Pac-12: Mike Harris

UCLA spring wrap

May, 14, 2012
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2011 record: 6-8
2011 conference record: 5-4 (first in South)
Returning starters: Offense: 7; defense: 7; kicker/punter 1

Top returners
RB Johnathan Franklin, TE Joseph Fauria, DE Datone Jones, LB Patrick Larimore, LB Damien Holmes, S Tevin McDonald.

Key losses
WR Nelson Rosario, OT Mike Harris, C Kai Maiava

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Johnathan Franklin* (976 yards)
Passing: Kevin Prince* (1,828 yards)
Receiving: Nelson Rosario (1,161 yards)
Tackles: Patrick Larimore* (81)
Sacks: Datone Jones* (3)
Interceptions: Andrew Abbott* (4)

Spring answers
1. Nice to meet you: Step one for a new coaching staff is to acclimate their players to not only their systems, but how they go about running their program. UCLA's players learned quickly that Jim Mora and Co. don't waste time. Players were introduced to a high-tempo practice session that took some getting used to, but ultimately they figured it out by the end of spring.

2. New look-offense: Players seemed to pick up new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's pass-happy scheme rather quickly -- and by the spring game, the quarterbacks were tossing multiple touchdowns. Each quarterback has said the new offense is less complex, but allows him to make quicker decisions. Because it's so pass-oriented, it caters to the talents of the quarterbacks. Which one starts, however, is still up for grabs (see below).

3. Defensive depth: The move of Holmes from defensive end to outside linebacker has opened up another spot on a fairly deep defensive line. Jones should flourish as a pass-rusher in the 3-4 scheme. Cassius Marsh, Brandon Willis and Owamagbe Odighizuwa bring depth and talent to a position group that should be the strength of UCLA's defense.

Fall questions
1. To be continued ...: Mora said he was hoping to name a quarterback by the end of spring. No dice. He wants a longer look at Brett Hundley, Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut before deciding. Each brings his own skill set and talents. Brehaut put up impressive numbers in the spring game and Hundley is oozing potential. This is the most important decision of Mora's young career as a college coach. No need to rush it.

2. Depth needed: The Bruins can fill out most spots, but there are still depth questions on the offensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary. Xavier Su'a-Filo returns -- which helps at tackle -- and linebacker Eric Kendricks had a good spring. But there are competitions other than quarterback to keep an eye on as they spill over into the fall. Which leads us to ...

Incoming help? It's possible that some of the players coming in could make an immediate impact. Which ones, however, remains a question. Defensive end Ellis McCarthy is likely to contribute right away; Ishmael Adams could pitch in in the secondary. Offensive linemen Simon Goines and Carl Hulick could also be in the mix.

UCLA's Sean Sheller gets a sixth year

January, 26, 2011
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UCLA was due for some good news, and it just got some: Left tackle Sean Sheller has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, the school announced Wednesday.

Sheller, who started 11 games at offensive left tackle in 2010, missed the entire 2006 season due to a knee injury and the 2008 season due to knee and ankle injuries.

Sheller's return is a major boost to a Bruins offensive line that is much better off than it looked on paper a few weeks ago, when it appeared to be losing four starters from 2010. The Bruins now have two returning starters from this season's offensive line (tackles Sheller and Mike Harris) plus two returning starters from the 2009 season: center Kai Maiava, who missed 2010 due to a fractured ankle, and guard Jeff Baca, who missed the year due to eligibility issues.

Baca likely steps in at one guard spot, while sophomore Chris Ward is the favorite to man the other. Eddie Williams and Darius Savage were the starting guards in 2010.

In total, the Bruins now have eight starters returning on offense as well as just about all the 2010 depth at the skill positions. So new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will have plenty of experience to work with.

That's the good news. The bad news is the unit ranked last in the Pac-10 in total offense (316.7 yards per game) and ninth in scoring (20.2).
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel understands the media and more than most coaches he's willing to help.

