UCLA linebacker Damien Holmes felt right at home Saturday against Colorado.
Holmes was shoved outside . . . by his coaches. He moved from inside linebacker to fill out the left side, with starter Jordan Zumwalt back in Los Angeles recovering from a motor scooter accident.
“I’ve been defensive end for three years here, so I’ve seen things from that angle,” Holmes said.
Holmes finished with seven tackles, all solo. He had five tackles for losses, including three sacks. “It’s just more natural for him,” UCLA Coach Jim Mora said.
Holmes moved to inside linebacker during training camp after Patrick Larimore was forced to give up football because of concussions. Mora said coaches will “evaluate our personnel” when Zumwalt returns.
Holmes said, “Wherever they put me, that’s where I want to play.”
Freshman defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, UCLA’s top recruit, got extra work Saturday.
McCarthy moved to offense, playing guard. He had worked with the offensive line during the week, but Mora said it was in preparation for short-yardage situations. McCarthy talked as though the switch was more permanent.
“It was fun out there,” he said, “but I’m going to have to practice on both sides of the ball now.”
McCarthy, who is 6 feet 5 and 330 pounds, also played defensive tackle Saturday.
Ahead of pace
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw his 10th touchdown pass of the season when he hooked up with Darius Bell on a 17-yard pitch-and-catch in the second quarter.
It’s the fastest a UCLA quarterback has reached double figures in touchdown passes since Drew Olson threw 10 in the first five games of the 2005 season.
Olson finished with 34 touchdown passes that year. Kevin Prince threw 12 last season, the most by a Bruins quarterback since Olson.
The touchdown was the first of Bell’s career. He moved from quarterback to receiver during spring practice. Hundley completed passes for 11 different receivers.
Colorado has 24 players from Southern California on its roster, including six starters: tailback Christian Powell (Upland High), wide receiver Nelson Spruce (Westlake Village Westlake), guard Daniel Munyer (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame), nose tackle Josh Tupou (Buena Park), defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe (Corona) and cornerback Greg Henderson (Norco).
Powell, hobbled by an injured right ankle, gained 29 yards in seven carries before he limped to the Colorado locker room midway through the fourth quarter. Spruce had three receptions for 26 yards. Donta Abron, also from Upland, had 19 yards in four carries for Colorado.
UCLA guard Jeff Baca returned after missing the previous two games because of a health issue. His presence solidified a line that starts three freshmen and a sophomore. Johnathan Franklin, who led the Bruins with 111 yards rushing, twice burst through holes opened by Baca, for 18 and 28 yards.
Offensive lineman Greg Capella did not make the trip, missing his second game since suffering a concussion in practice. Cornerback Aaron Hester left Saturday’s the game in fourth quarter with a left leg injury. Freshman Fabian Moreau replaced Hester. Receiver Devin Lucien left the game with what was believed to be a broken collarbone.