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UCLA NOTES

Stanford Has Plans for Moore

October 25, 2002|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

Matt Moore, meet Matt Leonard.

The UCLA quarterback was a skinny eighth-grader living in Newhall when Leonard was a star senior defensive lineman at nearby Palmdale High in 1998. Their paths never crossed.

On Saturday, however, Leonard, now a star senior defensive lineman for Stanford, and his teammates will do their best to make Moore's UCLA debut miserable.

Moore, 18, is expected to start ahead of two other freshmen, and Stanford is certain to try to confuse him with stunts and blitzes. But most of the time, the quarterback will get a call from the sideline, walk up to the ball and run the play regardless of the defensive alignment.

"We will have fewer formations and motion, a lot of the things that could confuse him," Coach Bob Toledo said. "We've narrowed down the checks and audible opportunities."

Drew Olson has recovered enough from a slightly separated shoulder to back up Moore. Olson has not practiced much this week, though he ran plays with the goal-line offense Thursday. John Sciarra will play only if Moore and Olson are unable to.

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Surgery on the right leg of senior quarterback Cory Paus on Thursday was more complicated than expected and his recovery is expected to take eight to 10 weeks.

Paus, injured last Saturday against California, had expressed hope that he could return in time for the last regular-season game against Washington State on Dec. 7, but that will not be possible.

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Toledo told the players after practice not to allow themselves to be distracted by unsubstantiated rumors and accusations on Internet message boards.

"The seniors, especially, have done a good job of focusing on practice and not letting people who are trying to distract us do so," he said.

An example was an anonymous post on a message board accusing Toledo of having knowledge of players' use of handicapped parking placards before the issue became public in 1999.

Toledo did not consider the accusation worthy of a response, but athletic department officials discussed the charge and determined it was old news.

"We got a heads-up from university police that they were doing checks on [the use of handicapped placards] and Bob told the team that if anyone was using one to cease and desist," Associate Athletic Director Marc Dellins said. "But were we aware of the number of players using them or the specifics? No."

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UCLA's homecoming parade, featuring floats and marching bands, will begin tonight at 8 at Gayley and Weyburn avenues in Westwood Village.... Walk-on defensive lineman Matt Kocher has left the team.

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