Bruins leave pads off to start week

UCLA took practice a little easier on Monday. Usually a day off from morning sessions, the compressed week had the Bruins out on the field off a short turnaround — albeit without pads.

“I wanted them to be sharp Friday night,” said head coach Jim Mora. “Wanted them to be healthy, wanted them to be at max efficiency.”

Added defensive end Datone Jones: “I’m pretty sure the team we’re playing against went light contact too. It would be dumb for anyone to come out, knowing we have a big, physical game coming up. Our bodies haven’t fully recovered. That’s a 48-hour period, and we’ll be back in full pads. It’s important so someone doesn’t get hurt.”

Mora played coy on injuries, saying both Simon Goines (knee) and Steven Manfro (ankle) will be “good” and “fine” for Friday.

“What other answer do you expect?” Mora said, laughing.

Manfro has just eight carries for 70 yards this year and has seen more time at receiver and punt return, but with Damien Thigpen out (ACL), the Bruins could use him to spell Johnathan Franklin.

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Abbott finalist for Burlsworth Trophy

A low-profile, but interesting award given to the nation’s best player who started his career as a walk-on. You can also vote for Andrew Abbott, which counts for five percent during each round. Finalists will be announced on Nov. 27, and the winner on Dec. 3.

Pac-12 All-Academic teams were also released yesterday. Jeff Locke (3.70, Economics) made first team for the third time, and was joined by freshman center Jake Brendel (3.60, Math/Applied Sciences). Steve Manfro (3.20, undeclared) was the Bruins’ lone representative on the second team. As announced in June, UCLA ranked third in academic progress rate among conference members.

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