Injury creates a hole on UCLA's defense

Steve Sloan and Jordan Zumwalt are being counted on to take over at middle linebacker for Patrick Larimore, who will be out at least three weeks because of a dislocated shoulder.

October 24, 2010|By Chris Foster

UCLA, which lost quarterback Kevin Prince for the season, is also without its leader on defense, Patrick Larimore, who will sit out at least three weeks because of a dislocated left shoulder.

So that leaves the middle linebacker job to Steve Sloan, who has a bone fragment floating in his right knee that may require surgery at the end of the season.

Freshman Jordan Zumwalt moved back to middle linebacker during Sunday's practice. Zumwalt had played at outside linebacker.

"He has played there before and was doing well there during fall camp," Coach Rick Neuheisel said of Zumwalt. "He's got to pick up things because there is a lot going on at that position."

As for Sloan's health, Neuheisel said, "I think he'll be fine. He's got an issue with it, but it's nothing that is keeping him from playing."

The Bruins have given up 95 points in the last two games.

"I talk to defense every week," Neuheisel said. "We are who we are. Certainly we can make changes and make some adjustments, but in terms of the players we have available to us, it is what it is."

Translation: UCLA, which gave up 276 points in 13 games last season, has given up 224 points in seven games this season.

Sunday school

The Bruins went through an unusual Sunday practice after Oregon's 60-13 beat-down Thursday.

"We just want to fix whatever the heck was going on out there," center Ryan Taylor said. "It all comes down to executing. Obviously, we aren't doing that."

As to why the Bruins aren't executing, Taylor said, "We're wondering what's going on and we just don't have an answer. We're trying to figure that out ourselves."

Feel-good move

Neuheisel said he elected to go for a field goal on a fourth-and-five play early in the second half against Oregon because "I wanted to get some points and make the second half a good experience for the offense."

Kai Forbath's field goal pulled the Bruins to within 11 field goals, 39-6.

Jones to sit out

Defensive end Datone Jones, out since August because of a broken bone in a foot, is not expected to return this season, something Neuheisel all but admitted.

"I would say it would probably benefit him to rest," Neuheisel said.

Quick hits

Wide receiver Nelson Rosario, out three weeks because of a high- ankle sprain, suited up Sunday. … Cornerback Sheldon Price remains sidelined because of a sprained knee.

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