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Bruins don't know which quarterback they will face

November 04, 2008|David Wharton | Wharton is a Times staff writer.

The UCLA defense still isn't sure what it will face against Oregon State on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl.

Beavers quarterback Lyle Moevao remained questionable after injuring his right shoulder against Arizona State last weekend. If he cannot play, sophomore Sean Canfield will start.

"Canfield has played -- it's not as though he's an inexperienced player," UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "I don't think it changes how you prepare for them."

But Canfield played poorly against the Bruins in Corvallis last year and UCLA linebacker Reggie Carter said, "From watching film, you kind of think [Moevao] is the guy that makes the offense go."

Carter figures less Moevao could mean more of the Pacific 10 Conference's leading rusher, Jacquizz Rodgers.

"He's a strong runner," Carter said.

Happy returns

Terrence Austin is fully aware that he ranks among the top kickoff returners in the Pac-10 -- and isn't so bad with punt returns -- but a related statistic somehow escaped the UCLA receiver's attention.

Oregon State ranks near the bottom of the conference in kickoff coverage and is last in net punting average.

"That's something I should know," Austin said. "I'm pretty sure we'll be taking a look at that."

The junior has the two best kickoff return days in the Pac-10 this season, gaining 206 yards against Fresno State and 203 against California. His 250 combined return yards -- punts and kickoffs -- against Fresno State is also a conference best.

With the Bruins struggling to generate much offense, special teams and the field position they can provide become all the more critical.

Trading places

Tackle Jeff Baca is expected back at practice today, having recovered from a strained hamstring, but Neuheisel isn't sure what shape the offensive line will take.

In Baca's absence, Micah Kia switched to left tackle and freshman Mike Harris filled the right tackle spot.

"We liked how Mike Harris played in his first game," Neuheisel said. "Maybe Jeff, depending on his mobility and so forth, shares time with Micah at left tackle."

Feeling better

Defensive lineman Chinonso Anyanwu spent part of this weekend in the hospital. The junior from Los Angeles was admitted because of stomach problems Saturday night and released late the next day.

Doctors will conduct additional tests to determine the cause of the ailment.

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