First, the stories that appear in today’s edition of the Los Angeles Daily News:
— UCLA breaks its four-game losing streak in Tucson with a superlative two-way effort from freshman Myles Jack.
— Columnist Vinny Bonsignore, with a look at quarterback Brett Hundley’s performance.
More notes and quotes from the wild 31-26 win at Arizona Stadium, which kept the Bruins in control of their own postseason destiny:
— A lot has been and will be written about Jack, so for now, let’s stick with a roundup of comments from coaches and teammates.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez had high praise too: “The guy is a great athlete, a great player. He’ll be a first-round pick as a linebacker. We tried to recruit him as a running back.” Continue reading →
Defensive end Keenan Graham was often used as a blocker in the “PAC” formation that featured freshman linebacker Myles Jack at tailback. The senior said the look, which offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone came up with this week, flustered Arizona’s defense.
“I was looking at the faces of the defensive players,” Graham said. “Some of them didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t know what to check to. They were overwhelmed.”
With sophomore Ellis McCarthy already sidelined and senior Cassius Marsh ejected for a personal foul, defensive end Keenan Graham ate up snaps. The senior had his fifth sack of the season, the best mark in the Pac-12.
“I’m disappointed, honestly, with the way I played,” Graham said. “I got a sack, but I’ve got to go back to the film room. I know there’s a lot of mistakes I made.”
Former four-star recruit Keenan Graham has been juggled from around the front seven. Under Rick Neuheisel, he was a 4-3 defensive end. When Jim Mora arrived at UCLA, Graham became an outside linebacker.
Now back at defensive end in the Bruins’ 3-4 scheme, the senior has a first-team regular in fall camp and an effective pass rusher. He should easily top the career-low nine tackles he amassed as a junior.
“I’m kind of more a finesse guy,” Graham said. “I can power through every now and then, but finesse is my thing. I’m always thinking beforehand what kind of move I’m going to do. You’ve got to have one move, and then a counter-move.”
When asked about the defensive line, head coach Jim Mora called the 6-foot-1, 247-pound end one of the “bright spots” of fall camp: “He plays with really good pad level, great leverage. He gets under guys.”
With two-a-days over, here’s a brief rundown on how many of the injured stand. Some on crutches.
Micah Kia, torn ACL, out for season
Nick Ekbatani, sprained knee ligament, 4-6 weeks
Keenan Graham, broken jaw (suffered in scrimmage), no timetable
Christian Ramirez, high ankle sprain (scrimmage), no timetable
Morrell Presley, sore quad, should return soon
Kai Forbath, sore leg, back tomorrow