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UCLA Coach Jim Mora budgets time for California

The Bears are 1-4 record, but the combined record of the teams that have defeated them is 17-3. They have three running backs that are capable of big games, and Mora says he's prepping the defense.

October 02, 2012|By Chris Foster

Another week. Another one-win opponent.

UCLA goes from playing woeful Colorado to playing so-so California.

Still, the Bears, even with a 1-4 record, pose a fair share of problems.

"They make you prepare for a lot," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said. "You have to budget your time well, especially defensively."

Other teams have handled that task. The Bears' lone victory was over Southern Utah, 50-31 — and they needed 30 points in the fourth quarter to put that game away.

The Bears have found a variety of ways to lose:

• Vincenzo D'Amato missed three field goals in a 35-28 loss to Ohio State.

• The defense allowed 296 yards rushing in a 27-9 loss to USC.

• Quarterback Zach Maynard completed only nine of 28 passes in a 27-17 loss to Arizona State.

Asked whether he saw in a scouting video why Cal has struggled, Mora said, "You don't look at a team that way when you're preparing to play them. You're studying schemes specific to what could give the defense problems."

Maynard does not appear to fall into that category. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is 5-4 and he ranked 94th nationally in passing efficiency.

It should be noted, though, that the combined record of the four teams that have defeated Cal is 17-3.

Running backs Isi Sofele, C.J. Anderson and Brendan Bigelow are all capable of big games.

Some Bay Area Bears observers are perplexed about Bigelow's light workload. He has 206 yards rushing, averaging whopping 20.6 yards per carry. But he's taken only 10 handoffs. He had eye-popping touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards against Ohio State.

Sofele has 333 yards rushing and Anderson 235.

California running backs have topped 100 yards against UCLA four times in the last four seasons, including two in 2009. Sofele was on his way to 100 a year ago when the game tilted heavily UCLA's way. He finished with 74 yards in 15 carries.

"Cal gives you a lot of different looks," Mora said. "It's important to go back to basics on defense. Sometimes you can get in trouble if you try to find an answer for every single thing that they do. Sometimes you come up with no answers."

Injury updates

Mora said guard Greg Capella (concussion) was unlikely to return this week. But he was more optimistic about outside linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, who missed Saturday's game at Colorado after being involved in a motor scooter accident.

Zumwalt suffered bruise and cuts, including a gash over his left eye. "I saw him this morning and he looked great," Mora said. "The swelling was gone. His facial structure looks really close to normal."

Damien Holmes moved from inside to outside linebacker against Colorado and had seven solo tackles, five for losses, including three sacks.

Mora said Zumwalt will return to outside linebacker when ready, with Holmes moving back inside.

Coincidence?

A new billboard ad has gone up near the UCLA campus. Where USC quarterback Matt Barkley briefly stared down on Westwood is an ad for "Dishonored," a soon-to-be-released video game.

The game's slogan, "Revenge Solves Everything."

Even 50-0?

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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