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College Football | UCLA REPORT

Paus Will Start Against Oregon

November 06, 2001|Steve Henson

Bob Toledo has a new rule of thumb: Announce on Monday who will play quarterback to avert a weeklong distraction.

Cory Paus it is. Scott McEwan and Ryan McCann it is not.

No matter that Paus' thumb remains sore. Or that he was seven for 19 passing for 107 yards with three interceptions in the 20-14 loss to Washington State.

No matter that Toledo failed to inform McEwan and McCann of the decision.

McCann threw two interceptions in the first quarter against the Cougars, so he probably didn't expect to start again. But McEwan would have started that game had he recovered from a sprained ankle.

So it was with shock and disappointment that McEwan reacted to news that Toledo had chosen Paus to start Saturday against Oregon. News that came not from his coach, but from reporters.

"I haven't heard anything from anybody, but if that's his decision, fine," he said. "I'm ready for the supporting role."

McEwan, who passed for 221 yards in the second half against Stanford two games ago, said his ankle is nearly 100%.

Paus, for his part, said his thumb feels better than it has all season. So does his ego after meeting with his coach and convincing him he should start.

"It's a little added confidence," he said. "I feel different than I've ever felt. I'm more aggressive, hungrier, lighter.

"I want to prove he made the right decision. It will be easier not coming off the bench. This is my normal role."

So the issue is closed. Anything to avoid a repeat of last week, when the burning question of the week was QB or not QB.

"We don't want to be waffling on who the quarterback will be," Toledo said. "That's why I'm naming it early."

*

Toledo isn't suggesting he should be a candidate to replace Peter Dalis, who announced his retirement Monday. Eventually, however, he would like to become an athletic director.

"When I'm done coaching I would like to stay involved with the university as athletic director or in a fund-raising capacity," he said.

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Free safety Marques Anderson said he will play Saturday despite suffering from bruised ribs.... Receivers Brian Poli-Dixon and Ryan Smith have recovered from shoulder injuries and will play. ... Receiver Tab Perry (broken ribs) will remain in a Pullman, Wash., hospital at least another day.... Center Troy Danoff, who did not play against Washington State, is questionable because of a separated shoulder and sprained ankle.... Defensive end Rusty Williams (thigh) and guard Shane Lehmann (ankle) are also questionable.

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