True freshman quarterback Matt Moore will come off of his redshirt, according to Head Coach Bob Toledo. Moore will take the majority of snaps in practice this week since, Toledo said, Moore will almost certainly play and needs the most reps to catch him up to the other quarterbacks.
Unless Drew Olson is able to practice within the next couple of days, the prevailing wisdom is that Moore will more than likely start on Saturday.
This afternoon at practice Moore threw the ball well working with the first string, showing good zip on the ball and accuracy. Redshirt freshman John Sciarra also took snaps with the #1 offense, but considerably less than Moore, by design. Toledo said about who will start against Stanford, "We're going to play a freshman quarterback. I'm just not sure who it will be right now. We're going to look at Matt Moore and bring him off the redshirt."
Toledo said he called Moore at home Sunday and told him he expected Moore would play this Saturday. Toledo said when he called Moore he was excited, but said Moore felt badly for Cory Paus and Drew Olson, and Moore said he called Drew after the game on Saturday. "Matt Moore will do a good job, if he's the one who's called upon. John Sciarra will continue to have his opportunity and get some reps. Drew Olson has some range of motion, but he has a way to go and we're going to take that day by day and see what happens."
One reason why Moore was reshirting was to get bigger since he is considerably skinny. But Toledo said that Moore has gained 8 pounds since he came to UCLA in fall camp, and Moore confirmed it, saying he's now up to 185 pounds. "He's had a couple of Snickers bars lately," Toledo said.
Toledo did say that Olson would have to be cleared fairly quickly if he were going to get the start over Moore or Sciarra. "The reason being, if Drew gets hit again one time, he could be done for several weeks. So, unless he gets cleared quickly, it will either be Moore or Sciarra."
Toledo pointed out that the offense will be very young this Saturday up the middle when it fields a freshman center, a freshman quarterback, a freshman fullback and a freshman tailback.
Craig Bragg woke up this morning with a bruised thigh and didn't practice this afternoon. He said he'd be back practicing Tuesday.
Toledo said that there is a possibility that Nate Fikse could be the place-kicker for the Stanford game on Saturday. He said he was going to have Fikse and Chris Griffith compete in practice this week, "and we're going to let the best one kick in the game." Fikse took all of the field goal kicks with the field goal kicking unit today in practice. From between 25 and 45 yards, Fikse made 7 of 9 field goals. Chris Griffith practiced off a tee, but did not kick with the field goal kicking team.
Manuel White practiced on a limited basis. He's still considered questionable. Jibril Raymo did not practice and had his separated shoulder in a sling.
Rodney Leisle was out at practice, but didn't participate. He looked to be walking well on his injured foot.
Cory Paus will have surgery on his ankle Wednesday.
It was a good thing that Brian Callahan, the true freshman walk-on quarterback, made the Cal trip on his own dime last weekend. Callahan, who couldn't travel with the team due to the 60-player limit, went to the Bay Area on his own, to visit his family and friends (his father is the Oakland Raider Head Coach, Bill Callahan), and to attend the game. He was on the UCLA sideline at Cal, in just his travel jersey and sweats, when during the course of the game the #1 and #2 quarterbacks, Cory Paus and Drew Olson, went down with injuries. Besides third-stringer John Sciarra, Callahan was the only quarterback on the team left on the sidelines. When Sciarra was in the game, the coaching staff was without a backup quarterback to wag in the called plays. Callahan, being fourth-string, had never wagged in the plays before, but stepped up in a time of need.