Identifying UCLA's greatest loss last season is a no-brainer.
It wasn’t a game, it was a player.
Running back Damien Thigpen suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the 38-28 victory over USC, robbing the Bruins of a big-play producer. How soon Thigpen returns this season could be a key question.
Johnathan Franklin, UCLA’s all-time leading rusher, is now with the Green Bay Packers, leaving the Bruins with a gaping hole behind quarterback Brett Hundley. No one emerged as a replacement during spring practice, which Thigpen missed.
Thigpen was the team’s third leading rusher, behind Franklin and Hundley, with 262 yards. He also had 18 receptions for 211 yards and averaged 26.9 yards on kickoff returns. He seemed the heir apparent to Franklin, who set a school record with 1,734 yards rushing.