Bruins get a boost with return of Josh Rosen and Jordan Lasley

UCLA receiver Jordan Lasley hauls in a long pass from Josh Rosen against Arizona State defensive back Kobe Williams during the second quarter.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Josh Rosen wasn’t the only major part of UCLA’s offense that the team got back Saturday. Jordan Lasley also returned.

The junior receiver who missed the Bruins’ previous three games because of undisclosed disciplinary matters had a huge game against Arizona State at the Rose Bowl, making seven catches for 162 yards and one touchdown in the Bruins victory.

Lasley provided an early reminder that he was one of the Bruins’ top playmakers when he snagged a 59-yard pass from Rosen in the second quarter. He also was involved in a double pass that he caught for 15 yards.

By halftime, Lasley had three catches for 92 yards, and he made a block to help Bolu Olorunfunmi gain 56 yards on a swing pass in the third quarter. He caught a 22-yard touchdown pass to open the fourth.


UCLA coach Jim Mora had said last week that Lasley’s return was contingent upon him showing “some of the things that we need to see from a behavioral and attitudinal standpoint and accountability and responsibility.”

Lasley entered the game with an average of 108.6 yards receiving per game, tops on the team. Rosen returned after missing most of the previous two games with a concussion and completed 25 of 45 passes for 381 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Safety dance

Mossi Johnson replaced Jaleel Wadood as the safety, making his first start of the season. Wadood did not appear to be in uniform and the cause of his absence was not immediately known.

Johnson also starred on special teams, making a nice open-field tackle on a kickoff return late in the first quarter.

Wadood entered this week ranked third in the Pac-12 with 48 solo tackles.

“He’s played well but he can play better,” Mora said late last month. “He just has to be a better tackler and he is a good tackler, but I expect him to make every tackle, so I’m really hard on him because I have such high expectations of him.”

Targeting his return

UCLA freshman cornerback Darnay Holmes sat out the first half as punishment for the targeting penalty he received in the second half last week against Utah. He was replaced by Colin Samuel in the starting lineup.

Holmes warmed up before the game then stayed in the locker room until halftime. Johnson and Mo Osling III returned kickoffs in Holmes’ absence in the first half.

Holmes was the first Bruin to be ejected twice for targeting this season after also being dismissed from the Colorado game. Linebacker Josh Woods, defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa and safety Adarius Pickett also have been called for targeting.

“We talk about it all the time with targeting, the strike zone, we preach it all the time,” defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said last week. “I don’t think his hit was blatant; I thought it was an aggressive play. They both kind of went down low and got it, but [the officials] made the call so you just deal with it.”

Between the hedges

The Rose Bowl included new signage on the hedges at midfield honoring former UCLA All-American swimmer Tod Spieker, who donated $10 million to the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation for stadium improvements.

Large white letters read “Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl” on the hedges on each side of the field, with the signs flanked by images of red roses.

Spieker was honored at halftime for the donation. The playing surface will be named in his honor for at least the next 25 years.

In and out

Linebacker Krys Barnes returned from the fluid buildup in his lungs that had been bothering him in recent weeks, but freshman defensive end Jaelan Phillips was sidelined by a flare-up of the ankle injury he originally sustained against Memphis on Sept. 16.

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch