UCLA in the NFL: Brett Hundley makes first start

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley (7) runs to the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Green Bay. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

In his first NFL start, Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley showed the feet that helped him become the second-leading rushing quarterback in UCLA history, but he didn’t unleash the arm that owns his alma mater’s record in passing touchdowns.

Hundley rushed for 44 yards on three carries with a 14-yard touchdown in Green Bay’s 26-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, but threw for only 87 yards on 12-for-25 passing with one interception.

The Saints scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away late.

Aaron Rodgers is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, but in his third year behind the star quarterback, Hundley is confident he can improve on his first start.

“I’ve been learning from [Rodgers] for three years and all I have to say is, don’t write us off,” Hundley told reporters. “I think that’s the biggest thing. We’ve got to get better and we will get better, but we’re not out [of it].

On other Bruins in the NFL:

  • Anthony Barr had 11 tackles (with three tackles for loss and a sack) in Minnesota’s win over the Ravens and is, according to the Star-Tribune, playing “with a lot of fire.”
    • Eric Kendricks had a team-high 13 tackles and three tackles for loss. The two UCLA linebackers combined for 24 tackles.
  • Eli Ankou is now a formal resident of “Sacksonville” after the Jaguars rookie tallied his first NFL sack last Sunday against the Colts. He had two tackles and a half-sack in Jacksonville’s 27-0 win.
  • Fabian Moreau injured his hamstring during Washington’s Monday Night Football loss to the Eagles.
  • Paul Perkins has missed three straight games for the New York Giants with a rib injury. He had only 32 carries for 61 yards this season.
  • Cassius Marsh blocked a field goal for the Patriots in their win over Atlanta.

  • Kenny Clark is dominating for the Packers

UCLA in the NFL: Brett Hundley takes over in Green Bay

Former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (right) will start for the Green Bay Packers after Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone against the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Brett Hundley is finally getting his NFL shot. The longtime Aaron Rodgers understudy was elevated to QB1 last Sunday after Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

After entering the game in the first quarter, Hundley threw an interception on his first pass attempt. He finished with 157 passing yards on 18-for-33 passing, one touchdown and three interceptions in Green Bay’s 23-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Hundley told reporters after the game that it was hard to see Rodgers go down, but that he had been “preparing for this moment for a long time now.”

“Obviously we didn’t get the job done today, but we’ll be better,” Hundley said. “We’ll be better.” Continue reading “UCLA in the NFL: Brett Hundley takes over in Green Bay” »

UCLA in the NFL: Myles Jack scores first NFL touchdown

Former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack scored a touchdown on an 82-yard fumble recovery on Sunday in Jacksonville’s 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Jets.

The second-year linebacker has 26 tackles and one sack this season.

In the above video, you can see fellow former Bruin Eli Ankou join the celebration in the end zone. Ankou spent the preseason with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent, but was claimed off waivers by the Jaguars right before the season started. Ankou has six tackles in four games.

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UCLA in the NFL: Eddie Vanderdoes starts in NFL debut

Class of 2k13 ❄️ #94 #55 #LBU DLU

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Former UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes not only got the start for the Oakland Raiders in his NFL debut, but he got four quarterback pressures and two hits against the Tennessee Titans, according to Pro Football Focus.

The rookie had a 79.2 (out of 100) grade from the analytics website with just one official tackle in the Raiders’ 26-16 win over the Titans. His shining moment was this bulldozing of All-Pro guard Jack Conklin:

Notes on other Bruins in the NFL this week: Continue reading “UCLA in the NFL: Eddie Vanderdoes starts in NFL debut” »

Jim Mora: Freshman quarterbacks have it easier than NFL rookies

UCLA coach Jim Mora is leading a team with a true freshman quarterback for the first time. Josh Rosen has passed for 574 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in his first two games. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA coach Jim Mora is leading a team with a true freshman quarterback for the first time, starting five-star recruit Josh Rosen. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Much has been made of UCLA starting a true freshman quarterback in Josh Rosen, something that had loomed as the biggest question of the Bruins’ offseason.

Rosen has looked more than capable through his first two games, throwing for 574 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. According to Mora, the five-star recruit out of Bellflower St. John Bosco is in a much better situation than he might be in three or four years from now.

“It’s much more difficult to play in the NFL,” Mora said. “I think that anyone that has been in both leagues understands that the NFL is a different animal. The level of play is so much higher than we have here at the college level. I don’t even think it’s close. I think it’s much easier to start as a freshman in college than (as a rookie) in the NFL.”

Mora was the defensive backs coach in San Diego when the Chargers started Billy Joe Tolliver for five games in 1989. The second-round draft pick took the No. 1 job midway through Jim McMahon’s disappointing season, and completed 89 of his 185 passes as a rookie for 1,097 yards, five touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

The next year, rookie John Friesz started the regular-season finale for the Chargers, recording 98 yards, a touchdown and a pick on 50 percent passing in a 17-12 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The sixth-round draft pick became a full-time starter in 1991, Mora’s last year on the San Diego staff.