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Spaulding Roundup: Mora Speaks, McKinley On Becoming A Bruin and Unrest at Michigan

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News and Notes from Tuesday's UCLA practice as the team prepares for Saturday night's game v. Utah, and news on the student-led unrest in Ann Arbor over Michigan's football coach and athletic director.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins continued to prepare for Saturday night's game against Utah at the Rose Bowl. Affter this morning's practice, Coach Mora talked to the media about his expectations for an exciting conference home opener and first game with the students all back in LA, and how tough of a test Utah will be.


A few quick notes from the video (ht YouTube.com/UCLAathletics):

  • Mora praised Anthony Jefferson's versatility; his ability to play all 4 main DB positions - along with the versatility of several other Bruin DB's - is key to Mora's plans for the D. Ishmael Adams's confidence
  • Alex Van Dyke has practiced his way from being a probable redshirt at the start of the season into being a guy that Mora expects to be part of the rotation at receiver this season after the coaches saw him break through the freshman wall.
  • Kenny Orjioke had a procedure on his knee today to repair an as-yet unknown injury. The severity of the injury is not yet known, with Mora hoping that he will miss only the Utah game, though that is the best-case scenario. Alex Redmond was in a walking boot today, recovering from the ankle injury that he suffered last week.

Lets hope that the Bruin kick coverage teams spend time practicing live against Ishmael Adams this week, because as Jack Wang noted in his game notes and islandbruin2 wrote in our coaching/special teams preview of the Utes, the Utah has their own star kick returner - Kaelin Clay has already tied the school's single season record with 3 punts returned for TD's over the team's opening 4 games.

Chris Foster wrote about the early role of Jordan Payton's mom in his path to UCLA and becoming a dependable receiver for the Bruins and a guy who the coaches can count on off the field.

"He's got a lot of integrity," Mora said. "He's not a rah-rah, yes-sir guy. He's just dependable."

Mora taps into that trait, pairing Payton up with top recruits on official visits.

Takkarist McKinley talked with the media after practice about the NCAA and JC process that led to him becoming a Bruin, Angus McClure's role in getting him eligible and to Westwood and his sudden acclimation to UCLA and to D-1 football.


Thanks to Jack Wang/LA Daily News for the video

Evan Scott Schwartz wrote a little about the history of our Bruin mascot for SI.com, while UCLA jumped up to 7th in that site's week 5 NCAA power rankings.

After the Bruins squeaked by Virginia, Memphis and Texas, we were ready to label them frauds. This wasn’t a playoff contender. This was a jack in the box waiting to pop out and start laughing as we were startled into a hiccuping fit. Thursday’s primetime dismantling of Arizona State on the road proves knee jerk reactions through three weeks are just as dangerous as stubbornly sticking to preseason predictions. After Week 5, UCLA falls somewhere in between.

In wider College football news, there is a growing uproar in the aftermath of Michgan head coach Brady Hoke continuing to play QB Shane Morris after taking a blow to the head during Saturday's loss to Minnesota - after which he showed obvious symptions of having suffered a concussion. Even after he was initially pulled from the game, the coaches actually put him back in for a play. The story has been growing in Michigan and nationally over the past couple of days, to the point that members of Congress are calling on the Big 10 to investigate Michigan's handling of Morris's injury and whether the coaching staff has and/or follows proper concussion protocols.

Early Tuesday morning, a poster on MGOBLOG's message board shared his plan for a campus rally calling for the firing of Michigan AD Dave Brandon later that afternoon. Late that afternoon, an estimated 500 people (with another estimate at closer to 1,000gathered on the Ann Arbor campus, marching to the university president's mansion in critique of the ADs handing of the football program and calling for the firing of Brandon and Coach Hoke.

A petition on the University's student government website calling for Brandon to be 'removed from his position' as Michigan's AD has as of this writing received over 10,000 signatures. I wish our student body would show this king of passion and concern for athletics and the university.