The Bruins are heading toward the end of their long week of practice and prep for Utah's visit to the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Unfortunately one of the Bruins won't be on the field to take on the Utes, as Coach Mora confirmed reports that Kenny Orjioke underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and will miss the rest of this season. Mora briefly talked to the media after practice, focusing on Orjioke's injury and how the workload among the linebackers will shake out in his absence.
Video via Jack Wang/LA Daily News.
In his accompanying post, Jack Wang noted that the coaches are planning to petition to the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver for Orjioke to allow him to take this season as a redshirt year. My initial impression was that Kenny has played too much of the season to be allowed a medical redshirt, and under previous versions of the NCAA bylaws that would have been correct.
But under a recent revision (section 12.8.4 of the 2014-15 bylaws - PDF warning), what had used to be a rule limiting a player to having played up to 20% of his/her team's regular season games has risen to 30%, and conference championship games may now also be used in that calculation (it does not matter if the player's team makes the championship game, just that her/her team's conference/sport has one). With the 12-game regular season + the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Bruins have a 13 game schedule for the purpose of this rule; 30% of which = 3.9 games. Under another subsection of the bylaws (126.96.36.199.6.2 - the NCAA loves those decimals), fractions of a game are rounded UP to the next whole number/game, which as even a north campus major like myself can figure out, = 4.
Since the ASU game was UCLA's 4th game of the season, under the current NCAA rules, Kenny should be able to successfully petition for a medical redshirt for this season, giving him two more years of eligibility.
Everett Cook reported for the LA TImes that Alex Redmond will be a gametime decision, but noted that Redmond's practice work has decreased throughout the week, making him appear doubtful to play a week after injuring his ankle against ASU. Cook also has a piece on Utah's Dres Anderson and his his career in Salt Lake City after growing up dreaming of following his dad Flipper's footsteps in the Rose Bowl.
Also on the Ute front, Kyle Wittingham is considering playing Oklahoma transfer QB Kendal Thompson at times on Saturday to supplement Travis Wilson. As reported by Chris Foster this evening, Wittingham is looking at this as a possible way to spark his struggling offense.
"We're taking a look at all possibilities," Whittingham said. "Kendal, in hindsight, probably should have gotten a couple of series in the game Saturday. But we're looking for any and every answer we can come up with offensively."
In his Thursday notes, Wang also got Coach Martin to admit that he's the person responsible for Ishmael Adams not participating on special teams until the end of last season.
"I have to admit, I was the culprit last year that kind of held him back from returning kicks because we didn’t have a lot of depth back there," Martin said. "I was kind of that mainstay."
... [Referring to his time recruiting Ish while on UW's staff - P] "We liked him at running back," Martin said. "We thought he was that type of special athlete. He still has those natural skills, natural vision, good moves. So when he gets the ball in his hands, he turns into a natural running back — which we all love."
I don't believe we have posted this yet, but for anyone who hasn't caught it yet, here's video of Noel Mazzone and Jefff Ulbrich talking to the media after Wednesday's practice.