PASADENA >> Center Jake Brendel started his first game of the season on Saturday night, as UCLA opened its home schedule against Memphis.
The third-year starter sat out the Bruins’ season opener at Virginia with a sprained knee, his absence contributing to the offensive line’s dysfunction. With sophomore Scott Quessenberry making his first career start at center — not to mention true freshman NaJee Toran at right guard — the Bruins gave up five sacks and committed five false starts.
Brendel had started 27 straight contests before sitting out at Scott Stadium, making him the only center quarterback Brett Hundley had ever played behind during a game.
Against Memphis, Quessenberry replaced Toran at guard. He had started six games there as a true freshman after injuries to the offensive line.
Redshirt sophomore Paul Perkins started at running back for the first time this season, an unsurprising move given his performance in Week 1. Perkins led the team with 80 yards on 16 carries against the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, while then-starter Jordon James finished with three yards.