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Quarterback not a big deal with the Beavers

November 07, 2008|David Wharton | Wharton is a Times staff writer.

UCLA expects to face Oregon State's backup quarterback at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, but Coach Rick Neuheisel does not think it will make too big a difference.

Sean Canfield will play if starter Lyle Moevao is not recovered from a shoulder injury suffered last weekend against Arizona State. Canfield is still recuperating from a shoulder injury of his own and, according to Oregon State Coach Mike Riley, has not reached full strength.

Regardless, Neuheisel said, the Beavers' offense does not emphasize long throws.

"Primarily they are a zone running, reverse running, screen pass and then do what they have to do to get first downs," he said. "That doesn't change."

Last Saturday, Canfield came into the game against Arizona State, had a pass intercepted, then led his team to a 27-25 victory.

"Sean getting to play and coming from behind and winning the game I think was very positive," Riley said.

The left-hander started the first nine games of the 2007 season before his injury against USC. After a setback during the summer, his shoulder has continued to improve.

"I don't think Sean is throwing with the same velocity he had a year ago," Riley said. "But he is getting closer."

Last season in a 40-14 loss to UCLA at Corvallis, Canfield completed 22 of 35 passes for 146 yards with two interceptions.

This fall, he has completed 20 of 30 for 257 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Health matters

Several previously injured Bruins practiced Thursday. Defensive ends Reggie Stokes and Chase Moline and safety Tony Dye are expected to play Saturday.

Receiver Nelson Rosario was in shoulder pads and a helmet but is unlikely for the game, Neuheisel said.

Hold the line

Freshman Jeff Baca is slated to start at left tackle, shifting ahead of Micah Kia, Neuheisel said.

Asked about dealing with a lack of depth along the offensive line, the coach said: "We keep our fingers crossed."


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