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UCLA FYI

Craft still has some things to work on

November 17, 2008|David Wharton | Wharton is a Times staff writer.

With nothing on the schedule until a Nov. 28 trip to Arizona State, the Bruins get two weeks to savor their victory over Washington -- and address some lingering problems.

Turnovers continue to be a concern after quarterback Kevin Craft suffered three more interceptions to bring his season total to 16.

Craft, who is still considered the best option on the roster, threw off-target in the first quarter, tried to fit the ball into a tight space in the second and misread the defense in the third. All three miscues occurred on third down.

More than anything, Coach Rick Neuheisel is worried about what he called "predetermination." Translation: Craft has been throwing to his primary receiver no matter what the situation.

"Sometimes he gets going so fast," Neuheisel said, "he just locks in like a missile."

Asked if this should still be a problem so late in the season, the coach responded: "No, it shouldn't. And we've got to keep working to fix it."

Running late

Tailback Kahlil Bell began Saturday night on the sideline as punishment for arriving late to a team meeting earlier in the day, but soon entered the game and made up for lost time.

In his best performance of the season, Bell rushed 25 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

"We had a good day on the ground," he said. "We got it done."

Freshman Derrick Coleman, who started in place of Bell, rushed 10 times for 42 yards and two rarely seen reserves, Raymond Carter and Aundre Dean, also played.

Bell, who has been battling injury this fall, is expected to get some more rest from practice in the coming days.

"He's gradually getting better and better," Neuheisel said. "And with another bye week, he may even be fresher in two weeks."

Health matters

Offensive guard Darius Savage tore a ligament on the inside of his left ankle in the first quarter and was scheduled to have surgery today. He was expected to be in a cast for six weeks.

Scott Glicksberg replaced him against Washington but Neuheisel will consider other options over the next two weeks. He might restore Jake Dean to starting center and shift Micah Reed to Savage's open spot.

In another injury from the Washington game, defensive tackle Brian Price strained a hamstring and could miss some practice. He is expected to play against Arizona State.

Quarterback Ben Olson, who did not travel to Washington, will meet with Neuheisel today after seeing a specialist on Friday to check the lingering soreness in his foot.

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david.wharton@latimes.com

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