Running back Johnathan Franklin, UCLA's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006, was noticeably absent in the second half of a 28-14 loss to USC on Saturday.
He had only one carry in the second half, after scorching USC on a 59-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But no one was going to use the "B" word.
Franklin fumbled late in the second quarter, which was returned for a touchdown.
"I don't think he was benched at all," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I don't know why his playing time diminished. Coach [Wayne] Moses handles the running backs. Maybe he was dinged up. I'll have to ask."
Asked whether an injury was the reason for sitting out, Franklin said, "I have no answer." Asked whether the fumble was the reason, he said, "I'm pretty sure it was."