For example: Say you wanted an update Tuesday on the status of his quarterback Kevin Prince, who's missed nearly all of preseason camp with a small but bothersome tear in his back muscle. Neuheisel provided a eyewitness, play-by-play to reporters during the weekly Pac-10 coaches teleconference.

[+] EnlargeRick Neuheisel
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireRick Neuheisel thinks his unproven offensive line will be able to handle Kansas State.
"I'm standing right here watching him practice," said Neuheisel, with the typical practice chatter clearly audible through the phone line.

"He's going to throw this ball. I'll tell you after this throw... Oh, it's perfectly thrown. It's outstanding! I think he's going to be fine."

The verdict: Prince is "rusty but healthy." He will start at Kansas State on Saturday. Probably.

Neuheisel is all about optimism. His catch-phrase upon getting hired to rebuild the Bruins in 2008 was "relentless optimism." That optimism has been tested, however, by an 11-14 record his first two years and a fairly stunning array of injuries.

The current challenge to Neuheisel's power of positive thinking isn't just about getting Prince to the opener in one piece. His offensive line is in pieces.

All five starters from last year were projected to return this season, including 13 of 14 players on the 2009 depth chart. Yet guard Eddie Williams is the only returning starter who will be in the lineup at Kansas State, and even he missed half of the 2009 season with a fractured ankle.

Talented left tackle Xavier Su'a-Filo, who won a starting job as a true freshman, opted to go on a two-year Mormon mission. Then the chief candidate to replace him, Nik Abele, was forced to retire because of neck problems. Center Kai Maiava fractured his ankle during preseason camp. Guard Jeff Baca is academically ineligible. Right tackle Mike Harris is suspended for the Kansas State game. Toss in guard Stanley Hasiak's academic ineligibility, and Jake Dean ending his career a year early, and you have a lot of attrition from what might have been a greatly improved line.

This probably won't surprise you a bit, but Neuheisel is undaunted: "They're terrific," he said of his new lineup.

He even spots for reporters a potential feel-good angle with his makeshift line.

"It's kind of a neat story -- hopefully it will be one that's told for years and years after because of the success they have," Neuheisel said. "We have five seniors who've gotten here in kind of a round-about sort of way. Each has their own unique road they traveled to get here."

Those five are: right guard Williams, a junior college transfer; left tackle Sean Sheller, a fifth-year senior who spent much of his injury-riddled career on the defensive line; left guard Darius Savage, who started seven games in 2008 but fell out of favor last year; center Ryan Taylor, a JC transfer who started two games at guard and one at center in 2009; and right tackle Micah Kia, who started seven games in 2008 but missed last fall with a knee injury.

Despite the questions on offense, the Bruins visit to Kansas State probably comes down to something else: How a rebuilt front seven on defense handles Wildcats running back Daniel Thomas, who rushed for 1,290 yards last year. Thomas will be running behind a veteran line. Combine that with a new and unproven quarterback, and you can expect the Wildcats to try to challenge the Bruins with a physical, run-first attack.

In last year's game, the Bruins dispatched K-State fairly easily, 23-9. But this will be Year Two of coach Bill Snyder's return to where he produced perhaps the greatest rebuilding jobs in college football history, which explains why his name is on the stadium: "Bill Snyder Family Stadium." The Wildcats should be a much more finely tuned team, despite just 11 returning starters.

"He's a team builder, no question about it," Neuheisel said.

By the way, the Wildcats have won 20 home openers in a row.

Of course, Neuheisel is optimistic that his quarterback will be healthy and sharp, his offensive line and defensive front-seven will be stout and that winning streak is about to end.

UCLA's O-line takes another hit

August, 23, 2010
8/23/10
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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:
  • Talented tackle Xavier Su'a-filo opted to go on a two-year Mormon mission after starting as a true freshman.
  • The leading candidate to replace Su'a-filo, Nik Abele, was forced to retire because of neck problems.
  • Right tackle Mike Harris is suspended for the opener at Kansas State because of a violation of team rules.
  • Left guard Jeff Baca has been ruled academically ineligible, pending an appeal with the NCAA, and even if he wins his appeal he's nursing a stress fracture in his right leg.
  • Right guard Eddie Williams has missed practices due to a concussion, though he should be ready to play by the season opener.

