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The Scouting Report

October 18, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna

UCLA (4-2, 2-0) vs. CALIFORNIA (3-4, 1-1)

TODAY, 12:30 P.M., ROSE BOWL

TV -- Channel 7

Radio -- XTRA (1150/690)

WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL

Freshman running back Maurice Drew, who has developed into a good pass-catching threat, could assume a more prominent role as a quick outlet for quarterback Drew Olson against Cal's blitz. Tight end Marcedes Lewis could also be a key target on quick-hitting routes over the middle. The Bruins have the worst rushing offense in the Pac-10 (96.2 yards a game), but Cal has the second-last rushing defense (165.7 yards), so UCLA should have more success running the ball.

WHEN CALIFORNIA HAS THE BALL

Though UCLA has confidence in cornerbacks Keith Short and Marcus Cassel, who will fill in for the injured Matt Ware, Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers probably will look to exploit the less-experienced Short and Cassel. Bear receiver Geoff McArthur, a Palisades High product, is third in the nation in yards receiving, with 41 catches for 695 yards and six touchdowns. Cal has a physical running back in Adimchinobe Echemandu, a 6-0, 225-pound senior who has rushed for 638 yards in 119 carries, and had 147 yards in 34 carries against USC.

KEYS TO UCLA VICTORY

Win the turnover battle: The Bruins have forced 18 turnovers (14 interceptions and four fumbles) and converted them into eight touchdowns and three field goals. The defense needs to create at least one scoring opportunity today.

Run the ball: An effective Bruin running game would help neutralize Cal's blitz, take some of the pressure off Olson, and allow UCLA's offense to consume some clock and keep the defense off the field.

Pressure the quarterback: The Bruins need to get a good rush on Rodgers so the Cal quarterback doesn't have time to pick on UCLA's undersized cornerbacks.

HOW THEY COMPARE

*--* UCLA CAL 22.3 Scoring 27.6 20.8 Points allowed 26.9 198.2 Passing offense 238.6 96.2 Rushing offense 132.1 294.3 Total offense 370.7 208.3 Passing defense 257.3 123.2 Rushing defense 165.7 331.5 Total defense 423

*--*

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