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SPORTS WEEKEND | COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT / UCLA

McNown Fixes Mechanics

October 30, 1998|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

Discussions about Cade McNown and his mechanics, a topic two weeks ago as the Bruin quarterback insisted he was throwing the ball well and his coaches noted otherwise, has given way to improvement and positive reviews.

"He played his best game [of the season] last week," offensive coordinator Al Borges said. "He looked very good mechanically and running the ball.

"He was standing in the pocket and making plays under duress. He had an incredible game. I don't know if we would have won it without him."

That grit had remained a trademark even as the senior quarterback struggled with some of his passes early in the season and Borges worked to correct the flaw, turning the hips to throw to a receiver instead of stepping into the pass. It was the ability to deal with pressure from the California defense that made the showing so commendable in a 28-16 victory.

"He was just getting a little sloppy," Borges said. "We had to go back to some fundamental things. You coach from week to week, so you've got to stay on it, but I'm really proud of him."

McNown has completed 54.4% of his passes for the season, is 16th in the nation in passing efficiency and this week was named one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior quarterback. The others are Michael Bishop of Kansas State, Daunte Culpepper of Central Florida, Joe Germaine of Ohio State and Donovan McNabb of Syracuse.

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The newest addition to Spaulding Field: a blue and gold sign about four feet high and six feet wide proclaiming "CITY CHAMPIONS" with each of the last seven years listed, detailing the current winning streak against USC.

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