UCLA Sports

A trio of Bruins who need to be sharp against Oregon

Thomas Duarte
UCLA wide receiver Thomas Duarte got free for two big plays against Arizona State but was skunked last week against Utah.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Three players No. 18 UCLA needs to be on their games against No. 12 Oregon on Saturday in the Rose Bowl:

--Tackle Malcolm Bunche.

The Bruins need their offensive linemen to do more for quarterback Brett Hundley than just yell, “Look out!” Utah brought pressure from the edge, with defensive ends and outside linebackers getting eight of the Utes’ 10 sacks. Bunche is a senior who transferred from Miami as a graduate student. He needs to be a leader …  by example. If the Bruins can trust their tackles, they should be able to move Hundley around the pocket.

--Linebacker Myles Jack.


Remember him? Jack was a freshman phenomenon last season. He has been good this season but needs to be great. He has the speed to run with the Oregon skill players. The type of impact plays Jack is capable of can disrupt the Ducks. He is second on the team in tackles with 38, but only one has been for a loss. He has no interceptions and has not recovered a fumble or forced one.

--Receiver Thomas Duarte.

He was skunked last week, held to zero receptions. The Bruins need his big body (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and pristine route running to cause problems in the Oregon defense. Twice he got free for big plays against Arizona State, a 43-yard reception in the first quarter and a 30-yard catch in the second quarter. Those led to a field goal and a touchdown. 

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes


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