Offensive and defensive lines suffer hits
Tackle Jeff Baca hobbled off the UCLA practice field Tuesday, creating more turmoil for the Bruins’ offensive line.
Baca, a freshman who had settled in at left tackle, suffered what was called a strained hamstring during practice. He will be re-evaluated today, but there were concerns among coaches that he tore the left hamstring.
The injury resulted in another shuffling of the offensive line. Micah Kia moved from right tackle to left tackle. Mike Harris worked out with the first team at right tackle.
“Even before Baca hurt his hamstring, I was going to give Harris a good look,” offensive line coach Bob Palcic said. “He’s worked hard. He’s been doing a nice job in one-on-one pass protection. I know he’s hungry. He’s come up to my office and asked to get extra work.”
Palcic said he has other options. Right guard Nick Ekbatani can move to right tackle and Scott Glicksberg or Darius Savage can play guard.
Defensive end Reginald Stokes will have surgery on his left knee for a torn meniscus. He is expected to be out at least three weeks.
That left the Bruins’ defensive line considerably thin.
Defensive end Tom Blake has an abdominal injury that may end his season. Defensive tackle Chase Moline is not expected to play Saturday because of back spasms.
“As long as we got bodies and guys in the system, we have to keep on coaching,” defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said.
David Carter was moved from defensive tackle to defensive end Tuesday, and freshman Datone Jones, who was flopped from weak side to strong side defensive end against Stanford, played about 15 plays against the Cardinal.
“Tom Blake helped me out after I was converted to the tight end side,” Jones said. “I have to attack the tight end and get outside pass rush. The mind-set I have right now is to not make mistakes.”
California Coach Jeff Tedford said that Jahvid Best, the Bears’ top running back, should be ready to play this week. Best, who dislocated an elbow Sept. 27, played last week, but was pulled after three quarters against Arizona on Saturday because his elbow was sore.
“We didn’t want to risk any further damage,” Tedford said.
Best did not practice Tuesday.
Odds and split ends
UCLA wide receiver Ryan Graves sat out practice because of a sore hamstring. . . . Tailback Raymond Carter tested his groin injury during practice but is questionable for the game. . . . Defensive lineman Andy Keane missed practice because he was sick.
UCLA (3-4, 2-2)
at California (4-2, 2-1)
Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Ch. 7