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Linebacker Eric Kendricks ready to become UCLA's top tackler

Linebacker Eric Kendricks will play his last regular-season game for UCLA when the Bruins face Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Friday, and he stands a good chance of leaving the game as the Bruins’ all-time leader in tackles.

Kendricks is second on UCLA’s all-time list with 460 tackles, just eight behind former UCLA linebacker Jerry Robinson. Kendricks has 128 tackles this season and has reached double digits in eight of 11 games.

“It’s not just what he means to the defense, but what he means to the team,” Coach Jim Mora said. “The heart that he plays with, the consistency he plays with, he’s just an inspirational guy to everybody. He comes out here every day and works his butt off. He’s a machine out there.”

 

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UCLA players get healthy for Stanford game

UCLA receiver Thomas Duarte, who left practice Tuesday with an injured left leg, returned Wednesday and is expected to play against Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Friday.

Duarte has battled sore hamstrings this season, forcing him to miss two games. So far this season he has 23 receptions, averaging 19.9 yards per catch, and three touchdowns.

The Bruins will also have available defensive back Ishmael Adams (ankle), defensive back Priest Willis (head trauma) and receiver Devin Fuller (leg). All practiced Wednesday.

With a victory over Stanford, UCLA will win the Pac-12 South Division and go to the conference championship game. A loss sends the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game to the Dec. 5 title game in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The Wildcats and Sun Devils play Friday.

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UCLA players want to put off celebrating USC victory

There is the 24-hour rule. There is a victory UCLA players will remember for a lifetime.

Those conflicting thoughts will run through minds this week at Spaulding Field, as the Bruins prepare to play Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Friday.

Coach Jim Mora has preached that any victory has to be put on the shelf after 24 hours. But a 38-20 whipping of USC won't be so easy to file away.

“That’s a game I will remember forever,” quarterback Brett Hundley said. “At the same time, it comes down to the leadership and maturity of the team. We have to be able to put the focus back where it needs to be.”

UCLA needs a victory over Stanford to win the Pac-12 South Division and go to the conference championship game. The Bruins would play Oregon at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Dec. 5.

Yet the appeal of celebrating such a decisive victory over USC remains.

“It’s tough,” receiver Jordan Payton said. “We have such a big goal, and our dream is so big that we have no choice. We have to get right back on...

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UCLA basketball vaults into top 25 after 4-0 start

The UCLA men’s basketball team successfully navigated their first four games of the season, and on Monday, they were rewarded. When the national polls came out, UCLA moved into the rankings.

UCLA jumped to the No. 22 spot in this week’s Associated Press top-25 poll. The USA Today Coaches Poll has the Bruins at No. 23.

That makes UCLA the second-ranked Pac-12 team, behind Arizona — second in the AP poll, fourth in the Coaches Poll.

Through the first four games, UCLA is averaging more than 95 points per game and has won by an average margin of almost 24 points. They haven’t played any ranked or power-conference teams, but Long Beach State is No. 33 in the early RPI, and Coastal Carolina is No. 78.

Now comes the hard part. UCLA opens up its Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas with a game against Oklahoma. The Sooners dropped out of the AP poll after a loss to Creighton last week but remain ahead of UCLA in the Coaches Poll, at No. 21.

Other teams in the tournament field include...

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UCLA's Ishmael Adams, Priest Willis questionable for Stanford game

UCLA could have issues in the secondary when it plays Stanford on Friday at the Rose Bowl.

Defensive backs Ishmael Adams and Priest Willis left Saturday’s game against USC with undisclosed injuries. Adams did not play in the second half and Willis was helped off the field in the fourth quarter after a collision with a USC player.

Willis was not at practice Monday. Adams was in uniform, but did not do the pre-practice workout with the defensive backs.

Mora said that Adams was “a lot better than I thought he would be today.” Willis was more serious, he said.

“We’re not sure what extent it was,” Mora said. “All head trauma is significant. This wasn’t significant where we are overly concerned.”

The loss of Adams would be significant. He plays cornerback, safety and nickel back. He averages 23.3 yards on kickoff returns and 10.4 on punt returns.

Adams has also scored three touchdowns, two on interception returns and one on a kickoff return.

With Adams out, defensive back Marcus Rios would...

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UCLA routs USC, 38-20, for third consecutive win in series

Time flies, and six years after an ill-advised advertising campaign by UCLA’s marketing department, the Bruins can say that they have ended the college football monopoly in Los Angeles.

And they have begun another: Theirs.

By the time the Bruins were done with USC on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, they had a 38-20 victory and clear possession of the city after winning the third consecutive game in the rivalry.

The series can easily flip, but none among the Bruin-heavy crowd of 82,431 was worried about that as they chanted “UCLA” as the clock wound down.

USC’s Pete Carroll years have been permanently assigned to history. The Trojans are on their second coach, plus two interim coaches, since. On the other side, Jim Mora has resurrected a program that had an 82-81 record from 1999-2011.

Those were things painfully obvious -- to the Trojans -- in one of UCLA’s most dominant victories in the series.

After USC beat California last week, tackle Zach Banner said that UCLA had  “renting” the...

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