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UCLA's offense to face stiff challenge in Arizona State's defense

The Bruins thrive when they move the ball quickly, but the Sun Devils are stingy, ranking in the top 20 in fewest yards given up and defense against the run.

November 20, 2013|By Chris Foster

UCLA thrives when its offense moves, and does it quickly. Arizona State ranks 16th nationally in fewest yards given up and is 17th against the run.

Whether UCLA is able to move the ball Saturday at the Rose Bowl will have a lot to do with which team wins.

"The key in college football are the personnel matchups, matching up your guys with who you want to take advantage of," Arizona State Coach Todd Graham said. The Sun Devils' defensive front is "where we have the biggest advantage," he said.

That front has three fifth-year seniors, including tackle Will Sutton, last season's Pac-12 Conference defensive player of the year.

Sutton has 43 tackles for a loss, including 18.5 sacks, in his career. However, he is only fifth in tackles among Arizona State's starting front seven this season.

"This is a very, very, very good defensive front," UCLA Coach Jim Mora said. "We all recognize what a talent Will Sutton is. … This is certainly an enormous challenge."

The Bruins meet it with three linemen who were in high school last season: tackle Caleb Benenoch and guards Scott Quessenberry and Alex Redmond.

That trio has started the last four games since tackle Simon Goines suffered a knee injury, along with junior guard Xavier Su'a-Filo and sophomore center Jake Brendel.

"I do think the key to our success is winning the line of scrimmage on defense and impacting the quarterback," Graham said. "We have to take advantage of what our guys do really well and give those guys a multitude of looks that maybe they haven't seen."

UCLA may get Goines back Saturday, and his return at left tackle would allow Su'a-Filo to move back to guard, where he possibly could match up with Sutton.

"Xavier Su'a-Filo turns heads every time he plays," Mora said. "Not a lot of offensive linemen turn heads."

On guard

You know Saturday's game against Arizona State is big because Mora has assigned staffers to patrol the public parking lot next to Spaulding Field, where the Bruins practice. Anyone who lingers too long is asked to move along.

UCLA hired security guards to work the same area in the week leading up to the USC game last season.

There have been no reports of espionage last year or this year.

Torian White is released from custody

Torian White was released late Tuesday night without posting bail from the Twin Towers correctional facility of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

White was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of felony sexual assault. Charges have not been filed. The district attorney's office has returned the case to authorities for further investigation.

White, a redshirt sophomore, started every game last season and was the Bruins left tackle this season until he suffered a broken bone and torn ligament in his right leg during a game against Utah on Oct. 3. UCLA announced Tuesday he had been indefinitely suspended from the team.

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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