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Verner finds himself on different routes than Collie

September 14, 2008|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

PROVO, Utah -- Mano y mano didn't work out very well for UCLA on Saturday.

The Bruins' plan was to disrupt Brigham Young's offense by playing cornerback Alterraun Verner on Cougars wide receiver Austin Collie.

Collie had 10 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-0 BYU victory.

And Verner was left with no choice but to admire Collie's handiwork.

"I knew he would do curls, but I didn't think he would do so many as he did in the beginning," Verner said. "He runs good routes and the one thing that surprised me was his catching ability. Some of those he made, I don't know how he got."

Defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker would like to know as well. A year ago, he employed the same scheme using Trey Brown, who played Collie to a push.

This time, Walker watched as Verner allowed Collie room to maneuver.

"We knew he was their guy and Verner is our guy," Walker said. "It was a shocker. . . . We thought he could handle him, that was the whole plan going in."

Collie made all of his receptions in the first half, beating Verner for a two-yard touchdown catch, then scorching him on a 37-yard touchdown.

"Last time they tried that with Trey Brown and he did a good job," Collie said. "They do have some talented players, but the separation we had was a little better."

Walker hoped to get some answers.

"We need to sit down and talk with him," Walker said of Verner. "Not berate him, but find out what happened and try to get his confidence back."

Verner, though, wasn't alone. UCLA's four starting defensive backs all were beaten for at least one touchdown.

Nowhere to run

The Bruins had four yards rushing, giving them 33 in two games. The line was unable to get the Bruins a first down on the ground in the first half.

"All I know is to stay the course," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "We're not going to get any new offensive linemen. These are our guys, as long as they continue to compete and work hard, we'll find ways to effectively move the ball."

That might get harder. The Bruins lost center Micah Reed, who left the game with what was initially diagnosed as a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He will have an MRI exam to determine the extent of the damage.

Fight on

The Bruins were left to plot their next course, though linebacker Reggie Carter already had a plan.

"We have to make sure even in losing a game like this, you have to keep fighting," Carter said. "I was going to fight until there was a double-zero on the clock.

"We've still got 10 more games left. They exposed us today. Now we have to focus on the future."

Here's one optimistic tidbit to build on: The only worse drubbing in UCLA's football history took place in 1929, a 76-0 loss to USC. But the week after that, UCLA defeated Fresno State, 56-6.

Give-away day

The Bruins' four turnovers left them with eight in two games -- five have led to touchdowns.

"We talk about it every week," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. "We have drills. We explain the philosophy of maintaining the football."

Injury report

Beside Reed, the Bruins lost tailback Aundre Dean (right ankle), linebacker Kyle Bosworth (strained left knee ligament) and Raymond Carter (bruised right knee).

Bosworth and Carter will have MRI exams. Dean, a freshman, was injured on the first carry, which went for no gain.

Odds and ends

UCLA has lost 19 consecutive games against ranked opponents away from the Rose Bowl. The Bruins' last such victory over a ranked team was against No. 24-ranked Arizona in 2000. . . . The 42 first-half points the Bruins gave up Saturday were the most they had given up in a half since Oregon State scored 42 in 1999. . . . Reggie Carter's 20 tackles were the most by a Bruin in a game since Eric Turner had 21 against Oregon in 1989.


Times correspondent Adam Rose contributed to this report.


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