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The Scouting Report

September 27, 2003|Mike DiGiovanna

UCLA (1-2) vs. SAN DIEGO STATE (3-1)

TONIGHT, 7, ROSE BOWL

TV -- Fox Sports Net.

Radio -- XTRA (1150/690).

WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL

If the Bruins' offensive line is able to dominate the San Diego State defensive front, UCLA may choose to pound the Aztecs all night with running backs Manuel White and Tyler Ebell. Such success on the ground would open up a passing game that has been erratic and ineffective for much of the first three games. Look for the Bruins to try to get the ball to receivers Craig Bragg and Junior Taylor in position where they can run after the catch, a dimension of the offense that has been missing. Quarterback Drew Olson needs to be efficient, and the offense must avoid turnovers that give the Aztecs great field position.

WHEN SAN DIEGO STATE HAS THE BALL

The pass-happy Aztecs have added a ground game with freshman running back Lynell Hamilton, who rolled up 220 yards in 31 carries last week against Samford. But without starting quarterback Adam Hall, who was sidelined by an ankle injury in the opener, San Diego State, with its no-huddle offense, is not as dangerous. Sophomore Matt Dlugolecki has completed 72 of 125 passes for 700 yards and four touchdowns, but also has thrown four interceptions.

KEYS TO UCLA VICTORY

1. Stop Lynell Hamilton: It might require stacking the line with an extra defender or two, but the Bruins need to stuff the run and force Dlugolecki to throw, much as they did when they limited Heisman Trophy candidate Marshall Faulk to 118 yards in a 35-7 victory over the Aztecs in 1992.

2. Establish the run: The less pressure on Olson and a still-developing passing game, the better. White, Ebell or both need to have big games, and the line needs to wear down the Aztec defense.

3. Have a Kluwe: If punter Chris Kluwe is told to kick the ball out of bounds, he needs to follow orders. The Bruins can't afford the kinds of special-teams breakdowns that resulted in Oklahoma's three punt returns for touchdowns last week.

HOW THEY COMPARE

*--* UCLA SAN DIEGO ST. 14.7 Scoring 25.8 26 Points allowed 10.5 147.7 Passing offense 188.2 91.7 Rushing offense 156.5 239.3 Total offense 344.8 205.3 Passing defense 112.8 88.7 Rushing defense 116.8 294.0 Total defense 229.5

*--*

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