Ishmael Adams

UCLA reinstates DB Ishmael Adams just as Fabian Moreau is done for the year

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A day after Ishmael Adams learned he will not face felony charges, the Bruins have welcomed back Adams to the program. Adams was reinstated by head coach Jim Mora and the program on Tuesday. It is not yet known just how soon Adams will be back on the field for the Bruins, although it may not be long before seeing the former starter back in the mix in a short period of time. A season-ending injury to defensive back Fabian Moreau could speed up the return of Adams.

Adams was suspended by the program earlier this month after he was arrested for suspected forced robbery. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office passed the case off for misdemeanor considerations rather than pursue federal charges yesterday. The timing of it all may end up working out for the Bruins.

Mora announced Moreau is done for the season as a result of a Lisfranc injury to his foot. This could bring an end to Moreau’s college career as a senior, but he can also apply for a medical redshirt to potentially return in 2016 if he chose to do so.

This week UCLA faces Arizona in Tucson for an early Pac-12 South battle.

UCLA DB Ishmael Adams will not face felony charges for armed robbery

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UCLA is off to a good start to the season, but they have been doing so without one key player on the defensive side of the football. Defensive back Ishmael Adams was suspended by the program on September 1 following his arrest for alleged robbery. On Monday Adams received some relatively good news regarding his legal battle after Los Angeles District Attorney’s office opted to forgo felony charges and referred the case for misdemeanor filing consideration. The Orange County Register reported the updated legal news Monday.

Adams was originally arrested on a robbery charge and was sent to jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. The original reports tied Adams to a forced entry to take a cell phone from an Uber driver, which led to the felony charge possibility. UCLA indefinitely suspended Adams as a result while the legal process unfolded, which is customary for players at any school when legal issues enter the picture. Adams remains suspended from the program and no status change with the Bruins is expected until after this legal issue is taken care of first.

Adams is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

UCLA plays at Arizona this weekend in a key Pac-12 South Division battle.

Surprise! Mountain West leads all conferences on Jim Thorpe Award watch list

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Today may be the beginning of college football’s media day season, but it also marks the continuation of watch list season. Today’s watch list reveal came from the Jim Thorpe Award, which named 42 of college football’s top defensive backs. In what may be considered a bit of a surprise as far as watch lists go, the Mountain West Conference landed the most players on the watch list for the award. Take that power conferences!

Six players from the MWC appear on the watch list, including a pair of players from Boise State (Donte Deayon, Darian Thompson). The ACC and Pac-12 each had five players on the watch list, including 2014 semifinalists Jeremy Cash (Duke) and Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech). The Big 12, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt Conference each have four players on the watch list, and the Big Ten, SEC and American Athletic Conference each have three.

2015 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

Ishmael Adams, UCLA
Mackensie Alexander, Clemson
Tony Annese, Central Michigan
Budda Baker, Washington
Adairius Barnes, Louisiana Tech
Dante Barnett, Kansas State
Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee
Michael Caputo, Wisconsin
Jeremy Cash, Duke
Tony Conner, Ole Miss
Donte Deayon, Boise State
Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
Nate Holley, Kent State
Adoreé Jackson, USC
William Jackson, Houston
Randall Jette, Massachusetts
Jonathan Jones, Auburn
Karl Joseph, West Virginia
Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Montres Kitchens, Troy
Mitch Lane, ULM
Richard Leonard, FIU
William Likely, Maryland
Paris Logan, Northern Illinois
Trent Matthews, Colorado State
Adrian McDonald, Houston
Doug Middleton, Appalachian State
David Mims II, Texas State
Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Parry Nickerson, Tulane
Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
Max Redfield, Notre Dame
Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma
Jordan Simone, Arizona State
Weston Steelhammer, Air Force
Darian Thompson, Boise State
JJ Whittaker, San Diego State
Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech

Big plays fuel No. 11 UCLA to Pac-12 South favorite status

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The trendy pick in the Pac-12 entering the season did little to match the hype in the first three games of the season, but that was not the case Thursday night. Yes, No. 11 UCLA’s defense gave up over 500 yards of offense to a team playing with a backup quarterback, but UCLA answered the call Thursday night in Tempe, Arizona. UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) went on a 42-3 run on No. 15 Arizona State (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) en route to a 62-27 victory in an early key Pac-12 South division game.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley started the game for the Bruins, returning from a shoulder injury suffered against Texas just fine. Hundley was sharp in the first half and managed to shrug off some early hits. He ended his night giving a reason to be brought back into the early Heisman Trophy conversation after passing for 355 yards and four touchdowns. Hundley also added 72 rushing yards and a touchdown. He did all of this with a brace on his left arm, but there was nothing slowing Hundley down on Thursday night.

Big plays were the recipe for a victory for the Bruins. Hundley completed an 80-yard touchdown to Eldridge Massington in the second quarter. It was Massington’s only catch of the game. The Bruins padded a first half lead with a 95-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Ishmael Adams just seconds before halftime. Immediately out of the halftime break, Hundley completed an 80-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payton on the first play from scrimmage. Payton had 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns in this one. Adams added another big play with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after Arizona State had scored a field goal in the third quarter.

UCLA also played a clean game in the turnover department. The Bruins did not have a turnover and the defense forced four turnovers by Arizona State’s offense. The Bruins gashed Arizona State’s defense for 228 rushing yards as well.

The Bruins defense still gave up plenty of yards (488 through the air) but as was the case in week one against Virginia, the defense managed to get their hands on the football often enough to overcome any threats by the Sun Devils.

The big tests for UCLA are still to come. The Bruins proved they can win a big game on the road, although it is worth noting Arizona State was without quarterback Taylor Kelly (Mike Bercovici played admirably though). The Bruins return home for a game against Utah next week, which sets up a potential Pac-12 Championship Game preview at home against Oregon. UCLA will get Stanford at home in the regular season finale on UCLA’s schedule, a week after hosting USC. It UCLA can prove capable of beating Oregon in two weeks, then the Bruins will be elevated to the role of Pac-12 favorite. Oregon and Stanford remain the hurdle to be leaped by the Bruins. The defense still needs to plug some holes though after allowing 622 yards.

As for Arizona State, the injury to Kelly had to be some sort of factor, but turnovers proved to be deadly on Thursday night. The Sun Devils should now be in serious risk of dropping out of the top 25 rankings on Sunday. Had they kept it close, they could manage to stay in, but being blown out the way they were at home has to be a tough pill to swallow in the eyes of the pollsters.

UCLA defense scores 3 TDs in second quarter at Virginia

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Perhaps the UCLA Bruins are still shrugging off some jet lag from a flight across the country. UCLA’s offense is off to a sluggish start on the road against Virginia Despite the rough start, the Bruins are still on top on the scoreboard 21-10 at the half. You can thank the defense for that.

UCLA took a 7-0 lead on a 20-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Ishmael Adams early in the second quarter. Later in the second quarter UCLA added to the lead with a 75-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by defensive back Randall Goforth just as Virginia was moving the football. On the ensuing drive Eric Kendricks (12 tackles) picked off a pass from Greyson Lambert and returned it 37-yards for a third touchdown in the second quarter. That led to a quarterback change for Mike London and Virginia, with Matt Johns coming in under center on the next drive. Linebacker Myles Jack has recorded 11 tackles and broken up a pass in the first half. Defense has not been the problem for the Bruins.

Heisman Trophy contender Brett Hundley has failed to take advantage of his performance early on in front of the east coast. Hundley has completed seven of 14 pass attempts for 98 yards and has been sacked three times.

At some point UCLA will need to do something on offense. They may not have to do it today though.