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Live updates: UCLA at Colorado

Some injury updates: Offensive lineman Alex Redmond and Simon Goines are both going through warmups, but not with the first team. The starting offensive line appears to be the same as last week, which means Redmond and Goines still aren't ready to go.

Wide receiver Thomas Duarte is on the field, but not warming up. Looks like the hamstring injury he suffered against Cal is going to hold him out of this game.  

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UCLA should beat Colorado handidly, but then again, they should've rolled over Cal last weekend and a few nonconference opponents before that. It's been written about over and over again, but this team has played down to its competition all season. So this game is important not just because the Bruins need a win to stay alive in the race for a Pac-12 championship, but also to see if they can string together a solid performance against an underwhelming opponent. 

Colorado is 2-5 this season, having lost all four of its conference games and also dropping to Colorado State in...

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UCLA isn't ready to beat Kentucky just yet but there's time to improve

Steve Alford acknowledges that the UCLA men’s basketball team won’t be among the best in the nation when this season starts. On paper, the Bruins aren’t the best team in the Pac-12. Right now, they are too young, and there are too many unknowns.

So at Pac-12 Media Day on Thursday, Alford hinted at patience. The UCLA of the first half could look a lot different than the team at the end of the year.

That’s a reasonable approach to take. The problem is its unforgiving nonconference schedule. UCLA will play Gonzaga, Kentucky — No. 1 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll — and a loaded Battle 4 Atlantis tournament schedule, which includes a game against Oklahoma and potential matchups against Butler, North Carolina or Wisconsin.

";Are we ready to play the likes of Kentucky today?” Alford said. “No.";

The hope is that the young players will grow into roles and pick up Alford’s system by the time they do play Kentucky on Dec. 20. And preferably by November, when they’ll head to the...

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Colorado line coach denies Takkarist McKinley's chop block accusation

Colorado offensive line coach David Bernardi denied UCLA defensive end Takkarist McKinley's claim that the Buffaloes use “chop blocks.”

McKinley said the Buffaloes’ offensive linemen used chop blocks, calling it “dirty” to “try to tear your [anterior cruciate ligament]” on Wednesday.

UCLA Coach Jim Mora, asked whether he has noticed anything like that about the Buffaloes’ line, said, “No.”

Mora said he had not heard about McKinley’s comments. Bernardi certainly heard them.

 “We try to teach our kids aggressiveness within the rules of the game,” Bernardi said in a statement released by Colorado officials. “We would never teach them to ‘high-low’ a defender. Generally speaking, that’s what injuries result from. We don’t teach it, and we haven’t been called for a penalty for it all year.”

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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Questions remain about UCLA injuries before Colorado

It’s Thursday, which means another less than revealing look at UCLA’s injury situation going into its game against Colorado on Saturday.

Cornerback Fabian Moreau (stinger) and running back Paul Perkins (wrist) are expected to play. Slot wide receiver Thomas Duarte (hamstring) is not.

Besides those three, there are still some questions because, as usual, Coach Jim Mora was coy about his team’s injury report.  

“We’re in good shape,” Mora said. “Guys are coming back, and we’re in good shape.”

The biggest questions surround the offensive line.

Alex Redmond, who started the Bruins’ first four games but hasn’t played since injuring his ankle against Arizona State, appears to be a game-time decision for the fourth week in a row. Tackle Simon Goines, who hasn’t played all season due to leg injuries but warmed up with the second team offensive line before the Cal game last week, is also a game-time decision.

Meanwhile, Conor McDermott jumped into the starting lineup at tackle last week  and...

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Wednesday's sound bites from UCLA practice

Welcome to the Pac-12 Conference, Takkarist McKinley. 

On Wednesday, the Bruins rookie livened up a routine Wednesday media session by saying Colorado's offensive line plays dirty, a tactic he said he's seen from other teams in the conference too.

Besides the McKinley story and the quotes below, we also had a post on Noel Mazzone not talking about turnovers, a story on Ellis McCarthy and his increased role, and a notebook from Chris Foster.

Sophomore defensive lineman Takkarist McKinley

On Owamagbe Odighizuwa: “Me personally, just watching Owa play, to me he’s a freak of nature. Just looking at him, and looking at me, I feel like a little Owa. But he’s a fifth-year senior and I’m only a second-year guy [he played in junior college last season], so hopefully when I become a senior I’ll be as big and strong as him and be able to fight these big offensive lineman off. Here, they’re huge. Like Malcolm Bunche, his forearms are as big as my arms.”

Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone

On...

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UCLA's 'enormous human being,' Ellis McCarthy, is getting healthy

UCLA revamped its defensive line against Cal last week in an attempt to capitalize on speed. The two big moves were Owamagbe Odighizuwa switching to defensive tackle, and Takkarist McKinley playing the most snaps of his short career at defensive end.

The line had one of its best games of the season, allowing just 56 rushing yards while constantly getting into the backfield. Speed, speed, speed.

But lost in the shuffle of the improved play of the defensive line is a player who has never been, and will likely never be, known for being fast — defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy.

The junior is listed as 6 feet 5, 325 pounds, but that might be cutting UCLA’s heaviest player a bit short. He is, to put it frankly, humongous.

During training camp, that weight was a hindrance. He was dealing with a knee injury, which meant he wasn’t practicing as much as usual. Less practice meant more weight. More weight meant less productivity.

Now, coaches are starting to get a look at a healthy McCarthy....

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