Barnes could start at weak-side linebacker for No. 25 UCLA against Memphis on Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium after teammate Kenny Young sustained head trauma last week against Hawaii on a play that officials later acknowledged should have resulted in a targeting penalty.
The Bruins are assured of needing a fill-in starter at strong-side linebacker against the Tigers because Josh Woods must sit out the first half as punishment for being assessed a targeting penalty in the second half against Hawaii.
Barnes led the team with a career-high 12 tackles against Hawaii, including one for loss, in his first extended game action after playing solely on special teams as a freshman.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Wilson must sit out the first half of the game against UCLA because he was penalized for targeting in the second half of Memphis’ last game.
The Tigers did not play last week because their game against Central Florida was canceled in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
UCLA does possess a high level of familiarity with Memphis coach Mike Norvell, who was Arizona State’s offensive coordinator from 2012-15.
The Tigers run an up-tempo offense that Mora said featured some schemes similar to those the Bruins saw last week against Hawaii.