April 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

UCLA Football Faces Scrutiny in Hard Times

    Along with the challenge of adjusting to new coaching staff, the UCLA football program has been facing a host of difficulties. The program lost starting tackle Aleksey Lanis to medical retirement and the quarterbacks are in bad shape: Pat Cowan is out for the season after tearing his ACL, Ben Olson suffered a foot injury that will put him out for at least six weeks, and Osaar Rasshan is having surgery for tendonitis in his knee. He is expected back in time for fall camp. Running back Chane Moline will be out for eight weeks following surgery on his left wrist. Adding insult to a string of injuries, the team was ridiculed by fans and media when they continued their annual tradition of “walling” – ditching one practice every
spring to give themselves a day off. 
 


Despite all the setbacks, next season looks hopeful. A crowd of 15,000 watched at the UCLA scrimmage as quarterback Kevin Craft finished 11 of 24 for 95 yards with an interception and a touchdown. Defense shone as usual, and the offensive teams pulled out four touchdowns. With much doubt and speculation about the quarterbacks, fans should be reassured with a five-star transfer like Kevin Craft, who was State Offensive Player of the Year last season. Other players are getting used to new positions, but there’s plenty of time to pull it together before season.  
 


Recent graduates have been pulling their futures together as well. The Steelers, Patriots, and Redskins have drafted Bruce Davis, Matthew Slater and Chris Horton. Dennis Keyes, Brandon Breazell, Bear Brown and Trey Brown have reached agreements with NFL teams and a host of other grads have been invited to tryouts. The outstanding careers of past Bruin players show that the team consistently produces talent, despite occasional setbacks. Head Coach Rick Neuheisel will likely overcome these recent obstacles as well.

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