UCLA: owa

SAN BERNARDINO -- Now that UCLA has a starting quarterback, the offense can start to build some chemistry, continuity and consistency.

That's the idea, anyway, but Brett Hundley didn't exactly get off to a flying start.

Hundley was named the starter on Friday, then on Saturday had one of his worst practices since last year. He settled a bit on Sunday but still wasn't throwing the ball at his best. Coach Jim Mora said it was just the product of needing time for the shock to wear off after winning a long competition for the job.

"It never fails that when you name a guy the starter after a hard battle, they come out that first practice and they say, ‘I’m the starter. I have to make every throw. I’ve got to jam everything in there,'" Mora said. "And looking at the film, it looked like Brett forced it a little bit last night. And today, I didn’t look at it that closely, but I think he settled down a little bit."

This is the earliest UCLA has had a starting quarterback named in several years. Kevin Prince battled through three competitions before winning the job in the final week before the season each time. Getting a guy in place with three weeks to go will eventually help the offense run better.

"I think having a starter named at this point, everybody knows who is going to line up under center when we kick it off versus Rice," Mora said. "I think the receivers now can start to get in more of a rhythm with a guy. The offensive line can get a feel for how he sets up in the pocket. Everyone gets a feel for his rhythm of cadence, how he operates and how he runs the team. It just settles us a little bit."

Running back Johnathan Franklin said any of the quarterbacks would have done a fine job, but he is happy that he won't have to wait the next few weeks before finding out who will hand him the ball in games.

"I would say it’s good for us to have a little foundation now," Franklin said. "In the past, we didn’t know who the guy was. I think it’s good to know who the guy is snap to snap for me to build a relationship and for the O-line to build a relationship and the receivers, as well."

Some other notes from Sunday:

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B. Hundley81576863
P. Perkins633044.82
B. Hundley29742.61
J. Payton1926614.01
D. Fuller14835.90