Awful news out of Westwood: UCLA redshirt freshman wide-out Devin Lucien broke his collarbone against the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder this past Saturday, and is now out for the season.
Here’s the tweet, via Edward Lewis at BSR:
According to Devin Lucien’s Facebook page, the #UCLA receiver found out today that he’s done for the season with a broken collar bone.
— Edward Lewis (@EdwardLewisBSR) September 30, 2012
This is a pretty decent blow to the UCLA offense because Lucien has been a pretty nice option at wide-out. Through five games, he’s only caught ten passes, but that amounted to nearly 200 yards, nearly a 20-yard-per-catch average, something you’d expect from a downfield threat like Lucien.
But while Lucien’s loss is not to be taken lightly, it won’t cripple the UCLA offense by any means. QB Brett Hundley threw to 12 different wide-outs against Colorado and normally spread the ball to at least seven pass-catchers. It’s a rarity when a UCLA wide-out has a big game in a general sense with only a max of three passes caught by a single target.
Still, Lucien was able to stretch the field with his electric speed and ability to go up and haul in tough throws and jump balls, so he’ll be missed greatly. That role will likely be filled in by junior wide-out Shaq Evans, who’s come on strong recently. Over the past two games, Evans hauled in nine passes for 177 yards and a touchdown, but also had a key drop against Colorado that would’ve been a surefire touchdown.
UCLA will be fine without Lucien, but the dynamics do change, not having two deep-ball receivers on the field, or while one is not giving relief to the other. Lucien will be missed, as we said previously.
Here’s to a speedy recovery.