UCLA safety Adarius Pickett ejected for targeting against Stanford – Daily News

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PALO ALTO >> UCLA has a target on its back.

The Bruins drew their third targeting penalty in as many games Saturday as safety Adarius Pickett was ejected in the first quarter against Stanford. Although referees did not throw a flag on Pickett’s hit on Stanford tight end Drew Schultz, they reviewed the play and confirmed that there was helmet-to-helmet contact.

Because the foul occurred in the first half, Pickett will not miss any time next week against Colorado. He was quickly escorted from the field to the locker room and tweeted soon after the ejection: “I get kicked out of the game because I’m hitting (too) hard against a guy that is 6’6. Are you kidding me. Tell me how I’m suppose (sic) to play please.”

The 6-foot-6 Schultz caught a pass from Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello, and the 5-foot-11 Pickett came in for the hit that would have been at Schultz’s chest level if the tight end had not lowered his head while securing the catch.

Pickett joined teammate Osa Odighizuwa in the locker room, as Odighizuwa was serving a one-half suspension for his targeting foul in the fourth quarter against Memphis. Linebacker Josh Woods missed one half against the Tigers for a targeting penalty he picked up against Hawaii.

Not only have the Bruins received targeting penalties, but they were also the subject of a controversial no-call against Hawaii that left linebacker Kenny Young sidelined due to a head injury. Young was hit with a sideline block that did not earn a Hawaii player a flag and the Pac-12 released a statement two days later admitting the mistake.

Welcome back

Jaleel Wadood waved his arms, flexed his muscles and screamed at his teammates. The Bruins nodded back at their senior leader like he’d never left.

Wadood and Young returned to the starting lineup Saturday against Stanford after the pair of seniors both missed last week’s game against Memphis. They both suffered head injuries the prior week against Hawaii.

Before the game, Wadood tweeted: “So happy to be back!!!! Gameday and I got some making up to do.”

However, the diminutive safety’s energy that fuels his teammates got too high at one point. The Bruins had the Cardinal stopped on third down, but Wadood’s brash celebration drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, extending the drive. Young was there to clean it up three plays later, though, as he and Darnay Holmes dragged Stanford running back Bryce Love down for a 2-yard loss on third-and-3, forcing a Stanford punt.

Young and Wadood are UCLA’s most experienced defensive players with 33 and 34 career starts, respectively. Young had made 20 consecutive starts before last week.

Sophomore defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa, who has been limited since the second half of the season opener against Texas A&M, warmed up in uniform but did not resume his starting role. Third-year sophomore Chigozie Nnoruka made his second career start at defensive tackle.

Running back Soso Jamabo made his first game appearance since the season opener after nagging injuries sidelined the junior for the past two games. He was the team’s leading rusher against Texas A&M and got the start against Stanford. His 49-yard rush at the end of the first quarter was the longest carry of his career.

Quick hits

LB Breland Brandt missed his second straight game due to a concussion. … DL Jaelan Phillips was out due to a right ankle injury.



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