UCLA offensive line will face challenges against Virginia
UCLA’s sideline will be missing a man in the season opener Saturday against Virginia.
Adrian Klemm, the Bruins’ offensive line coach, will start his two-game suspension as punishment for NCAA rule violations. Klemm cannot have contact with the team for 24 hours prior to the game.
Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said that in-game decisions would be a group decision.
Mazzone will be a prominent member of that group. “I may help with an adjustment here and there,” he said.
A year ago, Virginia befuddled quarterback Brett Hundley, sacking him five times and harassing him often as the UCLA offense produced only one touchdown in a 28-20 victory.
The Bruins are braced for what the Cavaliers will throw at freshman quarterback Josh Rosen.
“Our assumption is they will bring massive amounts of heat at a true freshman quarterback starting his first game,” Coach Jim Mora said.
Mazzone said that without Klemm the Bruins would rely on senior center Jake Brendel to make adjustments. “That’s a good guy to have in this situation,” Mazzone said.
Brendel has started 39 games for UCLA in three years, but he missed the opener a year ago because of a knee injury. Hundley was on the run from the first snap.
“They ran a lot of games up front, a lot of stunts,” tackle Caleb Benenoch recalled.
Brendel, who watched in frustration from the sidelines a year ago, has put in plenty of film time getting ready for Saturday
“They have a very intense defense when it comes to their scheme,” Brendel said. “I wouldn’t say it was gimmicky, but they are very mobile on their front. They always bring at least one guy every play.”
Even with the line’s coach absent, Mazzone has confidence in a unit that has four starters back.
“It’s a veteran group and Adrian has done such a good job during the week that we will pretty much take the leashes off and let our guys play,” Mazzone said.
Junior safety Randall Goforth had a spotlight moment against Virginia last season. He scooped up a fumble and raced 75 yards for a touchdown.
“That was the high point of my year,” Goforth said.
He didn’t get many chances to top it. Shoulder problems forced Goforth out of the lineup after two games. He had surgery on both shoulders.
“That was pretty much my only game,” Goforth said.
But now he’s back. “I studied that game and will try to [repeat it] this year,” Goforth said.
Memory Lane II
Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will work his first game at UCLA. But it won’t be his first game at the Rose Bowl.
Bradley coached in the Rose Bowl game twice as a Penn State assistant. He was the Nittany Lions’ linebackers coach in a 38-20 victory over Oregon in the 1995 game. He was the defensive coordinator in a 38-24 loss to USC in the 2009 game.
“You always remember the one you won,” Bradley said. “In 1995, we had an outstanding football team with an offense that carried us in that game and the whole year. Southern Cal, there wasn’t so many good memories that day.”
As for calling the Rose Bowl home, Bradley said, “We went up there to practice last week. I was looking around and said, ‘This is some kind of place.’
“When you talk about the truly great stadiums — football, baseball, soccer — the Rose Bowl would have to come up in that discussion.”
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