At Last, Bruins Reach End of the Road : Their Away Record Puts Them in Driver’s Seat for the Rose Bowl

Times Staff Writer

At last, the end of the road.

After playing six of their first nine games away from home and emerging with a 7-1-1 record, UCLA’s Bruins may be back in Los Angeles for good.

All that remains on the schedule are games this Saturday at the Rose Bowl against Oregon State and a game at the Coliseum Nov. 23 against USC.

A victory in each of those would leave the Bruins with a 7-1 Pacific 10 record and earn them a visit to the Rose Bowl Jan. 1.


Considering how well it has played, UCLA might prefer to be the road team in its last two Pac-10 games.

“One of the coaches suggested that we might be better off to stay in our rhythm,” Coach Terry Donahue said. “He thought maybe this week we should bus to Burbank, fly to Orange County and come back up to Pasadena that way.”

Donahue is pleased with his team’s position in the Rose Bowl race. UCLA is tied with Arizona State with just one loss. If both finish tied in the standings, the Bruins would go to the Rose Bowl because they beat the Sun Devils earlier this season.

“It’s good to know that if we win our last two games, we’ll go to the Rose Bowl,” Donahue said. “But I also look at those last two games as huge obstacles.”

Donahue said that the chemistry is all in Oregon State’s favor this week. UCLA, after winning at Arizona, 24-19, is due for a letdown. Oregon State (3-6) could catch the Bruins looking ahead to USC.

“Oregon State beating Washington (21-20, three weeks ago) helped us for a lot of different reasons,” Donahue said. “For one thing, we needed for Washington to lose another game. But it also helped to get our team’s attention to believe that Oregon State is a good team. We have a lot of respect for Washington. When they beat us, it was no fluke. So our team has to respect a team that can beat Washington.”


Bruin Notes

Strong safety Craig Rutledge underwent arthroscopic surgery Sunday afternoon to repair torn cartilage and torn ligaments in his right knee. He will miss at least the last two games of the regular season. Coach Terry Donahue said that it was not known whether Rutledge would be able to play in a postseason game. “The good news was that they did not have to do reconstruction,” Donahue said. “I don’t know when he’ll be back, but he’s a speedy healer.”. . . X-rays showed that Mel Farr does not have a broken collar bone, as was originally suspected. His injury is now being classified as a severe bruise. . . . Nose guard Terry Tumey has a sprained ankle and is doubtful to play against Oregon State. . . . Outside linebacker Melvin Jackson had his right hand badly cut, but he is expected to play Saturday. . . . Donahue said that he did expect tailback James Primus to play against Oregon State. Primus did not make the trip to Arizona because of a shoulder injury. . . . Split end Mike Sherrard is still “up in the air” according to Donahue, who said that X-rays will be taken Thursday night to determine whether his cracked collar bone had healed enough for him to play Saturday. “We wouldn’t hold him out and save him for the USC game if he’s able to play,” Donahue said. “I’d like to see him get back into the routine. We’re not in a position to save anybody. We need every player we can get.” . . . Flanker Karl Dorrell caught three passes at Arizona for a career total of 63, putting him eighth on the UCLA career list. Dorrell passes Norm Andersen, who now coaches the Bruin running backs. . . . Game time Saturday will be 1 p.m. There will be no telecast, live or delayed.