebacker Deon Hollins. “The things he that can do on the field, you just can’t replace it.”