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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

UCLA football at a glance

September 03, 2009|Chris Foster

OFFENSE

Quarterback: Kevin Prince.

Tailback: Johnathan Franklin.

Fullback: Chane Moline.

Wide receivers: Terrence Austin, Taylor Embree.

Tight end: Logan Paulsen.

Tackles: Xavier Su'a-Filo (l), Mike Harris (r).

Guards: Jeff Baca (l), Eddie Williams (r).

Center: Kai Maiava.

Top reserves: TB Derrick Coleman, OL Stanley Hasiak, WR Randall Carroll, WR Morrell Presley.

Predicted grade: C-

The Bruins will earn extra credit if the offensive line can actually block someone this season. This year's unit is faster than last year's, with freshmen Carroll, Presley and running back Damien Thigpen providing a jolt. Prince has shown a strong arm but has no college game experience. The hope is that the running game will buy Prince some time, with Franklin, Coleman and Milton Knox expected to carry the load. Which brings us back to that question about the blocking. The line has three newcomers in Maiava, Williams and Su'a-Filo.

DEFENSE

Ends: Korey Bosworth, Datone Jones.

Tackles: Brian Price, Jerzy Siewierski.

Linebackers: Reggie Carter, Kyle Bosworth, Akeem Ayers.

Cornerbacks: Alterraun Verner, Aaron Hester. Safeties: Rahim Moore, Tony Dye.

Top reserves: DE Damien Holmes, LB Steve Sloan, LB Sean Westgate, S Glenn Love.

Predicted grade: A-

Depth is a question -- especially on the line and at cornerback -- but this could be UCLA's best defense in years. Price is a future first-round NFL pick, Carter a fierce competitor, and Verner among the best cover backs in the nation. Jones' development as a pass rusher will be key, but he has size and speed. Hester will be tested often -- he has the skills but lacks experience.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Kai Forbath.

Punter: Jeff Locke.

Long snapper: Christian Yount.

Predicted grade: A-

Austin set a school record with 1,109 kickoff return yards last season. Forbath is 44 for 52 on field goals in his career, including six for six from 50 yards or longer. Locke's punts have tremendous hang time.

SCHEDULE

SEPT. 5:

San Diego State... 4:30 p.m.

Tomato cans don't come any better; 0-20-1 vs. Bruins.

SEPT. 12:

at Tennessee... 1 p.m.

Anyone remember 27-24? They do in Knoxville.

SEPT. 19:

Kansas State... 7:15 p.m.

Coach Bill Snyder returns to Manhattan for a sequel.

OCT. 3:

at *Stanford... TBA

A key game in UCLA's quest to become bowl-eligible.

OCT. 10:

*Oregon... TBA

QB Jeremiah Masoli ran for 170 yards versus UCLA in 2008.

OCT. 17:

*California... TBA

Bears 0-4 in last four visits to the Rose Bowl.

OCT. 24:

at *Arizona... TBA

UCLA has been outscored 86-41 last two trips to Tucson.

OCT. 31:

at *Oregon State... TBA

Halloween in Corvallis? Scary. Very scary.

NOV. 7:

*Washington... TBA

Only silver platter is missing for this one.

NOV. 14:

at *Washington State... TBA

UCLA has lost six of last seven at Pullman.

NOV. 21:

*Arizona State... TBA

Bruins held ASU to 122 yards last season . . . and lost.

NOV. 28:

at *USC... 7 p.m.

Bruins want a bowl game? Better be 6-5 at this point.

* Denotes Pacific 10 Conference game; home games at Rose Bowl.

-- Chris Foster

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