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The Scouting Report

September 04, 2004|Lonnie White

UCLA (0-0) vs.

OKLAHOMA STATE (0-0)

Today, 12:30 p.m., Rose Bowl

TV: Channel 7

Radio: XTRA (690/1150)

WHEN UCLA HAS THE BALL

Coach Karl Dorrell will rely on quarterback Drew Olson to lead the Bruins' new-look and, they hope, more efficient West Coast offense. In running backs Maurice Drew and Manuel White, the Bruins have a versatile and potentially potent backfield tandem, with both players able to run and catch. Wide receiver Craig Bragg has caught at least one pass in 36 consecutive games. Tight end Marcedes Lewis could be UCLA's x-factor if he gets the ball enough. Seniors Paul Mociler and Steven Vieira lead an improved offensive line for the Bruins, who will have new offensive coordinator Tom Cable calling plays.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE HAS THE BALL

The Cowboys have four starting offensive linemen back, including guard Sam Mayes and center Chris Aiken, and two talented running backs in Vernand Morency and Greg Jones. Redshirt freshman Donovan Woods will make his first collegiate start at quarterback. One of Woods' top receiving threats will be his brother D'Juan Woods, who had 31 catches for 479 yards and a touchdown last season. The Cowboys have two solid tight ends in Billy Bajema and Charlie Johnson.

KEYS TO UCLA VICTORY

1. Stop the run. With Oklahoma State starting an untested quarterback, the Cowboys probably will be looking to run the ball and UCLA's defense has to be ready. With starting linebacker Justin London out because of an injury, his replacement, Dan Nelson, could play a pivotal role.

2. Run the ball. To help take pressure off quarterback Olson, the Bruins' offensive line has to open holes for Drew and White. If they can average four yards or more per carry, the Bruins can control the flow of the game.

3. Opportunistic secondary. By mixing things up on defense, the Bruins could force Donovan Woods into poor throws. Free safety Ben Emanuel, who had two interceptions against the Cowboys two years ago in a 38-24 UCLA victory at Stillwater, Okla., needs to have a big game again.

HOW THEY COMPARE

2003 Statistics

*--* UCLA OKLA. ST. 19.1 Scoring 35.9 23.5 Points allowed 25.1 203 Passing offense 197 91.9 Rushing offense 217.8 294.9 Total offense 414.8 200.7 Passing defense 241.1 116.9 Rushing defense 159.9 317.6 Total defense 401

*--*

-- Lonnie White

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