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The Scouting Report

October 25, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna

ARIZONA STATE (4-3, 1-2) at UCLA (5-2, 3-0)

TONIGHT, 7, ROSE BOWL

TV--Fox Sports Net 2

Radio--XTRA (1150/690)

WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL

After running on 22 of 26 first-down plays against Cal last week, the Bruins probably will try to open up the offense a bit with quarterback Matt Moore. The Sun Devils often use a 4-2-5 alignment, so the Bruins might have trouble passing if they're unable to generate a decent running game. Arizona State's best defender is safety Riccardo Stewart. "He plays with a ton of heart," Coach Dirk Koetter said. "He's not the biggest or fastest guy out there, but he's our hardest hitter and our best blitzer and run-stopper. He's all over the field."

WHEN ARIZONA STATE HAS THE BALL

Quarterback Andrew Walter, a 6-foot-5, 222-pound junior, has thrown for 1,029 yards and seven touchdowns in the last three games, "but our offense got better when we found a running game at the end of the [Sept. 27] Oregon State game, when we went with the two young tailbacks," Koetter said, referring to sophomore Hakim Hill and freshman Loren Wade, who have combined for 571 yards in the last four games. "No one will confuse us with Air Force, but we're running the ball better." UCLA's pass defense will be weakened by the loss of injured cornerback Matt Ware.

KEYS TO UCLA VICTORY

Get more from Moore: The Bruin defense might not be able to bail the offense out tonight as it has so often this season, so Moore will have to generate more points and lead some time-consuming drives.

Secondary can't come up Short: UCLA will need big games from cornerbacks Keith Short, who is filling in for Ware, and Matt Clark and from safeties Jarrad Page and Ben Emanuel to contain Walter.

Get to Walter: Whether it's blitzing linebackers Justin London, Brandon Chillar and Spencer Havner or defensive linemen Dave and Mat Ball, Rodney Leisle and Ryan Boschetti, the Bruins need to apply maximum pressure on Walter, sacking him or making him rush his passes.

HOW THEY COMPARE

*--* UCLA ASU 22.4 Scoring 26.9 20.7 Points Allowed 25.4 194.6 Passing Offense 286.6 90.3 Rushing Offense 118.4 284.9 Total offense 405 224.6 Passing Defense 233.9 116.3 Rushing Defense 135.1 340.9 Total Defense 369

*--*

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