UCLA’s Torian White out for season; Jordon James hurts ankle
UCLA lost two key offensive players in a 34-27 victory over Utah on Thursday night.
Tackle Torian White suffered a broken bone and a torn ligament in his right leg. He will have surgery on Tuesday and be out for the season.
Running back Jordon James sustained an ankle injury and is unlikely to play against California on Oct. 12. James entered the game as the fifth-leading rusher in the nation, averaging 141 yards per game.
“The X-rays were negative, and he’s wearing a [protective] boot to take the pressure off,” Coach Jim Mora said. “He is doubtful this week, but I wouldn’t rule him out. You never know how these things respond and it helps we have a couple extra days.”
James has 463 yards rushing and has scored five touchdowns.
Paul Perkins filled in for James and contributed 92 yards rushing, 36 coming during a fourth-quarter drive that ended in a 47-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn that broke a 24-24 tie.
Mora said Perkins “is really good inside the tackles. He’s a slashy runner who gets skinny in the hole and he fights for extra yards.”
Steven Manfro and Malcolm Jones are also options at running back.
The Bruins could also get a boost from Damien Thigpen, who returned from a knee injury Thursday. He was on the field for one play and did not get a carry.
The loss of White makes the Bruins a lot younger on the line. Simon Goines moved to White’s left tackle spot and Caleb Benenoch played right tackle. That left the Bruins with two freshmen, Benenoch and guard Alex Redmond, playing next to each other.
“It isn’t so much that Caleb isn’t ready to play tackle, it’s just you got two kids who a couple months ago were trading Pokemon cards in high school,” offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said. “They know their stuff, but we were in a situation where there wasn’t much communication. We had to go on silent counts and they couldn’t rely on help.”
With Redmond and Benenoch, center Jake Brendel shouldered more responsibilities, and he made low snaps during the game.
“Jake is a very prideful guy and the low snaps bother him,” Mora said. “He’s not ever looking for an excuse, but the fact of the matter is he was put in a difficult situation. We were going on a silent count, which means he has to have his head down, and he had two true freshmen on his right against a team bringing pressure on every play.”
UCLA had 13 penalties for 100 yards against Utah. The Bruins rank 122nd out of 123 Football Bowl Subdivision teams — just ahead of Washington — in penalties.
It was a topic of discussion when Mora met with the team Friday.
“In my opinion, there were four calls, four penalties, that could have been game changers, momentum changers,” Mora said. “I think they understand, I think they have understood all along and it’s not like they don’t care. I just haven’t been able to get through on it.”
Go beyond the scoreboard
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.