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    UCLA helps QB Dante Moore adjust to the physicality
    • October 7, 2023

    PASADENA — One of the biggest parts of college football that UCLA true freshman quarterback Dante Moore has had to get used to is the physicality of the game.

    “It’s crazy,” Moore said in mid-September. “With a lot of people flying downhill, a lot of people move faster and weigh more, so every hit is going to hurt for sure. And as a quarterback we don’t like getting hit, but you’ve gotta live with it.”

    The Washington State defense sacked Moore three times in the first half Saturday afternoon, two of which came on consecutive drives. The Bruins coaching staff spared him some of the brutality in the first half and leaned on one of the team’s hardest runners.

    Carson Steele finished the first half with 18 carries for 90 yards. He had the crowd cheering in the second quarter as he dragged defenders with him for a gain of four yards and a first down.

    He also was handed the ball on three straight plays and gained 15 yards to help set UCLA up for its first touchdown of the game — an 11-yard pass from Moore to Logan Loya.

    The Bruins had a total of 106 rushing yards compared to 166 passing yards by halftime.

    Mokiao-Atimalala missing

    UCLA receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala was not seen on the field during warmups ahead of the Bruins’ Saturday afternoon game against Washington State.

    Mokiao-Atimalala has been seen at practice during media viewing periods taking part in individual drills as usual, but the junior has not played in a game this season. He was last available to media during fall camp Aug. 12 and said he felt healthy at that time.

    “I feel good. I feel a lot more explosive compared to last year,” he said. “I’m just excited to get the season going.”

    Coach Chip Kelly said before practice Thursday that no redshirt decisions had been made yet, but did not allude to any players in particular.

    “You’ve got four games to play, so none of those guys that would be redshirt candidates played in those first four game anyways,” Kelly said. “It’s a four-game deal, but it’s not the first four games of the season. It’s how many games have they actually played.”

    DTR back at the Rose Bowl

    Former UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson returned to the Bruins’ the sidelines Saturday. He spoke with the Pac-12 Network at halftime and reflected on the last time the Bruins and Cougars met in 2019 — a 67-63 comeback win for UCLA.

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    “It was a super fun night with the whole group,” Robinson told Pac-12 Network. “I think it was a real turning point for us in that season.”

    Thompson-Robinson, who was drafted in the fifth round by the Cleveland Browns in April, most recently appeared in the Browns’ Oct. 1 loss to the Ravens, a game in which he completed 19 of 36 passes for 121 yards with three interceptions.

    The Browns next play San Francisco at 10 a.m. Oct. 15.

    ​ Orange County Register