Jim Mora: I’d like to name UCLA’s starting QB by next weekend

UCLA might be a week or so away from finally naming its starting quarterback.

“I would like to be able to make that decision next weekend at the latest,” head coach Jim Mora said Friday, after the Bruins’ final practice of training camp at Cal State San Bernardino.

The evening session consisted of a live scrimmage in which true freshman Josh Rosen and redshirt junior Jerry Neuheisel switched turns with the first-team offense. Former walk-on Mike Fafaul took most of the second-team reps.

Mora said that the scrimmage is only part of the overall picture, especially since the quarterbacks weren’t taking contact. However, he said the team would ideally need to know the identity of its starter before it starts game week prep for its Sept. 5 opener against Virginia.

“I would love to be able to make that decision, but to be perfectly frank, we’re not prepared to make that decision yet,” Mora said. “We want to make sure when we do make it, it’s the right decision — that we have conviction about it, that we stick with it.”

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UCLA camp notes: Injured players could return to practice Monday

» Defensive end Takkarist McKinley suffered a head injury during Wednesday morning’s practice and has not dressed or been out on the field since. Offensive lineman Tevita Halalilo is also suffering from a concussion, but head coach Jim Mora said the true freshman is now asymptomatic.

Both could return as soon as Monday, when UCLA will resume practices on campus in Westwood.

The same timeline goes for both left tackle Conor McDermott (knee) and center Jake Brendel (calf), both of whom have been dressed for practice but held out of team drills. Mora said McDermott, who underwent an MRI on Tuesday, could have participated today if necessary.

Receiver Tyler Scott appeared to pull his groin during a one-on-one drill.

» The quarterback competition finally seems to be shrinking down to one that includes just true freshman Josh Rosen and returning backup Jerry Neuheisel. Redshirt junior Mike Fafaul has only taken third-team reps for the last couple of practices. Continue reading

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UCLA’s Jim Mora: ‘I’m an asshole’ in practices to toughen up players

No, Jim Mora isn’t always the nicest guy around. On Wednesday, for instance, the UCLA head coach ended practice by lighting into freshman quarterback Josh Rosen — taking issue with his effort on a particular pass.

But for all the critical headlines it drummed up, Mora said he wouldn’t do anything differently.

“Am I an asshole?” he said Thursday at Cal State San Bernardino. “Yeah, I’m an asshole. Out here, I’m an asshole.”

In other words, he does it because he cares. Continue reading

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