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COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 5 | NOTES

McElroy Finds Someone Else to Play Catch

September 28, 1997|JIM HODGES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

When UCLA receiver Jim McElroy trotted onto the field for the game's first offensive play, he did a double-take.

There was Arizona's Chris McAlister, playing free safety rather than his accustomed cornerback position.

"We looked and there was McAlister in the middle of the field, and we were like, 'Coach, what are they doing? Are they tricking us?' " McElroy said. "We didn't expect him to play safety. We heard he had a bad ankle, but we figured he still would be covering us."

McAlister's replacement at cornerback, Kelvin Hunter, struggled, as did Kelly Malveaux, the other Arizona corner--much to McElroy's delight.

"I'm thinking that the guy they're covering me with isn't as good as the guy I was planning on covering me," McElroy said. "I'm thinking, 'It's time to use and abuse this guy.' "

He did, eventually finishing with six catches for 138 yards, including the longest pass Cade McNown has thrown all season, covering 60 yards. Danny Farmer also joined in the fun with five receptions for 86 yards.

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After McElroy's 60-yard catch, Farmer picked up the ball and spiked it. The ensuing 15-yard penalty was one of nine fouls called against UCLA, which has 38 penalties in four games.

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In his last 14 games, Skip Hicks has rushed for 1,473 yards. He is the only player in UCLA history to rush for four touchdowns in a game four times.

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UCLA's Chris Sailer kicked four field goals, of 36, 42, 20 and 23 yards, and has made eight in a row after missing from 46 yards in the opener.

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