Football News & Notes

It was the first day of practice for USC week, and the team showed some intensity. Here's the latest on the status of players and how the freshmen quarterbacks looked today...

Defensive tackle Rodney Leisle, according to Head Coach Bob Toledo, is very doubtful. Toledo said, "He is still not healthy. If he's not ready to play, I won't play him. He's got to be able to run and protect himself. Right now it doesn't look very good for him to play."

Wide receiver Ryan Smith didn't practice and is out for the USC game. He very likely could not return for the Washington State game or the bowl game.

Cory Paus was at practice, walking in a cast without crutches. Reports are, that if his rehabilitation goes well, he could be ready to return to practice by the second week in December, still leaving the possibility open that he could return for a bowl game.

Freshman offensive lineman Alex Potasi had his left knee operated on, reportedly as a result of an ACL tear. His prognosis is unknown at this time.

Drew Olson didn't have a sharp day at practice Monday. He looked a bit shaky throwing the ball, and handling the ball. On the other hand, Matt Moore threw well, and looked relaxed. Toledo said that his use of Olson and Moore for the USC game won't be different than against Arizona. "What we're going to do is start Drew Olson, and then we're probably going to give Matt Moore a chance, and then we'll just kind of go from there. There's a good chance that they'll both play Saturday."

Tyler Ebell looks like he's gaining more confidence every week in practice, running harder and looking even quicker in practice today.

Two players got in a heated scuffle today, very evident that the team is pretty fired up for USC week.

Statistically, UCLA and USC are very close. They are second and third in the Pac-10 in pass defense, total defense, passing efficiency, and pass defense efficiency. They are first and second in the league in opponents first downs. They are fourth and fifth in sacks; second and fourth in scoring defense, second and fourth in penalties, ninth and tenth in opponent's penalties, and third and fifth in 3rd-down conversions. There is only 1.9 points separating their game scoring averages (USC – 33.1, UCLA – 31.2).

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