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UCLA FYI

Marketing plan to be changed

September 26, 2008|Chris Foster and Diane Pucin | Times Staff Writers

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero voiced his support for the efforts to market the Bruins football team yet said that there would be a "different approach" from now on.

The flash point for an aggressive campaign for UCLA's struggling football team came this week. The athletic department's marketing department ran newspaper and radio spots in Fresno encouraging Fresno State fans to attend Saturday's game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

The ad read, "Fresno State vs. UCLA," and "So you can say, 'I was there.' " The radio spots appeared to encourage Bulldogs fans to show up to watch a Fresno State victory.

Guerrero said, "We expect 70,000 fans and maybe 60,000 in blue. There is a fine line between what the [marketing department's] charge is and balancing that toward talking about marketing to the enemy, if you will."

Guerrero said, "You will see a different approach from this point forward on how we market the team. I'm not throwing anyone under the bus . . . but some things work and some things don't."

Pat Hill, Fresno State's coach, said he expected 20,000 to 25,000 Fresno State fans to attend the game. Fresno has already sold out their allotment of 9,700 tickets.

UCLA's marketing department also has run an ad saying "the college football monopoly in Los Angeles is over," and another that reminded Bruins fans that there was still room on "the bandwagon."

Another rejiggering

There seems to be no way for Coach Rick Neuheisel to catch a break when it comes to running backs.

Neuheisel was forced to juggle his lineup again on the news Thursday that fullback Trevor Theriot had suffered a torn ligament in his right knee and will be out for the season.

Senior tailback Kahlil Bell, who has missed two games after suffering a sprained ankle in the season-opening victory over Tennessee, will play for the Bruins on Saturday at the Rose Bowl against Fresno State. Neuheisel said, hopefully, "game day adrenaline should make him faster."

Chane Moline, who had been starting at tailback because of Bell's injury, will now be the fullback. Without naming a starter, Neuheisel said that Bell, true freshman Derrick Coleman and redshirt freshman Raymond Carter will be his tailbacks.

As for other injured Bruins, Neuheisel said that center Micah Reed, who missed last week's game with a knee injury, and tight end Cory Harkey, who has a sprained ankle, would be available Saturday, but wide receiver Marcus Everett (dislocated toe) and linebacker Kyle Bosworth (knee) will not be.

Moore, not less

Arizona wide receiver Mike Thomas caught a short pass in the flat last Saturday. He then made UCLA's freshman free safety Rahim Moore look like, well, a freshman.

Thomas did a stutter step, slipped through Moore's arms, and was off on a 52-yard play that set up the Wildcats' second touchdown.

It was a reminder that free safeties weren't built in a day, or even three games.

"I've had to learn that I'm the last line of defense," said Moore, who played at Los Angeles Dorsey. "If anything gets behind me, it's a touchdown. I know I have to take good angles and make good tackles."

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chris.foster@latimes.com

diane.pucin@latimes.com

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