UCLA PREVIEW

Guess who else has a four-game losing streak going into the last game of the season? The UCLA Bruins who started 6-0 and looked not only like the class of the Pac-10 but also a legitimate national championship contender. This week they will battle ASU in the Rose Bowl, in game between two disgruntle teams, which will likely draw low interest from both schools supporters.

Suspensions to quarterback Cory Paus and one of the early Heisman award contenders, DeShaun Foster, along with injuries to their wide receivers, have left the Bruins much depleted on offense. Scott McEwan, who ironically will play his last game at the Rose Bowl this year, will get his first start at quarterback. He's a backup signal caller that has seen extensive action during the season, and judging by Paus' performance in the last game, can't be that much of a drop off. Akil Harris And Manuel White who have 442 yards and three TD's between them will try to fill the void for Foster. No one single receiver on UCLA has risen over the others, and injuries to Tab Perry and Brian Poli-Dixon further deplete the receiving core for this week. UCLA's seventh ranking in total offense in the conference, may be one of the easier tests ASU's defense had had in the past few weeks.

Before this game was suspended due to the tragic events of September 11th, former Sun Devil and current Bruins' defensive coordinator Phil Snow, was eagerly anticipating a match-up with the team that fired him last year. UCLA's four-game skid has tempered those feelings substantially. Despite the Bruins' troubles, they still rank first in total defense, and no worse than third in all other major defensive categories. That fact, along with Snow's great familiarity with ASU players could be a very stiff challenge for an offense that has had some troubles as it is in recent weeks.

UCLA at 6-4 is bowl eligible, and even a loss may not cost them a spot in a post-season game. Clearly, UCLA (much like ASU) will want to end a miserable regular season on a winning note. This will be a meeting between two disheveled teams. Predicting the outcome of this game, which involves two teams who have grossly underachieved, may have one guessing for quite a while. Pride is all these two teams have to play for, and the question of who has more of that quality in them, is one that could be answered on Saturday.

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