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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 9 | UCLA / NOTES

Foster Carries On, No Problem

October 22, 2000|BILL SHAIKIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

On his first carry, DeShaun Foster straight-armed a defender with his right arm. On his fifth carry, Foster dived into the end zone and landed on his right hand.

So there was no problem, and no fear, for Foster as he returned three weeks after suffering a broken right hand. Dr. Gerald Finerman cleared him to play Saturday afternoon, Coach Bob Toledo said. Foster played wearing a splint and a heavy wrapping of tape, with his fingers exposed so he could carry the ball but the rest of his forearm covered.

"DeShaun really wanted to play, and the doctor felt nothing more was going to happen," Toledo said. "He gave us a little spark that first half." Akil Harris started at tailback, but Foster entered the game on the Bruins' second series and split the load with Harris. Foster ran 18 times for 56 yards, and Harris ran nine times for 38 yards. Jermaine Lewis, who started at tailback last week, did not play.

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In the fourth quarter, as Oregon State blitzed the Bruins for 23 points to secure a comeback victory, Ken Simonton watched from the bench. Second-string tailback Patrick McCall ran for 118 yards in the quarter, and third-string tailback Antonio Battle ran for 23.

Simonton, the leading rusher in the Pacific 10 Conference, did not carry the ball. Oregon State Coach Dennis Erickson said Simonton had a strained hamstring. But Simonton said he was benched "by mutual decision" after losing two fumbles in the first half.

"I'm just fine," said Simonton, who gained 100 yards in 24 carries. "I've just got two great backs behind me."

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The Bruins were forced to use three new starters on the defensive line because of a wave of injuries, but that wave has yet to subside.

Ken Kocher, hobbled by a sore ankle all season, made his first start of the season and promptly injured his left knee. He left the field on crutches, with his knee in a brace, and Toledo said Kocher is likely to miss two to four weeks. Redshirt freshman Mat Ball suffered a broken bone in his right hand but should be able to play.

Linebacker Robert Thomas sprained his left foot, and his status is uncertain. Linebacker Ryan Nece said he was bothered by a sore shoulder that will require surgery after the season. Marcus Reese played extensively behind Nece.

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For the first time in school history, Oregon State has beaten UCLA and USC in the same season and, for the first time in the history of a series that began in 1930, the Beavers have defeated the Bruins in consecutive seasons.

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