News and notes: UCLA

Arizona had a bye last week, but now they are preparing for UCLA. The Cats head on the road for the first time all season, their first trip to the LA area in four years.

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Almost all of the Wildcat coaches and players felt that the bye week came at a good time. Some felt that it was good to get healthy, while others felt it was good for their mental development after two close loses.

Mike Stoops felt that it was a good time to pour over game film and look for tendencies his team may be showing.

"You don't want to show too much of something," Stoops said. "You try to be as diverse as you can."

About half the team went home over the weekend, while the rest just stayed in town to rest up or get caught up on school work.


Stoops claimed that Nic Costa and Richard Kovalcheck were in a dead heat for the No. 2 quarterback job. He said that both players were competing hard for the spot and he really couldn't say which passer would get the nod if something happened to starter Kris Heavner.


The Wildcats have remained injury free. Wide out Anthony Johnson missed the Washington State game with a knee sprain but will be back in action against UCLA. He will return, brace-free, to practice on either Monday or Tuesday.

During the press gathering Stoops was asked if he has ever been a part of a team that has remained injury free and he indicated that he's gone "whole years without injury.:


This will be the Wildcats first foray onto the road after opening the season with four home games. A number of players will be making their first road trip and several upperclassmen mentioned that they would make sure that the young players knew this was "a business trip".

One big change from a year ago is the fact that the Wildcat players won't be required to wear suits on the trip. The players will have to wear khaki pants and collar shirts for team meals.


The Wildcats have not played in the Los Angeles area since October, 2000 when they went to USC and beat the Trojans 31-15. The Wildcats have about 15 players from in or around the LA area. No current Wildcat has ever played a college game in LA

The Cats have not played in the Rose Bowl sine the 1997 season when they lost to the Bruins 40-24.


Players and coaches from Washington and San Diego State noted that UCLA offensive linemen had a tendency to use illegal cut blocks. Stoops noticed some of these blocks on film, but says that when he contacted the Pac-10 that the Washington coaches had not made any formal complaints. He said he was worried about injuries to linemen who were hit low and then rolled up on.


UCLA running back Maurice Drew is averaging 46.14 yards on each of his seven rushing touchdowns this season. He leads the nation in all purpose yards at 229.5 and is fourth in the nation in rushing (167.25 yards a contest).


The three teams that he beaten the Wildcats are a combined 13-1. All told the teams on their schedule are 32-15 overall.

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