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.

Bad news for both UCLA lines

August, 10, 2010
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UCLA's chief worry is its offensive line, so this is not good news: Starting left guard Jeff Baca has been ruled academically ineligible pending an appeal with the NCAA.

Nor is this: Junior defensive end Datone Jones, the only returning starter on the defensive line, broke his foot during Tuesday's practice and will be out at least a month.

Jones, who had 11 tackles for a loss last season, was a standout during spring practices. Coach Rick Neuheisel told reporters that junior Nate Chandler will move from tackle to end. Chandler only converted from the offensive to the defensive line during spring practices.

Things might be even more challenging for the offensive line, a unit that has suffered four hits since it struggled through the 2009 season.

First, talented Xavier Su'a-Filo, who started at left tackle as a true freshman, opted to go on a Mormon mission. Then the chief candidate to replace him, Nik Abele, was forced to retire because of neck problems. On Monday, it was announced that starting right tackle Mike Harris would be suspended for the opener at Kansas State because of a violation of team rules.

Senior Darius Savage is listed as Baca's backup on the depth chart. He's started eight games over the past two seasons.

A look back at 2007 recruiting

July, 21, 2010
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The 2007 recruiting class members are either seniors or redshirt juniors this fall, so they should be the backbones of most Pac-10 team's starting lineups.

Therefore, it seems like a reasonable moment to look back and review some recruiting hits and misses. (And, yes, we did this last summer with the 2006 class, which you can review here -- Ducks fans should get a kick out of it).

As for the 2007 rankings, USC ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. Oregon, at No. 23, was the only other Pac-10 team in the Scouts Inc., top-25.

Scout.com ranked USC No. 2 in the nation, Oregon ninth, and California 12th. The rest of the Pac-10 went, in order, Washington (29th in nation), UCLA (36th), Arizona State (38), Oregon State (40), Stanford (43), Arizona (49) and Washington State (54).

Here's an overview.

Arizona

Class: 17

ESPNU top 150 players: 2 (DE Apaiata Tuihalamaka, TE Rob Gronkowski)

How many are expected to start in 2010: Four (RB Nic Grigsby, CB Trevin Wade, WR William Wright, K Alex Zendejas)

Misses: Tuihalamaka, QB Bryson Beirne,

Verdict: Obviously, the biggest catch of this class, Gronkowski, is gone. Otherwise, a lot of these guys qualify for the "where are they now?" file.

Arizona State

Class: 24

ESPNU top 150 players: 0.

How many are expected to start in 2010: Five (C Garth Gerhart, WR Kerry Taylor, CB Omar Bolden, DE James Brooks, OG Matt Hustad)

Misses: OL Po'u Palelei, LB Oliver Aaron

Verdict: This is a decent class, particularly when you factor in the contribution of the since-departed JC signees, such as LB Morris Wooten and DE Luis Vasquez. And there are several non-starters who will contribute this year.

California

Class: 27

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: 10 (OT Matt Summers-Gavin, P Bryan Anger, LB D.J. Holt, WR Alex Lagemann, OT Mitchell Schwartz, S Sean Cattouse, S Chris Conte, OG Justin Cheadle, DE Cameron Jordan, RB Shane Vereen).

Misses: QB Brock Mansion, CB D.J. Campbell

Verdict: Obviously, ESPN.com's Scouts Inc., missed with its evaluation of this solid recruiting class, particularly when you consider RB Jahvid Best, WR Nyan Boateng and LB Devin Bishop were significant contributors before their tenures were done. Jordan and Vereen obviously were well underrated. And there were 21 running backs better than Best?

Oregon

Class: 29

ESPNU top 150 players: 1 (DE Kenny Rowe)

How many are expected to start in 2010: 10 (Rowe, WR D.J. Davis, LB Casey Matthews, CB Talmadge Jackson, OG Carson York, TE David Paulson, OG Mark Asper, WR Jeff Maehl, S Eddie Pleasant, DE Terrell Turner).

