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UCLA NOTES

New Challenges for Freshmen

September 14, 2002|Steve Henson

STILLWATER, Okla. — For the 14 Bruin freshmen who played in their first college game last Saturday against Colorado State, more new experiences await.

First road game. First on artificial turf.

"Training camp at Cal Lutheran was something like an away game, but this will be an entirely new experience," freshman quarterback Drew Olson said.

Fans at Oklahoma State's Lewis Field are very close to the sideline and although the capacity is 48,000, the noise level is similar to that at Oregon's Autzen Stadium.

"The stands are so close to the players, people can spit chewing tobacco right at them," Coach Bob Toledo said. "I'll talk to our guys about not having rabbit ears."

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UCLA substituted liberally at most positions last week and will continue to do so, ensuring that the large number of young players gain experience. At linebacker, however, the starting trio of Brandon Chillar, Marcus Reese and Spencer Havner rarely left the field against Colorado State.

They were stellar, combining for 24 tackles. Chillar was Pacific 10 Conference defensive player of the week with 10 tackles, an interception and forced fumble. Reese had nine tackles and Havner, a redshirt freshman, had five.

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Oklahoma State alternates three tailbacks, and all three have been limping lately.

Tatum Bell, a 215-pound junior, led the Cowboys with 776 yards last season and added 25 pounds during the off-season. He has only six carries in two games, however, because of an ankle injury.

Seymore Shaw, a 220-pound sophomore, sat out last season as a partial qualifier but made an immediate impact in the opener against Louisiana Tech, rushing for 97 yards in seven carries. An ankle injury restricted him to five carries last week against Northern Iowa.

The most intriguing tailback is Vernand Morency, a 22-year-old freshman who was released by the Colorado Rockies in June after four years as a minor leaguer. He ran for 108 yards against Louisiana Tech and 50 against Northern Iowa, but he also has a sprained ankle.

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