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SPORTS WEEKEND

The Locals

September 26, 1997|JIM HODGES

ARIZONA (1-1, 0-1) at No. 24 UCLA (1-2, 0-1)

* KICKOFF: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Bowl, Fox Sports West.

* STORYLINE: They are two teams with similar crash-and-burn defensive philosophies and similar Pacific 10 plights. Both have come close with fourth-quarter rallies in their losses and both need a win to keep any chance of a conference title alive.

* ARIZONA UPDATE: Quarterback Keith Smith can beat you with his arm or with his legs, as the Bruins learned last season in Tucson, where Arizona knocked them out of the bowl picture. And the Wildcat defense, though maligned by Coach Dick Tomey as not meeting his lofty standards, has given up an average of 227 yards a game, fifth best in the country.

* UCLA UPDATE: The Bruins had a weekend off while Arizona was losing at Ohio State, and part of that time was spent developing freshmen, who figure to play a bigger role as the season progresses, particularly on defense.

* EDGE TO UCLA: The Bruins are still feeding off a 66-3 rout of Texas and could get knocked down a peg by a quick Arizona start, but UCLA's offense figures to find a way to score against the Wildcats. And the Bruin special teams--a problem a year ago in Tucson--are better now.

* THE LINE: UCLA by 9.

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