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.