Misses: DT Myles Wade, S Malachi Lewis

Verdict: When you toss in DE Will Tukuafu, WR Aaron Pflugrad (a starter who transferred to Arizona State) and WR Terence Scott, this is a good, if not great, class. Three or four of these guys should be All-Conference players.

Oregon State

Class: 35

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: Eight (HB Joe Halahuni, S Cameron Collins, WR Darrell Catchings, CB Brandon Hardin, FB Will Darkins, DE Taylor Henry, LB Keith Pankey, WR James Rodgers)

Misses: CB David Ross, RB Reggie Dunn

Verdict: We don't have the time to go back and retrace the maneuvers that are part of managing a 35-man recruiting class (each class can only include a maximum of 25 members, but there are lots of ways to fudge numbers). Obviously, there are the Beavers typical crew of so-called diamonds in the rough -- hello, James Rodgers -- but here's a guess that coach Mike Riley winces over some of these names. Certainly not a lot of production from the six JC guys.

Stanford

Class: 19

ESPNU top 150 players: 0.

How many are expected to start in 2010: Six (P David Green, CB Corey Gatewood, LB/FB Owen Marecic, TE Coby Fleenor, DE Thomas Keiser, DE Matt Masifilo)

Misses: QB L. D. Crow, S Sean Wiser

Verdict: An interesting class considering that six of the eight lowest rated players are on the Cardinal's preseason two-deep depth chart, including three starters. In terms of skill positions -- see the two QBs -- this class doesn't measure up.

UCLA

Class: 11

ESPNU top 150 players: 2 (QB Chris Forcier, RB Raymond Carter)

How many are expected to start in 2010: Five (LB Akeem Ayers, LB Glenn Love, LB Steve Sloan, DT Nate Chandler, OT Mike Harris)

Misses: Forcier, Carter

Verdict: This is a very small but highly productive class collected by former coach Karl Dorrell -- note that it includes DT Brian Price, who bolted early for the NFL. The only busts were the two highest rated players, Forcier and Carter, and JC LB Mike Schmitt. The other eight members are either on the two-deep or, in Price's case, already in the NFL.

USC

Class: 20

ESPNU top 150 players: 10 (RB Joe McKnight, LB Chris Galippo, RB Marc Tyler, S Marshall Jones, DE Everson Griffen, QB Aaron Corp, WR Ronald Johnson, OT Martin Coleman, DT DaJohn Harris, C Kris O'Dowd)

How many are expected to start in 2010: Four (LB Chris Galippo, WR Ronald Johnson, C Kristofer O'Dowd, LB Malcolm Smith)

Misses: S Marshall Jones, OT Martin Coleman

Verdict: Obviously, this class, ranked No. 1 in the nation, was overrated, even when you factor in that McKnight, Griffen and Damian Williams already are in the NFL, and NT Christian Tupou would be a second-year starter if he didn't blow out his knee this spring. Lots of guys who never contributed or left the program.

Washington

Class: 27

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: Eight (WR Devin Aguilar, LB Alvin Logan, LB Cort Dennison, SS Nate Williams, LB Mason Foster, CB Quinton Richardson, DE Kalani Aldrich, K Erik Folk)

Misses: DE Emeka Iweka, DT Nick Wood

Verdict: You read the names of the seven highest-rated players in this class and you have one reaction: Terrible. But then you see six defensive starters among the lower rated guys. Still, the Huskies defense is a huge question mark. How it performs this year will tell you how this class should be rated.

Washington State

Class: 26

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: Five (CB Aire Justin, WR Daniel Blackledge, C Andrew Roxas, OG B.J. Guerra, SS Chima Nwachukwu)

Misses: WR Deon Ford

Verdict: Not much should be expected from Bill Doba's final recruiting class, and this one doesn't deliver much sizzle. A couple of solid hits, though, including a couple of departed JC transfers.

