Middle linebacker Patrick Larimore had a breakout performance Saturday against Houston, leading the charge in the physical beating the Bruins laid on the Cougars in a 31-13 rout.
Larimore, a redshirt sophomore from Hart High in Newhall, had a team-high 11 tackles, including three tackles for a loss. He also forced a fumble on a crushing hit and had two pass break ups for the type of all-around game defenses expect out of the middle linebacker. He was named Pac-10 defensive player of the week.
"He sees the field well, he’s got good instincts and when he gets there, he gets you down," UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said. "He’s a bona fide big-time player."
Larimore is still bothered by a hamstring injury, but Neuheisel said he likes what he has seen so far. He's tied for second on the team with 23 tackles but leads the team with five tackles for a loss and has forced two fumbles, also a team best.
"If he can be consistent in that style of play, he’s going to be a heck of a linebacker for UCLA," Neuheisel said. "Now you can’t necessarily start putting him up for honors because he’s only done it for three games, but if continues along this pace, I think he’s going to have a chance to make a real name for himself."