The UCLA Bruins are not only coming off their worst loss of the season, a 48-12 shellacking at the hands of the lowly Arizona Wildcats, but are also heavily depleted at wide receiver thanks to suspensions stemming from a brawl before halftime in the desert. Six Bruins were suspended for their contest against the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday in Los Angeles, including four wide receivers.
Receivers Taylor Embree, Randall Carroll, Shaquelle Evans, and Ricky Marvray are out for Cal. Those four have combined for 30 catches and 360 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson Rosario, who leads UCLA with 30 catches, and Josh Smith are listed atop the depth chart for Saturday against Cal, with Jerry Rice Jr. and Devin Lucien as their backups.
Neither Rice nor Lucien have caught a pass this season. Lucien has yet to play, as the plan was to redshirt him this season. "We haven't ruled him out 100%, but the likelihood is that he will not waste his redshirt year," head coach Rick Neuheisel said of the freshman Lucien on Tuesday. "His inexperience as we went further and further into the playbook showed, but we have nothing but high, high regard for what he's going to bring to the program in the future. I still feel that way strongly."
The sophomore Rice figures to play. "Jerry is a very talented young man, but he's just been on the shelf for a while," .Neuheisel said "If we can get 15 quality plays out of him, that would be a great help to us. They have to cover him and respect that he can run"
Bruins senior safety Tony Dye is likely out for the season with a neck injury, though Neuheisel was not specific when discussing the injury. Dye played in the first three games of the season, and would be eligible for a medical redshirt year if the NCAA grants an appeal, an option Neuheisel seemed to prefer. "I think he needs to get himself 100% healthy and hopefully come back and play for us next year," the coach said.
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