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UCLA GAME REPORT : UCLA FYI

Bruins get to start the work at home this time

September 01, 2013|Chris Foster
  • UCLA's Eric Kendricks, right, pushes Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played at Anaheim Servite High, out of bounds during the first half Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA's Eric Kendricks, right, pushes Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo,… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)

UCLA fans were given a treat Saturday ... the Bruins opened the season at home.

This was the first time since 2009 the Bruins started the season in the Rose Bowl. They are tentatively scheduled to play Virginia on the road to begin the 2014 season. Prior to Saturday's game, UCLA had lost two of its last three openers.

A UCLA official defended the decisions, saying, "We usually try to start the season at home every other year.

"In the last couple of years, the pattern was starting at home in odd-numbered seasons. So this year, 2015 and 2017 we open at home."

The official said that "the anomaly came in 2011 because when we added the two home-one away series from 2010-12 with Houston, we already had home games in place with Texas and San Jose State that year, so we played Houston on the road."

Homegrown

There are 31 players on the Nevada roster who are from the Los Angeles, including 18 on the Wolf Pack's two-deep list.

"We have a lot California guys, so this is a unique opportunity to go home to play on front of so many family and friends," Coach Brian Polian said. "It's cool."

Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo, who played at Anaheim Servite High, said, "My dad said his phone has been going crazy. He said there are going to be 250 family and friends at the game."

Fajardo didn't disappoint those who came. He threw for 164 yards and ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Kick started

The play that gave UCLA breathing room Saturday came from two special team players.

Linebacker Kenny Orjioke extended himself to block Chase Tenpenny's punt in the third quarter. The ball bounced into the end zone, then took a crazy bounce backward, falling into the arms of walk-on fullback Phillip Ruhl.

Ruhl had an easy four-yard touchdown run to give the Bruins a 31-13 lead.

Franklin count

UCLA lost 1,734 rushing yards when Johnathan Franklin left for the NFL. There wasn't much separation anxiety Saturday.

Jordon James had 155 yards rushing, Paul Perkins 55 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run, and Steven Manfro 32 yards.

UCLA had 345 yards rushing.

Quick hits

Freshman cornerback Priest Willis did not suit up for the game because of a sore shoulder he injured during practice this week. ... Alex Redmond started at right guard for UCLA. Caleb Benenoch had worked the spot through much of training camp. ... Nose tackle Ellis McCarthy started at left defensive end, where Datone Jones played in 2012. Jones was taken in the first round by the Green Bay Packers.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

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