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UCLA FYI

Quarterback play will be evaluated

October 26, 2008|Chris Foster | Foster is a Times staff writer.

BERKELEY — Chris Forcier logged five minutes at quarterback at the end of Saturday's 41-20 loss to California.

Forcier threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Dominique Johnson in the final two minutes, which may fuel a Bruins quarterback controversy.

Coach Rick Neuheisel said the coaching staff would "go back and address the things that are keeping us from being a more consistent football team."

That would include play from the quarterback spot.

"Kevin [Craft] is a guy who has played well," Neuheisel said. "The idea is to evaluate everybody. Kevin will be under evaluation and we'll decide who gives us the best chance to win."

Craft had four passes intercepted Saturday. He came into the game ranked ninth in passing efficiency among Pacific 10 Conference quarterbacks and completed 17 of 35 passes for 206 yards against the Bears.

Still, it might be too soon to write off Craft.

"Where else are we going to go?" offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. "He has to do it. It's easy to say, 'We'll come up with some magical answer.' He is what he is. He tries hard. We've got to make things better so he can have some success."

In defense

UCLA's defense bent but didn't break until the end Saturday. The Bruins gave up 232 yards rushing but were within a touchdown with 10 minutes left. Then Aaron Perez's pass on a fake punt fell a yard short, which was followed by a 53-yard touchdown pass by California quarterback Kevin Riley.

"At that point we were kicking butt," defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said. "We played our tails off. When I look at the film, I might be mad about some mistakes here and there, but I won't be mad about our performance."

Life of Riley

Riley started in place of Nate Longshore after a week where the two competed for the job.

"He had a good week of practice," Bears Coach Jeff Tedford said. "We felt we had some things, like a quarterback draw, that he would do well for us. That's why he got the start."

Riley completed 11 of 22 for 153 yards and two touchdowns, both in the fourth quarter.

Up the charts

Terrence Austin had 203 yards in kickoff returns, including a career-best 82-yard runback to set up UCLA's last touchdown.

Austin has 802 yards in kickoff returns this season, ranking him second on the school's all-time list. Matthew Slater had 986 in 2007.

Rookie mistake

Freshman safety Rahim Moore was caught on the Bears' fourth-quarter flea flicker, which resulted in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Riley to Nyan Boateng.

"I thought the receiver did a good job acting like he was going to block him," Walker said. "When there's a sudden possession change, you always tell your guys that they are going to take a shot at the end zone. We knew what was going on. Unfortunately, we didn't play the play."

Odds and split ends

Perez averaged 50.2 yards in six punts, including a career-best 67-yarder in the first quarter. . . . Defensive tackle Jerszy Siewierski suffered a lower back injury and will be re-evaluated today. . . . Guard Micah Reed left the game with a right knee injury in the first quarter but later returned. . . . UCLA has lost six consecutive road games and 13 of its last 16.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

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