LOS ANGELES (AP) — Left tackle Torian White will miss the rest of No. 12 UCLA's season because of a badly injured right ankle.
Bruins tailback Jordon James also is doubtful for next week's home game with his own ankle injury, coach Jim Mora said Friday night.
Those two key injuries during a 34-27 victory Thursday at Utah dampened Mora's excitement over another gritty performance by UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12), which is off to its best start to a season since 2005. Mora relished the Bruins' performance under circumstances including significant injuries, chilly weather and a tenacious Utes effort.
"To me, they're character-builders," Mora said. "Everybody wants it to be easy and pretty all the time. I don't. I want us to build character along the way, because I think that will serve us over time. I want us to get in hard games and tough environments, and I think that will serve us along the line. It's nice to grow and get better."
But the Bruins must grow without White, a sophomore mainstay on the offensive line.
White was hurt in the second quarter in Salt Lake City when two players rolled into his legs from behind. Mora said White has a broken bone near his ankle and a slight ligament tear.
White will have surgery next week, but Mora hasn't decided how UCLA will replace him when California visits the Rose Bowl next weekend.
Sophomore Simon Goines shifted from right tackle to left tackle after White was hurt, and Caleb Benenoch took over at right tackle alongside fellow freshman Alex Redmond at guard. Utah attempted to exploit that inexperience in the second half with blitzes and stunts.
The 6-foot-5 White started all 14 games at left tackle as a freshman last season, playing a major role in the Bruins' improved offense led by coordinator Noel Mazzone and quarterback Brett Hundley.
But UCLA is fairly deep on the line, and Mora thinks the Bruins can plug the hole. Goines and Conor McDermott can play left tackle, and UCLA also could move standout left guard Xavier Su'a-Filo to the spot.