Here are the Bruins that made Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 teams:
1st: RB Johnathan Franklin, OL Xavier Su’a-Filo
2nd: OL Jeff Baca
3rd: WR Shaquelle Evans
1st: LB Anthony Barr
2nd: DT Datone Jones, LB Eric Kendricks
1st: P Jeff Locke
3rd: KR Damien Thigpen, PR Steven Manfro (Huh?!)
The most glaring omission is senior Fauria, who was left off despite being one of eight semifinalists for the John Mackey Award — given to the top tight end in the nation. I get that Fauria isn’t a true blocking tight end anymore, but he was tied for second in the conference with 11 touchdown receptions. Arizona State’s Chris Coyle, who got the third team nod, grabbed just five and only had 11 more yards per game (54.9 to 43.2).
On the bright side for UCLA fans, Franklin made first team with Kenjon Barner, beating out Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey. This could bode well for Franklin’s chances at the last remaining NCAA-recognized All-American list: the Football Writers Association of America releases its team later this week, and Steele is on the committee.
Johnathan Franklin is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball and Oregon’s Kenjon barner are also up for the nation’s top running back honor. The 174-member selection committee is made up mostly of journalists, along with former players and other representatives. The winner will be revealed on Dec. 6 on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Joseph Fauria wasn’t a finalist for the Mackey Award, which quarterback Brett Hundley was disappointed about. Jeff Locke wasn’t a finalist for the Ray Guy Award either, which is even more of a snub.
Eric Kendricks won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season after logging eight tackles, one TFL, one forced fumble, a blocked punt and a pick against USC. He doesn’t pop as quite much as Anthony Barr when you’re watching the game, but Kendricks is so consistent across the statsheet almost every week.
Here’s the notebook that runs in the Monday paper. Jim Mora, predictably and appropriately, is sticking to the one-game-at-a-time mantra as UCLA climbs up the rankings.
The Bruins finally got love from the Coaches Poll (No. 19) to help bump it into the BCS standings. Lots of shuffling could still happen in the conference, but right now the Bruins are staring at Alamo, Holiday or Sun Bowl — the three games that draw (in that order) after the Rose Bowl. Oregon State’s upcoming visit to Stanford should help clear up the picture.
UCLA is currently a 14.5-point favorite over Washington State, but the Cougars lost road games to both the Beavers and the Cardinal by fewer than two touchdowns. I’m very curious to see how WSU players respond to Mike Leach throwing them under the bus.
Redshirt sophomore Joseph Fauria is having a bit of trouble adjusting to life as a transfer.
This is one competitive dude, as evidenced by his reaction after a dropped pass during scout team offense. He fell to his knees and punched the ground in frustration.
He is just as frustrated knowing that he will sit out the season.
“It’s definitely a big mental challenge on someone like me, who’s really passionate about the game, really wants to help the team,” Fauria said. “Of course I want to be out there with the ones, helping this offense. I’m just doing the best I can.”
He knows the feeling, having planned on redshirting last season before playing in three games.
“In the beginning last year, I redshirted, but it got blown halway through the season,” Fauria said. “Things were looking up there, I was supposed to play a lot this year, but things happened, I came here, and another redshirt. It’s going to be tough again. I know how the ropes work, and I’ll be better from it.
High Marks: UCLA’s starting wide receivers barely had any room to breathe, and the offense struggled both short and deep.
Low Marks: Freshman cornerback Andrew Abbott was flagged for pass interference twice and the defensive backs had a tough time taking down some of UCLA’s bigger targets, such as Joseph Fauria and Nate Chandler.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Grade: B (Tight ends, A+++)
High Marks: Though victims to some overthrows, the wide receiver corps did a fine job getting off the line of scrimmage and challenging a very tough defense. In a scrimmage situation, it’s very difficult to distinguish star from scrub, particularly at wideout, but the first unit is full of talent. Ricky Marvray earned playing time with a great block on Joseph Fauria’s 60-yard touchdown catch. At tight end, UCLA simply has an overabundance of skill.
Low Marks: Randall Carroll dropped an easy pass and looked down-trodden afterward, although several Bruins rushed to reassure him. The grade would have been higher, but no UCLA player had more than three catches, and Fauria had the only big play.
High Marks: Kevin Prince was effective in spurts and seems to have learned to check down to lower options. He was impressive in the flats, though he did not challenge the first-string defense deep very often. Nick Crissman had a beautiful pass to tight end Joseph Fauria – who broke a tackle and received an incredible block from freshman wide receiver Ricky Marvray on his way to a 60-yard touchdown.
Low Marks: Prince was inconsistent, with a handful of overthrows and two atrocious throws. One, off his backfoot facing pressure, was intercepted. The other, a near-pick in the back of the end zone. Prince finished the afternoon just 9-for-19 for 77 yards and an inteception.