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The Breeze Feels Good to Bruins

UCLA: Paus has big first half and special teams do job in 43-7 rout of San Diego State.

September 29, 2002|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

* Jibril Raymo recovered a blocked punt in the end zone on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. Matt Clark blocked the kick, swatting away the ball with his left hand.

"I'm left-handed and I took the correct angle," Clark said. "I thought that if I beat the dude in front of me I'd have a shot at a block."

* Chris Griffith made both of his field goal tries, including a season-long boot of 46 yards. The senior has made three in a row after missing three of four in the first two games.

* Freshman Tyler Ebell broke a punt return for 53 yards and rushed for UCLA's last touchdown.

"The kicking game really showed up," Toledo said. "We played well in all phases. I'm pleased with the progress we've made."

But more severe tasks are ahead. The Pac-10 schedule presents immediate challenges, a visit to Oregon State followed by a home game against Oregon.

"This was a confidence-booster, just what we needed," Bragg said. "It was good getting another nonconference game before going to Oregon State."

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

KEYS TO THE GAME

Steve Henson's keys to the game and how the Bruins matched up:

1. Don't let San Diego State receivers J.R. Tolver and Kassim Osgood break runs after the catch: The Bruin secondary and linebackers did an excellent job of swarming Tolver and Osgood and gang-tackling them after catches. Tolver, the nation's leading receiver, had only three catches for 30 yards. Osgood was better, making 10 catches for 145 yards, but he never broke a long play. His touchdown came on a 10-yard slant pattern.

2. Stick to the game plan and generate a balanced attack rather than getting into an aerial duel with the Aztecs: UCLA won both the aerial duel and ground battle, establishing a solid running attack behind burly Manuel White that churned out 197 yards before subtracting 32 for five sacks. The Bruins passed for 238 yards, 30 more than the Aztecs.

3. Win the turnover battle: A clear victory. UCLA did not turn the ball over and forced five Aztec turnovers. Marcus Reese and Ricky Manning made interceptions, and Brandon Chillar, Jibril Raymo and Matt Kocher made fumble recoveries.

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