UCLA offensive line earns promising reviews

As the first round of camera flashes dimmed Saturday, Brett Hundley pointed up and closed with these words: “Shoutout to the O-line.”

A year ago, a young patchworked UCLA line did little to keep Hundley from getting sacked 52 times — the highest total of any Pac-12 quarterback. The Bruins’ showing in a 58-20 home win over Nevada was close to a complete 180.

The star quarterback was one of many pleased parties. Almost every tailback credited the line for paving gaping holes. Head coach Jim Mora praised the unit for its pass protection. Even offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, who said he was a bit nervous heading into the game, knew his unit would be fine after two or three series. Continue reading

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Notes and quotes: UCLA 58, Nevada 20

— UCLA’s 647 yards of offense against Nevada Saturday was the ninth-highest total in program history. It was the most by the Bruins since last season’s 36-30 win over Nebraska.

— Quarterback Brett Hundley missed on a few deep throws, but was otherwise excellent in his first game as a team captain. He opened scoring with 37-yard run, a zone read that echoed his collegiate debut. He had two rushing touchdowns in a game for the third time in his career (also at Colorado, vs. USC last season). His 274 passing yards also came with a pair of touchdowns.

— The UCLA defense struggled to contain Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo early on, something head coach Jim Mora attributed in part to “first-game jitters.” The Orange County native had 77 of his 106 rushing yards in the first half, and finished with two touchdowns.

“We have to fix that,” Mora said. “I don’t want to put it on the players, necessarily, jumping out of gaps. We have to do a better job coaching it. We have to look hard as a staff.” Continue reading

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VIDEO: Steve Manfro says tailbacks proved themselves

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Junior Jordon James led the charge with a career-best 155 yards against Nevada, but his backfield teammates did their part too. Backups Paul Perkins and Steve Manfro each had nine carries, totaling 55 and 32 yards. Four backs had a run of at least 20 yards, with Perkins breaking out a 45-yarder that set up his three-yard touchdown.

Helped by a 58-20 blowout win, six running backs combined for 288 yards to complement quarterback Brett Hundley’s two rushing scores.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction, showing that we all can and are willing to get on the field,” Manfro said. “Actually prove to people that we could play with the best.”

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