Pac-10 lunch links: Writer predicts Corp will start vs. San Jose State

August, 26, 2009
8/26/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

I saw a sign at a gas station. It said 'help wanted.' There was another sign below it that said 'self service.' So I hired myself. Then I made myself the boss. I gave myself a raise. I paid myself. Then I quit.
Arizona has answered a number of questions, just not quarterback. Still waiting on right end Rob Gronkowski to return to practice.Arizona State takes hits to its offensive -- yikes -- and defensive lines with injuries and a three-game suspension of DE James Brooks.Andy Ludwig isn't just a baby sitter for California's offense.Big news for Oregon's secondary came out of its secret scrimmage Tuesday, per The Oregonian:Talmadge Jackson, who moved from cornerback to rover this summer and fall, has been moved back to corner. So he and Willie Glasper will split time at the corner opposite Walter Thurmond. T.J. Ward will start at free safety, and Marvin Johnson and Javes Lewis will split time at rover.
Oregon State quarterback Lyle Moevao still isn't ready to play. The schedule is better for the Beavers. A freshmanwill start on the O-line.Nice feature here by Elliott Almond on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck will be throwing to some talented but untested receivers.UCLA is still shuffling its offensive line, with Mike Harris re-entering the picture due to freshman Stanley Hasiak's "stinger." The Bruins' safety will either be to Dye for or all about the Love.Prediction: Aaron Corp will start against San Jose State on Sept. 5. USC is Quarterback U.Don James visits Washington's practice Tuesday -- it was a good one. How good is Daniel Te’o-Nesheim's supporting cast on the Washington D-line?Washington State's effort Tuesday didn't impress coach Paul Wulff, not to mention cornerback Brandon Jones sprained his ankle. Also, no word on who leads the quarterback competition between Marshall Lobbestael and Kevin Lopina. The LBs are deeper.Looking at the Pac-10 race.

UCLA's Harris will miss spring practices after foot surgery

February, 17, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

UCLA sophomore offensive tackle Mike Harris will miss spring practices after injuring his foot last week, according to a release from the school.

Harris fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He had surgery last Friday, and his recovery is expected to take approximately three months.

Harris started the final five games of the Bruins 2008 season at right tackle. He was expected to compete with Nate Chandler and Sean Sheller for the starting job in 2009.

UCLA's spring practices start on April 2.

Pac-10 internal affairs: Rudy may be running (limping?)

October, 22, 2008
10/22/08
10:54
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Getting deep into this week's games.

Will Arizona go small and get big?: USC's defense hasn't allowed a point in 10 quarters. It's ranked No. 1 in scoring defense and No. 2 in total defense. In other words, the Trojans have the nation's best defense. Only one team had success of any kind against them and that was Oregon State, which used a balanced attack to gain 343 total yards in a 27-21 victory. Balance is the key. Without at least a threat to run, an opposing quarterback is simply fresh meat for a fast USC defense, which can then tape its ears back in the pass rush. The Beavers, however, gashed the Trojans with diminutive true freshman Jacquizz Rodgers, who used his 5-foot-7 frame to his advantage instead of disadvantage. After the game, the Trojans defenders actually complained that they couldn't find Rodgers amid the crowd of large bodies. Just so happens that Arizona boasts two speedy, undersized backs. Freshman Keola Antolin (5-foot-7) burst onto the scene with 149 yards rushing on 21 carries with three touchdowns in the 42-27 win over California. He stepped in for Nic Grigsby (5-foot-10), who fumbled in the first quarter, but Grigsby is solid when he holds onto the football -- see 627 yards rushing and nine touchdowns this year with a 5.9 yards-per-carry average. Considering the Wildcats' offensive line is a more experienced group than the Beavers' was, the question is whether the Trojans have learned to find the little guys who are trying to slice them apart.

