LT Simon Goines, LB Eric Kendricks practice lightly

Wrecked by injuries, UCLA started three true freshmen on its offensive line in a 42-14 loss at Oregon.

Reinforcements are working back. Sophomore Simon Goines (knee) and Conor McDermott (shoulder) both practiced Tuesday, albeit without pads. Goines, who started at right tackle before moving to left, was still limping and had his right knee wrapped.

(Starting left tackle Torian White’s season ended on Oct. 3 when he broke a bone and tore a ligament near his ankle.)

“They develop a sense of urgency to get back,” head coach Jim Mora said. “I feel that with a lot of guys. You look at our injury report and it’s pretty vast. You see a bunch of guys that want to get back out here and do whatever they can, whatever they can.”

Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who played through a back bruise with the help of an anesthetic shot on Saturday, was at practice without pads. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

VIDEO: Jim Mora talks UCLA’s offensive line


– UCLA coach Jim Mora played it coy Thursday when asked about his starting offensive line, hinting that left tackle Simon Goines (MCL) could still be available at Oregon on Saturday. The sophomore did not practice Thurday, nor did senior Y-receiver Darius Bell.

– Though Mora didn’t talk about the likelihood of starting three true freshmen on his line, he said that the position was “without a doubt” the most difficult for a first-year player. A less-than-stellar offensive line is difficult to hide schematically, and freshmen must also account for defenses that can shift right before a snap. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA offensive line likely to start three true freshmen


With three days left until a visit from UCLA, No. 2 Oregon’s defense may already be salivating.

Two weeks ago, the No. 12 Bruins started two true freshmen on the offensive line for the first time in school history. This Wednesday, Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said true freshman Scott Quessenberry will likely join the mix at left guard.

Primarily a center, Quessenberry played some guard in fall camp, but was redshirting this season until the line’s recent rash of injuries. He has practiced there this week after the loss of left tackle Simon Goines, who injured his MCL in a 24-10 loss at Stanford. Protecting quarterback Brett Hundley’s blind side now falls to All-American Xavier Su’a-Filo, who shifts over from left guard. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Linebacker Eric Kendricks probable for Oregon

At least one of many ailing Bruins is expected to play against No. 2 Oregon this Saturday.

Inside linebacker Eric Kendricks — second in the conference with 9.33 tackles per game — will play against the Ducks, UCLA coach Jim Mora said Tuesday. The junior was taken to the hospital at halftime of the Bruins’ 24-10 loss at Stanford this past weekend, but was released after tests showed no sign of major injury.

Kendricks has bruising on either his kidney or the surrounding tissue, and started the week of practice in a non-contact red jersey.

“Eric Kendricks, it’s going to take a lot to keep that guy down,” Mora said. “He’s a friggin’ great player. He’s a tremendous competitor, heck of a leader. He’s got the spirit that you love on your team.” Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Brett Hundley talks about Bruins’ offense, O-line


Early this season, Brett Hundley couldn’t talk enough about UCLA’s resurgent offensive line. Since then, two starting tackles have gone down — one (Torian White) lost for the season with a broken ankle, the other (Simon Goines) still uncertain with an injured left MCL.

The quarterback’s most-used line now is talking about what he needs to do to help the five guys in front of him.

“I’ll keep my eyes down the field no matter what’s happening, what’s going on back there,” Hundley said. “I’ve just got to trust that they’re going to get the job done and do my part.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Three Bruins leave with injury at Stanford

After starting the season off relatively healthy, UCLA is starting to take hits.

Linebacker Eric Kendricks was taken to Stanford Hospital at halftime to receive tests for kidney pain. Left tackle Simon Goines went down with an injury, shortly followed by backup Conor McDermott. Goines later returned, but the Bruins’ offensive line — already without tackle Torian White — can’t afford to lose any bodies.

The Bruins, outgained 207 offensive yards to 84 in the first half, trail the Cardinal 17-3 with a little over three minutes to go in the third. Quarterback Brett Hundley is just 10 of 18 with 58 yards and an interception.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Torian White’s injury unsettles UCLA offensive line

Through its first three games, UCLA’s offensive line had looked every part a resurgent unit — plowing lanes for an effective ground attack and keeping quarterback Brett Hundley on his feet. For the first time in a decade, the Bruins had both NFL-caliber talent and quality depth.

Also crucial was the chemistry, something both coaches and players said had improved vastly since an injury-plagued 2012 campaign. Early on this fall, the Bruins staff had emphasized building a consistent starting five.

Thursday night complicated those plans. In the second quarter of a 34-27 win at Utah, left tackle Torian White broke his right ankle. (UPDATE: White is officially out for the season with a break and slight ligament tear.) Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Tackle Simon Goines adjusting to knee pain


After hyperextending his right knee during preseason camp, starting tackle Simon Goines has moved from the left side to the right — a shift that allows him to keep most of his weight on his left leg. The UCLA sophomore said the pain is similar to the issues that nagged him through his freshman season.

“It’s something I have to deal with, but over time it just keeps getting better and better,” Goines said.

He played right tackle for the first time when he arrived at UCLA from Keller, Texas, and said the change mostly involves developing muscle memory around his hips: “You’re opening in different ways and stepping different.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

VIDEO: Left tackle Simon Goines talks knee injury


Two weeks ago, Simon Goines limped off the Cal State San Bernardino practice field, his UCLA teammates standing in silence. The left tackle’s right leg had taken an awkward roll, and he placed little pressure on it as he was helped toward the locker room.

“Initially, I was pretty scared,” he said.

Further examination showed that it was a hyperextended right knee — good news for a young unit that needs as many experienced members as possible. The sophomore participated in Monday’s practice for the first time since the injury, and head coach Jim Mora expects him to be ready to play against Nevada. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Linebacker Eric Kendricks returns to first full practice since spring


After sitting out most of spring and fall camp, UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks returned to 11-on-11 drills Tuesday morning, the most field action he’s seen in nearly four months.

Last year’s Pac-12 leader with 150 tackles, the 6-foot, 228-pound junior said he underwent ankle surgery four weeks ago. The procedure was optional, but he said he didn’t opt for it because of worsening pain. He just wanted to be fully ready for the season.

“It feels great to be back,” Kendricks said. “To be honest with you, I’ve just been taking it easy. I’ve been in the training room. I got a lot of treatment in San Bernardino.”

He said Tuesday that he had been instructed not to disclose the exact nature of the injury.

“It was just a little bit nagging,” he said. “It was annoying. It just wasn’t normal. I know how my body feels when it’s normal, and it was just a little bit off.” Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email