CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Blame the inescapable traffic or the celebrity culture of being fashionably late, but UCLA fans that did not arrive at the StubHub Center promptly on Saturday night were in for disappointment.
Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley played just one series of the spring game, meaning all of the remaining drama came from the boxing card held next door.
Running back Paul Perkins rushed for a 2-yard touchdown, Jordon James added touchdown runs of 1 and 3 yards, and Steven Manfro's 3-yard touchdown run capped the 28-0 win for the Blue team, composed of the starting offense and second-unit defense. The White team consisted of the starting defense and second-unit offense.
And while Hundley wasn't able to get the Blue team into the end zone himself, the redshirt junior did his part by working with offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone to develop the game plan during the week and calling plays from the sideline.
Here are five takeaways from UCLA's spring game:
HEALTHY HUNDLEY OR BUST: There aren't many teams in college football capable of overcoming the loss of their starting quarterback, but the Bruins look to be especially vulnerable if Hundley misses any time.
Backup Jerry Neuheisel threw two interceptions, including an atrocious ball back across his body where cornerback Ishmael Adams was the only player within 5 yards. Athletic redshirt freshman Asiantii Woulard was only 4 of 13 for 42 yards, struggling with his timing and accuracy.
Hundley has been able to survive two years of subpar pass protection, thanks largely to his mobility and sturdy build. However, it only takes one hit to result in a season-shifting injury. If UCLA has any hope of contending for the Pac-12 or national championship, Hundley needs to be kept upright and on the field.
RICH IN RECEIVERS: The graduation of senior wide receiver Shaq Evans, who led the team with 709 yards receiving and nine touchdowns last season, should not hinder Hundley and the Bruins offense in the least.
Jordan Payton used his body effectively to box out defenders and come away with eight receptions for 96 yards, both team-highs, while the quicker Devin Lucien added 79 yards on five catches.
Add in Devin Fuller and Thomas Duarte, neither of whom played Saturday because of injuries but combined for seven touchdowns last season, and UCLA could boast the deepest, most versatile collection of receivers in the conference.
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