High expectations have been placed upon the UCLA Bruins this season. If the team is going to get off to a good start, the offense will have to do so without its projected starter at left tackle, Simon Goines, in the lineup.
Goines had surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle Friday, according to the Orange County Register.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora expects Goines to return to the lineup against the Texas Longhorns. If Goines returns to the lineup Sept. 13, the lineman will miss the first two games against the Virginia Cavaliers and the Memphis Tigers.
But Mora fully expects Goines, a two-year starter, to be a big part of the team’s success this season. The coach squashed the idea of letting Goines redshirt.
“I want him ready to go,” Mora told the Orange County Register‘s Ryan Kartje. “I don’t want to redshirt him. I want him to play. He’s a good football player. It’s been a tough road for him lately. If we just think back to his freshman year, he was a good player. I just think at some point, we’re going to need him.”
UCLA is fortunate to have plenty of depth at offensive tackle.
With Goines out of the lineup, senior Malcolm Bunche is expected to open the season protecting quarterback Brett Hundley‘s blindside. Bunche, a graduate transfer from Miami, has played in 23 games the past two seasons, including 13 starts at left tackle. Bunche has impressed during camp, while junior Caleb Benedoch is entrenched at right tackle. Once Goines returns, one of these three talented players will likely slide to guard to make the Bruins’ offensive line even more formidable.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah