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Lewis Earns His 'Reward'

COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : UCLA

October 15, 1997|JIM HODGES

There was the play at Washington State, when Jermaine Lewis ran to the wrong hole on fourth and goal and was stopped and a game was lost.

And there was the punt return that wasn't a return against Texas, because he fumbled.

Lewis, a redshirt freshman, was buried at UCLA until Saturday, when Skip Hicks injured a knee and Lewis was exhumed to run the ball 10 times for 75 yards.

"It felt good," Lewis said Tuesday. "I kept my head on straight and didn't let it get me down. I kept on practicing hard, because they're right: You do play like you practice."

When you play.

Lewis sat during the Tennessee game, except for special teams, and played only in garbage time at Texas. Again, only on special teams against Arizona, and six carries for 41 yards and a touchdown against Houston, again in garbage time.

But there was a need for him Saturday in Eugene in UCLA's 39-31 victory.

"I know I'm third-string behind two great backs," Lewis said, referring to Hicks and Keith Brown. "A year ago, I would have let all of this get me down. But I feel like I've matured now. . . . And getting in at Oregon is like a reward."

*

Hicks has been invited to the Hula Bowl, East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, all postseason all-star games. He has yet to choose the game or games in which he will play. . . .

Shaun Williams has been invited to the East-West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl. . . . Hicks is tied for No. 1 in the nation in touchdowns with 16 and is second in scoring at 16 points a game.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

NEXT FOR UCLA

Who: Oregon St.

Where: Rose Bowl

When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

TV: Channel 9

Radio: AM 1150

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