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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : UCLA

Injured Walk-On Can't Help Now

November 13, 1996|JIM HODGES

It's tough enough preparing to play against Arizona quarterback Keith Smith with all of your resources, but UCLA is suffering from a shortage.

Of walk-ons?

They are normally the most expendable of players, but the Bruins were counting on Joey Strychula, a freshman walk-on, in practice this week to emulate Smith, who has 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and is leading the Pacific 10 in passing percentage, completing 62.7% of his throws.

But Strychula realized a walk-on's dream Saturday, playing on the kickoff team against Washington State, and he and the Bruins paid a price when he broke a thumb in two places. He tried to play Smith on Monday, but the thumb wouldn't let him go and on Tuesday surgery was scheduled.

*

Against Washington State, split end Jim McElroy caught two passes, threw a touchdown pass, returned two kickoffs for 66 yards and made a tackle on a punt return. . . . UCLA has outrushed opponents, 1,459 yards to 963.

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