Versatile UCLA running back Damien Thigpen, the team's third-leading rusher, tore his ACL on Saturday during a 38-28 victory over USC and will be out for the rest of the season, coach Jim Mora said Sunday.
Thigpen, who has 262 yards and two touchdowns rushing, is the team's leading kick returner with a 26.9-yard average on 14 returns. He also has 18 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
"Big-time playmaker in the run game and the pass game," Mora said about what the Bruins lose in Thigpen. "The spirit and toughness that he brings. But we have to move on and someone or a combination of people have to step in and take up the slack, and I'm confident people will do that."
Thigpen had one carry for 13 yards early in the second quarter Saturday against USC and did not play after that. Jordon James, who took over Thigpen's role Saturday, and Steven Manfro are expected to get additional time at running back.
UCLA plays Stanford on Saturday at the Rose Bowl and then plays in the Pac-12 title game Nov. 30. The opponent and location of the conference championship game have yet to be determined.