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Humpday News & Notes

So we have some injury related news to start this Humpday. Looks like Harwell will miss at least four weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. From the LA Times:

UCLA will be without senior defensive tackle Brigham Harwell for at least four weeks, as an MRI exam revealed he has a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Harwell, who was injured against Brigham Young on Saturday, will not need surgery.

"They found no other structure damage in the knee," Coach Karl Dorrell said. "It is similar to the injury [quarterback] Ben [Olson] had last year. It's not a complete tear, but it has to scar over to heal."

Harwell started 25 of the Bruins' last 27 games.
Per Dohn Harwell could redshirt this season. But nothing has been decided yet. In the absence of Harwell, Jess Ward is going to step up. More from Chris Foster:
Sophomore Jess Ward will start against Utah on Saturday. Ward played extensively after Harwell was injured in the first half.

Ward moved up the depth chart after shedding 10 pounds during the off-season, which made him quicker. "I feel I get off the ball better and run down people better," he said. "I worked my butt off to be a legitimate backup for this season. Then, next season. . . "
Sounds good. We have a lot of depth on our DL. Given all the hype around Walker’s coaching, I expect these guys to step up. And there is also the Brice Price situation. If Dorrell makes sure his prized recruit from the 2007 class is able to join the team before the start of school, he will provide our defense more depth.

Meanwhile, Brandon Breazell is being a warrior. You will have to read the updates in the Daily News and the LA Times I linked above to read what kind of a week he has had in dealing with his injuries. Here is what Breazell told Dohn in terms of playing this Saturday:
Breazell, who wore a no-hit red jersey in practice, said he would play Saturday against Utah, regardless of the amount of pain he was in.

"If it is (still painful), they'll have something for me to take," said Breazell, who was asked if he was afraid of taking another big hit. "Nothing scares me. I'm not afraid of anybody and I'm not intimidated by anybody."
I only wish his head coach projected that kind of fearlessness when speaking in public. WR is, of course, another position we have a lot of depth in. So I hope, despite BB’s best intentions, caution is exercised in terms of playing him this weekend. We have a lot of players who have the talent to step up. So I don’t see the need for rushing him back to action.

Anyways, it is up to the coaches to handle the injury related adversity, and make sure UCLA doesn’t skip a bit (think again how Coach Howland dealt with the incredible rash of injuries in his third season and still won the Pac-10 regular season, conference tourney title, and then took us to the NC game). So no excuses.

Elsewhere, Kuwada profiles Kahlil Bells’ good start to this young season. Nothing new in there really. Kuwada basically recycles what we have read from other beat writers about how Bell is playing with a different attitude atoning for his missteps of last season. Again, all of these feel good articles are okay to read when it comes to UCLA football, but they won’t matter if our coaches and players don’t take care of business this Saturday, which is to bury the Utes in SLC.