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Vieira's Play a Real Knockout


While Shane Lehmann was preparing last week to plead no contest to misdemeanor assault stemming from a fight outside a bar, Steve Vieira was busy knocking heads on the practice field.

The two guards entered fall camp even, but Vieira soon burst ahead, swatting away Lehmann's challenge like one of the Colorado State defenders he laid out in Saturday's opener.

Vieira, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound sophomore from Carlsbad, was credited with 14 knockdowns against the Rams, the most a Bruin lineman has had in several years.

The linemen are graded during a film session each week. Senior tackle Mike Saffer watched in amazement as his teammate racked up one knockdown after another.

"He kept looking at me, shaking his head," Vieira said.

Last season Vieira started five of the last six games after Lehmann started the first five. With a 12-game schedule plus a possible bowl game, Vieira figures to have nearly as many starts this season as he had knockdowns against Colorado State.

"We are very pleased with Steve Vieira," Coach Bob Toledo said. "He's an outstanding player."


Another lineman who played a key role in the Bruins' 215-yard rushing performance against Colorado State was center Mike McCloskey, a redshirt freshman starting his first game.

"He composed himself like a veteran," Vieira said. "I looked at his face to see if I could see any confusion or panic. There was none."

McCloskey was the last player given a scholarship by UCLA two years ago. He was ready to go to the Air Force Academy when the Bruins made an offer.

"I think I made the right call," he said. "That was a tough thing to turn down, but I really believed I could play big-time football and I wanted to come to UCLA."


Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma State's All-Big 12 Conference receiver, suffered a laceration between the pinkie and ring finger on his left hand while catching a pass Wednesday and left practice. He said he was fine, although trainers taped the hand.

"It's not deemed serious; he's going to play," Cowboy Coach Les Miles said.


As if Woods isn't dangerous enough, UCLA also must prepare for his kid brother. Rashaun has 19 catches for 301 yards and three touchdowns in two games. Freshman D'Juan Woods hasn't made a catch yet, but he could be a target Saturday.

"He's three years behind, but he's got the same kind of skills as his brother," Cowboy assistant Todd Monken said. "He can really catch it."

D'Juan, who like Rashaun is 6-2, is expected to play because John Lewis, the third receiver behind Rashaun and Willie Young, has a hamstring injury.

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