Ducks foresee sack time with Rudy: In Oregon's 35-23 win over Arizona State last year, the Ducks sacked Rudy Carpenter nine times, including 3.5 takedowns by end Nick Reed. To say the least, it was a long day for Carpenter. The problem for him this go-around is there are abundant reasons to believe he will be again running for his life ... or limping for his life, considering he's nursing an ankle sprain. The Sun Devils have no running game to slow down Oregon's pass rush; they rank 117th in the nation in rushing. While the inexperienced offensive line has mostly pass protected better than last year's unit that surrendered 55 sacks, it still has yielded 2.5 sacks per game. Meanwhile, Reed is back, leading the Pac-10 with eight sacks this season, and his opposite end, Will Tukuafu, is just behind with six. In fact, Oregon leads the Pac-10 with 3.57 sacks per game. So there's your game: Can Rudy get enough time to pick on the Ducks hobbled secondary? Or will he hobble off the field himself?

Washington's players can make a statement on their feelings for Tyrone Willingham by playing hard vs. Notre Dame: It's not hard to pick apart what's gone wrong with Washington during the Tyrone Willingham Era. That's been going on ad nauseum for nearly two years and it won't end until the school puts his administration out of its misery. What can be said is this: Willingham is a man of integrity who cares about his players and has never been accused of unethical behavior. So how do his players feel about him? We'll see this weekend. While Willingham played off the Notre Dame angle this week, this also is a man of considerable ego and his ego will never be more vulnerable than it will be Saturday. If the Fighting Irish blow Willingham out of Husky Stadium, it will be a humiliating repudiation of him as a coach, at least in terms of popular perception. Thing is, Notre Dame isn't that good and the Huskies aren't that bad. If Washington plays hard for four quarters and fights for its coach, this won't be a blowout.

UCLA's offensive line vs. California's defensive line is a battle of wounded animals: UCLA's offensive line was considered a significant weakness entering the season. Each time coaches shuffled the available bodies and produced a small step forward, adversity seemed to bite back. This week, after starting the same five for consecutive games, it was freshman left tackle Jeff Baca going down with a hamstring injury during practice Tuesday. If he can't go against California, Micah Kia (bad back) likely will replace him, while Mike Harris (bum ankle) would make his first start at right tackle. Meanwhile, Cal's defensive front was forced to burn the redshirt of touted freshman Trevor Guyton against Arizona. With end Rulon Davis and tackle Kendrick Payne out and end Tyson Alualu slowed by a leg infection, the Bears got pushed around up front by Arizona, which gained 404 yards on a defense that had previously given up just 291 yards per game. The advantage here might go to the Bears for a simple reason: UCLA can't win on the road. The Bruins have lost five straight away from the Rose Bowl and 12 of their past 15. The O-line is the area that suffers most in a hostile environment.

You'll know in the first quarter if USC is going to roll: USC went to Oregon State planning to take the crowd out of the game. It didn't happen when the Trojans fell behind 21-0. A fast start at Arizona is a hot topic this week. "It's imperative that we're scoring on that first drive," USC quarterback Mark Sanchez told reporters Tuesday. "That means a lot. For the offense, it gives us confidence. It pumps up the defense. Things just go." While the Wildcats received a confidence boost by whipping Cal, they are not at the point where they won't lose faith against an early show of force from the Trojans. And it's not just a fast start; Oregon got that but then faltered for a moment and USC exploded. The Wildcats will have to be at their focused best -- think that dominant third quarter vs. Cal for an entire game -- to notch the upset. In Arizona's favor: It has won six in a row at home, tied for the longest home winning streak in the conference with USC and Oregon State, and a packed house is expected. A tight score at halftime will keep fans in the stands barking at the Trojans. A big USC lead at the break will send them to University Blvd. for a cold one. Or two.

Pac-10 Morning: Backup QBs proving to be important

August, 11, 2008
8/11/08
9:26
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Headed to the Bay Area this week to check in with California and Stanford, so these links left their hearts in San Francisco.

From the training room: First impressions at UCLA

August, 4, 2008
8/04/08
5:58
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Hot off the presses from the training room... highlights from UCLA off-season conditioning program run by Mike Linn, head Athletic Performance Coach.

(Of course, the following is only the good news).

