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Tevaga's future is up for discussion

November 18, 2008|David Wharton | Wharton is a Times staff writer.

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel planned to meet today with Sonny Tevaga to discuss the offensive lineman's future with the team.

Though Tevaga played extensively against Oregon State just 10 days ago, he was left behind on last weekend's trip to Washington to ponder his future in the game.

Neuheisel has refused to discuss the situation in detail other than to say Tevaga is not being disciplined for violation of team or university rules.

"He just needs to be committed," the coach said. "I want to make sure that every player on the team understands that any lack of commitment . . . does deprive you of team membership."

Tevaga's status is important to an offensive line already worn thin by injury and inexperience.


The defense walked away from Saturday night's 27-7 victory over the Huskies feeling encouraged.

First of all, the unit avoided the late-game collapses that had occurred in recent weeks.

"Four quarters of defense," linebacker Reggie Carter said. "We finally got it done."

Even better, Washington's 135 yards of total offense were the lowest by a UCLA opponent since the Bruins held Arkansas to 42 net yards in the 1989 Cotton Bowl.

"We've had so many heartbreaking losses," defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said. "I think it just helps the players to feel good about themselves."

Hang time

Looking for a silver lining to UCLA's struggles on offense this season?

Against Washington, punter Aaron Perez set a school record with the 269th punt of his college career.

It was actually one of Perez's easier games this fall. With the Bruins moving the ball on offense, he kicked only three times for 122 yards.

Compare that to 11 punts against Arizona, eight against Oregon and eight against Oregon State.

Perez might have set another UCLA record at Washington -- his 11,411 career yards are nine short of Nate Fikse's mark -- but his final punt of the evening was nullified by a roughing-the-kicker penalty.

For now, he ranks first in the Pacific 10 Conference and eighth in the NCAA with an average of 44.5 yards.


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