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Monday, August 23, 2010
UCLA's O-line takes another hit

By Ted Miller

If you look at UCLA's offensive line depth chart from 2009, your first though is this: 13 of 14 guys, including all five starters, will be back for 2010.

Sounds great, eh? Sure, the Bruins' line has struggled in recent years, but those struggling young guys now will become salty veterans. And there will be depth.

Insert sigh from UCLA fans, players and coaches here. Things have certainly changed since the Bruins won the EagleBank Bowl.

The Bruins lost another lineman -- perhaps their best one -- early in Saturday's scrimmage when center Kia Maiava went down with a fractured left ankle. The junior almost certainly is done for the season.

The hit list on the line in addition to Maiava goes like this:
Barring any more issues, the starting line probably will look like this at Kansas State on Sept. 4: Sean Sheller and Micah Kia at the tackles, Williams and Darius Savage at the guards and Ryan Taylor at center.

Understand: That's not a woeful lineup. Sheller, who's battled injuries and position changes, is the only one with no starting experience. Taylor replaced Maiava in the EagleBank Bowl last year, and Kia started 15 games before missing 2009 with a knee injury. And Harris will return after the opener.

Still, there isn't too much remaining margin for error if anyone else -- knock on wood -- pulls up lame.