Josh Rosen’s status for the upcoming game at Washington State remains in doubt, Coach Mora told reporters on Wednesday. Backup Mike Fafaul took all the QB reps in practice this week, though Rosen could still play.
"He’s a competitive guy, and he wants to play," Mora said. "We just have to make sure that we make the right decision, not only short-term, but long-term for him."
Mora said that Rosen, who was present during practices this week working with the training staff and able to do conditioning work, would have input on the decision to play, though the team’s medical staff would help him make the best choice.
"We’ve got him kind of surrounded by people who understand what’s going on, and I think though at the end of the day, you help him make the best decision for him, but you let him make that decision, if it’s safe," Mora said. "We’re not going to let him make a decision that puts himself in further jeopardy."
If Rosen can’t go, former walk on Mike Fafaul, who got about a quarter’s worth of action against Arizona State when Rosen was out of the game, would get the start.
"I hope Josh gets healthy fast, but if [Fafaul's] back there I’m very confident, and I know he can get the job done," offensive tackle Conor McDermott said. "I know how hard he’s worked, and how long he’s had to wait."
The offense, which struggled against the Sun Devils even when Rosen was on the field, came to a grinding halt when Fafaul came in. The fifth-year senior completed only 3 of 11 passes for 44 yards, and threw 2 interceptions, posting an adjusted QBR of 2.9.
"Even though it wasn’t a beautiful performance in terms of numbers, just getting out under the lights in a tough situation against a defense that was coming after him, I think it gives him confidence," Mora said. "So the next time he goes out there, it’s not the first time."
McDermott, who is also Fafaul’s roommate in Westwood, would be excited to see the back up get to start.
"He’s just very technical and wants to be perfect in everything," McDermott said. "He’s had a poster of Tom Brady in his room since his freshman year, that I can remember, and he has a calendar with him. I just think of Tom Brady when I think of him, just his style of play, a true pocket QB."
Tom Brady, huh?
A Familiar Spot
For now the fourth time in his five seasons at UCLA, Jim Mora’s team has started conference play in a 1-2 hole. In 2012, the Bruins were able to bounce back and win the South with a 6-3 conference record. While in the last two years, the Bruins were in position to win the division up until the final game of the season.
"We know that everybody around the Pac-12 is losing, so everything is up for grabs right now, so it’s not like we’re out of the race, or it’s over," defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes said on Wednesday. "We keep pushing, we keep taking everyday day by day."
Iese Named to Mackey Award Watch List
Tight end Nate Iese was named to the Mackey Award watch list on Wednesday, an award for the best tight end in the country. Iese has 13 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
"It just essentially means I’m being watched more, I’m on a watch list now," Iese said to reporters. "I just have to keep improving every week, show that I’m deserving to be on that list."
Check out more from Coach Mora, Eddie Vanderdoes, Nate Iese, and Conor McDermott below. Videos are courtesy of Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Daily News.
HC Jim Mora:
DL Eddie Vanderdoes:
TE Nate Iese:
OL Conor McDermott: