Football News & Notes

Monday's injury report has the Bruins in pretty good shape; Quarterback Cory Paus and Head Coach Bob Toledo talk about a missed play; Chris Griffith talks to the press, and some significant statistics...

Injury Report:

-- Matt Ware had a muscle spasm in his back this afternoon and didn't practice, but said he was fine and would practice Tuesday.

-- Joe Hunter had the flu and didn't attend practice.

-- Ed Blanton has a sprained ankle, one he twisted in a hole of the ripped-up turf on Spaulding Field during conditioning over a week ago. The practice field is in very poor condition, due to the soccer team using the field for various events and practices. The soccer team has used Spaulding since the intramural field doesn't currently exist while the construction of the new parking structure underneath it continues.

-- Running back Manuel White is "doubtful," according to Head Coach Bob Toledo, because of his pulled hamstring. Toledo said of White: "He's a valuable part of this team and we need to get him back. And he's a heck of a leader."

-- Safety Ben Emanuel is questionable due to the stinger in his neck. He did practice to a limited degree Monday. Emanuel told the trainer Sunday taht he felt better. Toledo said he won't have any contact in practice this week. "We'll see how he is as the week goes by," Toledo said.

Close to the end of the Oregon game, when UCLA had the ball on the Oregon 25 and ran the ball twice, Cory Paus said he was still a bit disoriented from a hit he had taken when he threw a first down pass to Craig Bragg. Because he was a bit out of it, he said, he turned the wrong way on the second running play. He did manage to get running back Tyler Ebell the ball, but it was enough to throw the play off and Ebell wasn't able to run to the designed hole. Toledo said, "Interestingly enough, the play was blocked great. Ebell would have squirted through. It's the same play we ran against USC back in 1996 with Skip Hicks where he scored a touchdown. The same exact play. He turned the wrong way because he was dingy. And we get a minus-one yard rushing on the play. So that's something people aren't aware of. We weren't aware he was dingy. And then the next play, the third down pass, he was fine. He was shaken a bit for one play."

Players of the Game:

Offensive: Craig Bragg.
Defensive: Marcus Reese.
Special Teams: Tab Perry.

In trying to engender a spirit of team unity, Bob Toledo said that at their team meeting Monday he would have everyone stand up if they felt they made a mistake in the Oregon game. And he said, "I'm going to stand up with them."

Placekicker Chris Griffith said he didn't let the missed field goal at the end of the Oregon game stay with him too long after Saturday. "I spent a lot of time with my family and friends this weekend. I talked to Toledo today about it. Our main goal on this team is team unity. I've been here for five years and everybody here knows me. They're all my friends. Nobody hates me. If they want to they can, but I don't think that's the case. They're all my best friends. They have my back and I have their back. Today we had to review and watch film about it. After I'm not going to think about it. It was like de ja vu from last year. It's crazy. It's more, to me, shocking that it happened again. It's hard to grasp. But I'll try to take it like any other kick. And I'll go from there, work on it, see how I messed up and see what I can do and improve on it this week." Griffith said he went to the Angels game on Sunday, in which they clinched a birth in the World Series. Growing up, the Angels were Griffith's favorite baseball team.

Toledo said of Griffith: "We all make mistakes. We're not always perfect. Chris Griffith is a good kicker. He is not to blame for this loss. He's kicked well in the past, and he'll kick well in the future."

Significant Stats:

Cory Paus is 15th in the nation in passing efficiency and 6th in the Pac-10 with a 146.5 rating.

UCLA is 20th in the nation in passing offense and 4th in the Pac-10, averaging 276.3 yards a game.

UCLA is third in total offense in the Pac-10, averaging 437.3 yards per game, trailing only Washington (480.3) and Washington State (439.3).

UCLA is second in punt returns in the Pac-10 averaging 13.4 yards a return.

UCLA has been penalized for the least amount of yards in the Pac-10, 46.7 yards per game.

UCLA is third in the Pac-10 in time of possession, averaging 32:46 minutes of possession per game.

UCLA is second to last in the Pac-10 in rushing defense, allowing 155.8 yards per game.

Tyler Ebell is sixth in the Pac-10 in rushing, averaging 61.7 yards per game. Ebell only had a total of 13 carries in the first three games in which he carried the ball this season. Just counting his last two games, Ebell would be averaging 161 yards per game, which would make him the #1 running back in the Pac-10 by close to 40 yards per game. Ebell is also second in punt returns in the Pac-10, averaging 13.1 yards per return, trailing only Keenan Howry, who is averaging 13.7 yards a return.

Nate Fikse leads the conference in punting, averaging 44.1 yards per punt.

Craig Bragg is fourth in the Pac-10 in receiving yards per game, averaging 86.7. Tab Perry is eighth in the conference, averaging 73.2.

Tab Perry is third in the conference in all-purpose yards, averaging 123.2 yards per game.

The Stanford game will be at 3:30 and televised by Fox.

At Monday's press conference, Bob Toledo explained some of the reasoning behind many of the decisions in the Oregon game. Exerpts from that press conference are coming soon...


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