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UCLA REPORT

Protection Practice Has Been Paying Off

UP NEXT At Oregon State (4-1) Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Ch. 7

October 03, 2002|Steve Henson

UCLA is the only Division I-A team not to lose a fumble and has a turnover ratio of plus-nine, fourth in the nation.

The Bruins have fumbled eight times while opponents have fumbled only five times. However, UCLA has recovered all eight of its fumbles and all five of the opponents' fumbles.

One of UCLA's fumbles came during an interception, and four were kicks and punts that were dropped and picked up.

The lack of fumbles is a departure from last season, when tailback DeShaun Foster gained a reputation as a frequent fumbler.

"We emphasize it in practice," Coach Bob Toledo said. "We are protecting the football. Usually when you emphasize something you get better at it."

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Offensive tackle Mike Saffer is continuing his push to play Saturday despite suffering from a broken rib.

The Bruins will conduct a walk-through practice in Westwood on Friday before flying to Oregon State, and trainers will determine whether Saffer will make the trip.

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Several Bruin freshmen caught leaving class early were required to run sprints after practice as punishment.

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