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UCLA NOTES

No Homecoming for Former Bruin

September 21, 2002|Steve Henson

Lovell Houston of Colorado waited three years to play in this game. Now he'll watch on television from his Boulder, Colo., home.

The senior transfer from UCLA missed 26 games because of injuries and NCAA transfer rules before finally playing two weeks ago against San Diego State. But a shoulder injury suffered in practice this week will keep him from facing the Bruins.

His brother, Marcus, is also out with an injury and also didn't make the trip. But Marcus, a running back who was highly recruited by UCLA three years ago, is a redshirt sophomore and can look forward to next season, when Colorado plays host to the Bruins.

Lovell, who transferred to Colorado after the 1999 season, has no such luck. For now he must be content with the memory of making four tackles as a nickel cornerback in the Buffaloes' 34-14 victory over the Aztecs.

"You get in the shower after the game and you've got little scrapes and cuts stinging, and you don't even know where they came from," he said. "The soreness was ... good to feel, because it was from having done something productive on Saturday."

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UCLA linebacker Spencer Havner is a redshirt freshman, but he has already earned a reputation for possessing great agility. Never was it more apparent than when he returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma State.

The catch itself was nothing special--the ball was thrown right into Havner's chest. But after building up a head of steam during the return, he juked a defender at the five-yard line by coming to an abrupt stop and changing direction.

"He made it look easy," senior middle linebacker Marcus Reese said.

Havner is tied for second on the team with 13 tackles, eight against Oklahoma State. He also has broken up three passes and forced a fumble.

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Cal State Northridge players scattered when the school dropped football after last season. D.J. Hackett is one of the few who upgraded, landing at Colorado. The junior is No. 2 on the depth chart at wide receiver but has not caught a pass for the run-oriented Buffaloes. At Northridge he had 100 catches in two seasons and at least one touchdown catch in his last 13 games.

At 6 feet 3, Hackett is Colorado's tallest receiver and could create a mismatch against Bruin cornerbacks, all of whom are under 6 feet.

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