UCLA football 2017 season preview: Memphis

Memphis head coach Mike Norvell, center, cheers his team’s effort in the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

UCLA at Memphis
Saturday, Sept. 16 (updated) | Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
9 p.m. PT, ABC/ESPN2

Memphis is on the rise. The Tigers (8-5, 5-3 AAC last year) are 27-12 in the past three seasons. Head coach Mike Norvell didn’t lose much ground during his first year replacing Justin Fuente, who left for Virginia Tech after leading the Tigers to 10 and nine wins in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In a Group of 5 conference always ripe with underdogs, Memphis is gaining momentum as a contender for this year’s favorite sleeper.

“The fact that people are giving us attention is a compliment to our program and a compliment to the young men that we have in it and where we’re going,” Norvell told The Commercial Appeal. “But preseason expectations, they really don’t stand for anything unless you go out and do it on the field.

Game storylines Continue reading “UCLA football 2017 season preview: Memphis” »

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Notes: UCLA beats Memphis, but struggles for second straight week

» Center Jake Brendel returned after sitting out UCLA’s season opener recovering from a sprained knee, but two more Bruins went down on Saturday during the Bruins’ 42-35 win over Memphis.

Receiver Eldridge Massington looked wobbled his way off the field, appearing to hurt his left ankle. His limp didn’t look severe and he moved without assistance on the sideline. The redshirt freshman tore his left ACL back in high school, but this injury doesn’t look related.

Safety Randall Goforth left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return. He had injured his shoulder in training camp, and likely aggravated it on Saturday. His potential absence is especially concerning given that the UCLA secondary has underachieved compared to preseason expectations. The unit looked like one of the Bruins’ deepest, but hasn’t locked down opponents through two weeks.

Junior Fabian Moreau, who looked like a lockdown corner through spring and training camp, might be the most disappointing member of the defensive backfield.

» UCLA gave up 469 offensive yards to Memphis, the most the Bruins have surrendered to a regular-season nonconference opponent under third-year head coach Jim Mora.

Perhaps more concerning was that the Tigers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. It was the second straight game that UCLA failed to outscore their opponents in the second half; the Bruins had done that against eight straight nonconference opponents — compiling a 190-51 advantage through the past two seasons.

» This might be the most surprising stat of the season so far: Through two games, UCLA has notched just one sack while allowing nine to opposing teams. Continue reading “Notes: UCLA beats Memphis, but struggles for second straight week” »

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UCLA beats Memphis, 42-35, despite lackluster defensive show

Photos from UCLA’s 42-35 win over Memphis at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.

A roundup of the coverage in Sunday’s edition of the Daily News, and other Los Angeles News Group properties:

— UCLA beat Memphis, 42-35, but the defense fell apart after a standout performance in Week 1.
— Game story by Clay Fowler, on UCLA’s offensive turnaround.
— Jim Mora wasn’t happy with dropped passes, but UCLA’s receivers put up big numbers on Saturday.
— Notebook: Myles Jack makes his season debut at running back; Troy Aikman’s No. 8 jersey will be retired soon.

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