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UCLA FYI

Offensive line will get some attention

October 28, 2008|Chris Foster | Foster is a Times staff writer.

There has been no hiding UCLA's biggest concern. Even before the first day of practice, it was clear the Bruins' offensive line was going to make or break the season.

Sweeping up the pieces is this week's chore.

Quarterback Kevin Craft is coming off an abysmal game against California; he had four passes intercepted. But he didn't have much help. The Bears were able to tee off on Craft, knowing the Bruins were incapable of running the football.

UCLA had 16 yards rushing in the game. The Bruins rank 117th among 119 Division I teams, averaging 81.5 yards a game on the ground.

With no game this weekend, the Bruins coaching staff will evaluate the situation, though there may be little that can be done at this point. Coach Rick Neuheisel pointed out that Bruins offensive linemen don't appear strong enough, something that will take at least one off-season to remedy.

"We'll look at the people we have available and do what is prudent this week," Neuheisel said. "What we do [on offense] is pretty basic -- that doesn't mean it's vanilla and boring -- but the things we are asking, especially up front, are not overly ambitious."

For example, one area that can be improved is center snaps. Center Jake Dean had Craft reaching low and wide for the ball when UCLA was in shotgun formations.

One factor in that, it turned out, was lack of communication.

"When I talked with Jake on the sidelines, he said no one was telling him the snaps were off," Neuheisel said. "I reminded Kevin to tell him where the ball is coming to him. Jake was snapping and thinking it was fine and moving to handle the rest of his job."

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chris.foster@latimes.com

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Up next

UCLA (3-5, 2-3) vs.

Oregon State (4-3, 3-1)

Nov. 8 at the Rose Bowl

3 p.m., FSN Prime Ticket

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