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Injuries May Be Problem

September 18, 1998|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

The Bruins head to Houston today with a head of steam, having opened with an 18-point win and climbed to No. 4 in the nation, but also do so with a limp, facing a game that will include two replacement starters and possibly a new backup tailback.

Guard Oscar Cabrera has already been declared out for Saturday's game against the Cougars because of a sprained ankle, and Coach Bob Toledo said Thursday that back problems have knocked linebacker Michael Wiley out of the opening lineup in favor of Santi Hall. Whether Wiley plays at all remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, No. 2 tailback Keith Brown, bothered enough by turf toe that he was in a walking boot Thursday, will be examined this morning to determine if he will even make the trip. Freshman DeShaun Foster will get the promotion if Brown doesn't play.

"But if he wasn't running today," Toledo said of Brown, "I'd say it's pretty likely DeShaun will be the backup."

Said Foster: "I'm just going to go out and contribute, no matter how many snaps I get."


UCLA officials reported receiving only a small number of complaints over the new seating plan at the Rose Bowl, one that moved some people from the press box side across to the side that gets heavy sun. In some cases, groups who have sat close together for years were separated. . . . Ryan Neufeld and Andy Meyers have been selected as captains for the Houston game, joining season-long choices Cade McNown and Larry Atkins. . . . Toledo, who had said teams usually make their most improvement between the first and second games, said, "I think we've made strides. The proof of the pudding is the game. But in practice, yeah, I've seen improvement." . . . For the second week in a row, the Bruins are the first of two difficult games for their opponents. Texas went from playing UCLA, then No. 6, to No. 5 Kansas State. Houston gets the fourth-ranked Bruins before heading to play sixth-ranked Tennessee in Knoxville.

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