Training time: 12 weeks
"Team": 76 returning players

Team Fat Mass Lost: -111.2 lb
Team Muscle Mass Gained: +254.2 lb
Team Power Clean: +1400 lb
Team Back Squat: +1925 lb
Team Bench Press: +985 lb
Team Vertical jump: +101.5"
Team broad jump: +142.5"
Team Med. Ball power toss: +1087"
Team Pro Agility: -4.86 sec

Player Highlights:

SS Bret Locket: Power clean + 60 lb
FS Glenn Love: Fat mass - 12 lb, Muscle mass +15 lb, Back squat +115 lb, Pro agility -0.17 sec
DE Korey Bosworth: Fat mass - 17 lb, Muscle Mass +22 lb, Broad jump + 8"
DT Brigham Harwell: Fat mass - 8 lb, Muscle Mass +10 lb, Back Squat + 120 lb, Bench press +40 lb
DT Brian Price: Fat Mass - 6 lb, Muscle Mass + 14lb, Power Clean +45 lb, Vertical Jump +5"
LB Akeem Ayers: Power Clean +40 lb, Back Squat +60 lb, Bench Press +25 lb, Vertical Jump +6", Power ball Toss +41"
LB Kyle Bosworth: Fat Mass - 13 lb, Muscle Mass + 15 lb, Power ball toss +42"
LB Reggie Carter: Fat Mass -10lb, Muscle Mass + 8 lb
OT Mike Harris: Power Clean +40 lb, Back Squat +70, Vertical jump +6.5", Broad Jump +8", Pro Agility -0.11 sec
C Micah Reed: Fat Mass - 8 lb, Muscle Mass +6 lb, Bench Press +30 lb
OG Nick Ekbatani: Power Clean +30 lb, Back Squat +75 lb, Vertical Jump +2.5"
TB Kahlil Bell: Fat Mass - 8 lb, Muscle Mass + 10 lb, Power clean +40 lb,
Back Squat +100 lb, Bench Press + 30 lb, Vertical Jump +3.5"
TB Ray Carter: Fat Mass - 10 lb, Muscle Mass +10 lb, Power clean +65 lb,
WR Marcus Everett: Fat mass - 11 lb, vertical jump +3"

While you were on vacation... UCLA

July, 9, 2008
7/09/08
8:47
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The seventh of 10 quick hit updates of off-season Pac-10 goings on.

In a sentence:

  • New coach Rick Neuheisel and an outstanding staff face an uphill battle -- even if quarterback Ben Olson somehow manages to stay healthy -- in their first season if the expectation is an immediate climb back into the top third of the conference.

The big question:

  • The overriding issue is an offensive line that needs to replace four starters from 2007's mediocre crew -- and that was even before projected starting right tackle Sean Sheller suffered season-ending injuries in an ATV accident.

Quick hit news:

  • Sheller didn't even look like a starter at the beginning of spring. He ascended on the depth chart because returning starter Aleksey Lanis left the program due to a recurring knee injury. So the Bruins will be down to their third choice at one tackle, which might even be true freshman Mike Harris, though some line shuffling also could happen.
  • Obviously needing to shore up the line, UCLA in late June signed Donovan Edwards, a a 6-foot-5, 285-pound tackle from Diablo Valley Community College, who will be eligible to play this fall if he successfully completes summer school classes. Edwards will have four years to play three seasons, according to the LA Times.
  • Olson has been cleared to play after he broke a bone in his right foot on April 24 -- just moments after Patrick Cowan, who had risen to No. 1 on the depth chart, went down with a season-ending knee injury. While the injury-prone Olson will be the decided front-runner to start on Sept. 1 when Tennessee comes to town, don't be surprised if transfer Kevin Craft pushes him during preseason practices.
  • A lot has been written recently about UCLA losing a pair of previously committed, marquee defensive back recruits: Marlon Pollard to Notre Dame and Byron Moore to -- GAH! -- USC. Moore is a lifelong USC fan, so his defection should be no surprise. But LA Daily News writer Brian Dohn suspects that Pollard still might end up a Bruin. It's worth watching. Word is teenagers are sometimes a bit fickle. Wonder who will win more games this year: UCLA or ND?

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