Studying film of last year's opener against Alabama, Scott McEwan was struck by a thought.
That could be me.
He sees Ryan McCann step in for injured quarterback Cory Paus and guide the Bruins to a 35-24 victory. This year, McEwan is No.2 behind Paus, who has a history of injuries.
"I'm taking the approach that I need to be as prepared as possible," McEwan said. "If I'm thrown into the situation, I don't want it to take me two or three series to be ready."
McEwan, a fifth-year senior, performed well in two opportunities last season, against Fresno State and in the Sun Bowl against Wisconsin.
However, he noticed that Coach Bob Toledo's play-calling became conservative when he was in the game.
"They don't have to be hesitant to call plays," he said. "If I'm in there, I hope from past experience I can win the football game."
Toledo has seen marked improvement in McEwan.
"I have great confidence in Scott," he said. "He understands the offense well and he's proven in practice he can do more things than in the past. Given the opportunity, I think he can make plays."
Asi Faoa will play Saturday's game as if it is his last. It very well could be. Faoa, a sophomore defensive end, is facing two felony assault charges stemming from a punch he admits he threw at a UCLA student at a party in April 2000. A preliminary trial is set for Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The student, Rodrigo Dezubiria, claims he suffered brain damage. Faoa says he acted in self-defense.
Faoa's attorney is trying to settle the case before it goes to jury trial. If unsuccessful, might be a one-game season for the defensive end from Anaheim Magnolia High.
There has been an absence of motivational material pertaining to Alabama at UCLA. Coaches put up some crimson in the locker room Monday, but that's about it. "I try not to talk a lot about Alabama," Toledo said. "You can do too much too soon."
UCLA's 23 seniors were treated to a donor's dinner on campus Wednesday night .... The Bruins will hold a light practice today, then take a charter flight to Birmingham.