James Milliner’s back problem completed a sweep of the UCLA preseason depth chart. Every running back listed on the chart is either wearing or has worn the red jersey of the injured, with the Bruins’ season only one game old. The only completely healthy backs left are freshmen Skip Hicks and Jeff Ruckman.
Milliner said the back problem was not severe. “I think I slept on it wrong or something,” he said. “It’s nothing that happened at practice.”
He and Daron Washington started in the backfield in UCLA’s opener against California, but both wore red jerseys on Monday. Washington has a sprained ankle that is slow to respond to treatment.
Ricky Davis, listed in the preseason as a probable starter, has not played or practiced since two-a-day sessions in August because of an ankle problem. Derek Ayers (hip pointer) and Sharmon Shah (arthroscopic knee surgery in August) are practicing again and could see time against Nebraska on Saturday. Washington could also play.
Receivers aren’t in much better shape. Mike Nguyen (knee) and Bryan Adams (hamstring) were listed as 1-2 at flanker coming into the season, but neither will play against Nebraska.
Nebraska lists Calvin Jones, whom the Cornhuskers are touting for the Heisman Trophy, as doubtful because of a strained knee ligament. “I doubt he will even practice this week,” Coach Tom Osborne said. . . . Cornhusker quarterback Tommie Frazier also is hobbled because of an ankle injury suffered in the first play of the season, against North Texas. Frazier played last week against Texas Tech and passed for 206 yards and a touchdown. “If I walk on it, it swells,” he said Tuesday. “I feel pain, but it’s not as bad as it was last week.” . . . Behind Frazier at quarterback, Tony Veland ruptured a tendon in his knee against Texas Tech and is out for the season, and Ben Rutz is two or three weeks away from being able to play after tearing a knee ligament last spring.