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Another freshman might be joining the line

Scott Quessenberry is likely to start at left guard against Oregon after Simon Goines' knee injury against Stanford.

October 23, 2013|By Chris Foster

The majority of the offensive line UCLA uses against second-ranked Oregon on Saturday could be only months out of high school.

The Bruins have been starting two freshmen on the line, guard Alex Redmond and tackle Caleb Benenoch. Scott Quessenberry is likely to be added to the mix at left guard against the Ducks.

"I think he's really excited for the opportunity, I don't think he's worried," offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said.

The change became necessary when tackle Simon Goines suffered a knee injury against Stanford last Saturday. Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo moved to Goines' spot.

Mazzone said Quessenberry was a little behind Redmond and Benenoch fundamentally, but added, "that's because he hasn't had the work the others have had. He hasn't had any game experience."

Quessenberry should benefit from playing next to Su'a-Filo. "I can tell him what he's doing wrong, help him with technique," Su'a-Filo said. "He's a sharp kid. As soon as something happens, he catches it himself."

Su'a-Filo also started as a freshman when he came to UCLA in 2009. He assimilated quickly to the college game.

"I was a little unsure and didn't know what to expect," Su'a-Filo said. "Your eyes get opened. You're not in high school anymore. But it gave me the confidence that I could play."

Mazzone said a less experienced line could affect some aspects of the game plan.

"We're not going to change what we do, but maybe the volume of what we do, take it down little bit," Mazzone said. "Let our kids go out and run what they know and win the game and not let me try to out-scheme them by putting in a bunch of stuff because we're young."

Run down

Quarterback Brett Hundley, the player at the controls behind UCLA's young line, was badgered by Stanford players, who forced hurried passes, sacked him four times and intercepted two passes.

There could be more throwing on the run again Saturday against a defense that ranks third nationally in turnover margin and 13th in sacks.

"You've got to keep moving the feet," Mazzone said. "Don't overstride, follow the throw, attack the throw, focus. It's just like anything, like how does the right guard remember to step with the right foot first? It's not a thought process during a game. A quarterback doesn't think, 'I can't overstride.' "

It becomes habit based on repetition.

"We've been getting a lot of practice at it," Mazzone said.

Kendricks ready

Linebacker Eric Kendricks went through full-contact drills Wednesday and is set to play. Kendricks suffered a bruised back against Stanford, Coach Jim Mora said.

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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