UCLA coach Jim Mora said he's going to "push it as far out as you can" before making a decision on whether quarterback Brett Hundley will start Thursday night against Arizona State in Tempe.
Hundley injured his left (non-throwing) elbow in UCLA's 20-17 win over Texas on Sept. 13. The Bruins had a bye last week and Mora has been tight-lipped about the status of the All-America candidate.
Sometimes it goes right up to kickoff before you make that decision," Mora told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "In the NFL you have to declare a guy inactive or active, at this level you don't. We just take it as far as we can and make the best decision for the player first, and the team second."
Mora said Hundley has practiced, but has been limited.
Through three games, Hundley is completing 70.4 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and an interception. He's also rushed for 74 yards and a score. Jerry Neuheisel replaced Hundley against Texas to lead the Bruins to a dramatic fourth-quarter victory, throwing two touchdowns on 23 of 30 passing.
The winner of the last two showdowns between ASU and UCLA has gone on to win the Pac-12 South Division, with ASU winning last year in Los Angeles and UCLA winning at ASU in 2012.
"It's not like anyone is trying to pull anything over on Todd Graham, because you're not going to pull anything over on Todd Graham," Mora said. "They are preparing for UCLA. They are preparing for schemes and plays and tendencies. I'm sure they are assuming that Brett is going to play. That's what I'd be doing. And I'm nowhere near the coach that Todd Graham is. They'll be ready regardless."
Mora is right. Graham is expecting Hundley to play.
"If Brett Hundley didn't play, it would totally shock me," Graham said on Tuesday's Pac-12 coaches teleconference. "But that makes it easier for us. You better prepare for the best one. Not taking anything away from the backup quarterback, but Brett has some skills that are really, really special.
"People are going to run their offense pretty much. But what he does is he adds so much to it when the plays don't work. His ability to extend plays, pull the ball down, throw the ball 70 yards downfield, across the field on his back foot, if he doesn't play, that makes things better for us. ... He's going to play. There's no doubt in my mind he's going to play."