Thursday, September 13, 2012
Bruins are Locke-d and loaded
By Peter Yoon
LOS ANGELES -- UCLA's' gaudy offensive numbers and stout second-half defenses have gotten much of the early-season attention, but punter Jeff Locke also continues to amaze.
Locke put four of his six punts inside the Nebraska 10-yard line last week, creating major field-position problems for the Cornhuskers, and was the unsung hero when his fourth-quarter punt to the Nebraska five-yard line directly led to a game-changing tackle for a safety by Datone Jones that broke a 27-27 tie with 8:44 to play.
The week before against Rice, Locke put three of his six punts inside the 15.
"He's tremendous, he really is," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "We feel like any time we get in that area inside the 50-yard line he's very capable and more than likely to pin our opponent inside the 10."
Mora, who spent 25 years in the NFL before taking the job at UCLA, offered high praise for the senior punter, who was voted a team captain this year.
"He's one of the best punters I've ever been around at any level," Mora said. "It's fun to watch him work. It's fun to watch his professionalism in practice and you hope that rubs off on everybody. I think it does."