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NOTES

Frustrated Ball Sets Two Marks

November 09, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

PULLMAN, Wash. — UCLA senior defensive end Dave Ball set two school records with one sack of Washington State quarterback Josh Swogger late in the first half Saturday.

That gave Ball 27 1/2 sacks in his career, breaking the UCLA record of 26 1/2, set by Eric Smith from 1984 to 1988, and 13 1/2 sacks this season, breaking the Bruin record of 13, set by Carnell Lake in 1987.

Ball is one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the nation's best lineman, and one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks defensive-end-of-the-year award, but he would have traded those honors for victories over Stanford and Washington State the last two games.

"It's bittersweet -- whenever I set records, we lose," said Ball, who dislocated the ring finger on his right hand Saturday night but sat out only a few plays. "I'm sure I'll feel better about this in a month. Records are nice to get. But I should have had more sacks tonight. [Swogger] is a taller, bigger guy, and he was tough to bring down."

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Not only did UCLA defensive tackle Rodney Leisle dress for Saturday's game, the senior who wasn't expected to be in uniform played one series in the first quarter.

But Leisle, who sat out last week against Stanford because of a high ankle sprain, was not effective -- the Bruins gave up a 32-yard touchdown pass on the third and final play Leisle played -- and Leisle did not return the rest of the game.

Defensive end Mat Ball, questionable because of two bulging disks in his lower back, had much better success. Ball entered with Leisle with 9:42 left in the first quarter and played the rest of the game.

Receiver Junior Taylor suffered a hip injury in the first quarter and did not return. Cornerback Matt Ware, who sat out three games because of a high ankle sprain, played about a third of Saturday's game, forcing one fumble and intercepting a pass.

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Bruin tailback Tyler Ebell rushed for 105 yards in 12 carries, including a 56-yard run in the fourth quarter. UCLA had more first downs (18) than Washington State (14) and outgained the Cougars in total yards, 365-323, but the Bruins converted only four of 18 third downs.... Saturday marked the second time this season Washington State has turned the ball over seven times and won -- the Cougars beat Oregon State, 36-30, two weeks ago.... Washington State quarterback Matt Kegel was knocked out in the first quarter by a sprained right shoulder but expects to play next week.... UCLA has lost four games in a row at Washington State; the Bruins have not won in Pullman since 1993.... UCLA's game against Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Saturday will begin at 12:30 p.m. but won't be televised.

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