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UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

Brett Hundley is UCLA's leading rusher

The Bruins quarterback has helped fill holes in an injury-depleted running corps. Running back Jordon James, who is recovering from an ankle injury, could return Saturday against Arizona State.

November 18, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA running back Jordon James, sprinting for a touchdown against Nevada, is expected to play Saturday against Arizona State.
UCLA running back Jordon James, sprinting for a touchdown against Nevada,… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley remains the team's leading rusher, something injuries have made possible.

Jordon James, who has been sidelined for four of the last five games because of an ankle injury, is expected to be available for the Bruins' showdown with Arizona State on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. James was fifth nationally in average rushing yards per game when he was injured against Utah on Oct. 3.

Damien Thigpen and Steven Manfro are not expected to be ready. Both have ankle injuries. Malcolm Jones' status is to be determined after he took a hit to the head against Washington.

Paul Perkins is the only running back who is certain to play against the Sun Devils, who lead the Bruins by one game in the Pac-12 South Division.

"We have a lot of nicks and bruises," Hundley said. "We started the year with so many running backs. J.J. was shining bright, then he went down. They are all great running backs. It's hard to stay consistent with the injuries."

So Hundley has taken the lead on the ground. He has 502 yards rushing. Perkins is second with 476 yards, followed by James with 471.

"I understand what I can do, and my limits, with my body and speed and power," Hundley said. "I can go north and south. I can go outside. If I get the ball in my hands, I'm going to do something with it."

Things may change with linebacker Myles Jack getting more time at running back.

"I probably won't be the leading rusher for long with him back there," Hundley said. "The power he brings helps. On third and three, instead of me throwing the ball we can let Myles move the chains."

Washington was prepared for Jack on Saturday, but Hundley said, "When Myles has the ball in his hands, eventually he is going to find a hole."

Had a nice ring to it

Theirs was a flawed scheme. Fortunately for senior safety Stan McKay and Coach Jim Mora it was a postgame plan.

McKay proposed to his girlfriend, Chelcey Romeril, on the field after a 41-31 victory over Washington on Friday.

She said yes, but McKay was a week early with the question.

"I thought it was senior night," McKay said. "I was planning to ask her in front of the whole stadium. More pressure on her."

Romeril is a psychology student at UCLA. She and McKay have been dating for two years.

McKay had a hint that she was ready for marriage: "She kept posting wedding pictures and rings and dresses on Instagram," he said.

McKay started planning two months ago, bringing Mora in on the project. By the time McKay realized that the Washington game was not senior night it was too late to call an audible.

His proposal wasn't a surprise. "She had an idea what was happening," McKay said. "She was saying, 'I hate you. Why are you doing this?' She wanted it to be more private. I was, 'Naw, got to be big.'"

Surgery for Fitts

Freshman defensive end Kylie Fitts underwent surgery Monday to repair fractures from when he dislocated his wrist as a senior at Redlands East Valley High.

chris.foster@latimes.com

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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