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ASU Quarterback Was Almost a Bruin

UCLA REPORT

November 09, 2005|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

At the controls of Arizona State's offense, which is third in the nation, averaging 518.4 yards a game, is quarterback Rudy Carpenter, a redshirt freshman who once gave an oral commitment that he would accept a scholarship to UCLA.

"He's playing really well, and that's unfortunate for us," UCLA Coach Karl Dorrell said of the former Thousand Oaks Westlake High standout, who has led the Sun Devils to consecutive victories after replacing injured starter Sam Keller. "I know that he's looking forward to coming back to Southern California to play in front of family and friends."

Carpenter committed to UCLA early, but he ran into problems when he transferred to Westlake from Newbury Park before his senior year.

"He's a good kid," Dorrell said. "There were just some concerns about his admission status with us, admission transcript problems."

Carpenter, who led Westlake to a 14-0 record and a Southern Section Division IV championship, has been a good fit for the Sun Devils (5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Pacific 10 Conference), who need one victory to become bowl-eligible.

In his first start, Carpenter completed 27 of 34 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-20 win over Washington. Then he passed for 381 yards and two touchdowns last week against Washington State.

Carpenter has completed 74% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. "You can see that he's gained confidence," Dorrell said.

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Arizona State Coach Dirk Koetter on UCLA's Drew Olson, whose 160.7 pass efficiency rating is seventh in the nation: "I've always been a Drew Olson fan because I recruited his brother, Eric, as a quarterback when I coached at Boston College. So I've known Drew for a long time. When Drew is hot he's almost unstoppable, and when he's cold I think he's merely human."

Olson has completed 66.4% of his passes for 25 touchdowns with three interceptions.

"He's had five or six different spurts this year when he's been hot where's he's been unbelievable, squeezing balls in places you didn't think he could," Koetter said. "He's a little streaky, but he's a senior quarterback who plays with a lot of confidence and when he gets hot, look out."

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Linebackers Justin London (ankle) and Aaron Whittington (quadriceps), cornerback Rodney Van (toe) and center Mike McCloskey (shoulder) did not practice Tuesday because of injuries. Maurice Drew (leg) was limited. ... The Bruins worked out in full uniform and hit more than than usual.

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