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Sunday, May 20, 2018

UCLA Tries Out Soccer Manager at Kicker

In what could be considered a metaphor for the Rick Neuheisel era at UCLA, the Bruins have resorted to trying out the manager of the soccer team at kicker. The Bruins’ starting and backup kickers are both nursing injuries leaving the team thin at the spot.

Tyler Gonzalez, who is the soccer team’s manager, went 2-for-3 during his tryout at practice Wednesday. Gonzalez kicked one season at Fullerton High. Linebacker Glenn Love, who also kicked during high school, went 2-for-4 on his attempts.

Neuheisel is planning to have starter Kip Smith available for Saturday’s game against Texas but he’s working on backup plans in case Smith becomes unavailable. With the gameday roster limitations teams must meet, this is no laughing matter.

The Chargers had punter Mike Scifres kick for them Sunday after Nate Kaeding got hurt on the opening kickoff. Last season defensive tackle Ndakukong Suh had to kick an extra point for the Lions after Jason Hanson went down.

Every team goes about matters in different ways when it comes to kicking problems. Michigan’s coach was approached by a student last year when they were experiencing kicking woes. Lane Kiffin opted to constantly go for two-point conversions. And if worse comes to worse, UCLA can just get shutout and that will solve everything.

UPDATE: The Bruins have added Gonzalez to their roster and plan to have him serve as the team’s backup kicker Saturday against Texas.

Thanks to LBS writer Danny Lee for the tip

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