COLLEGE FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : UCLA : Bruins Looking for Big Plays
After consecutive thrashings at the hands of Nebraska and Washington State, and with decidedly underdog status for Saturday’s game against Washington, UCLA is still looking for a spark to turn its season around.
“We just need some plays,” Coach Terry Donahue said. “We need a guy to break a long run, to catch a pass, a couple of interceptions, something to get us juiced up.”
Like last season’s 95-yard Wayne Cook-to-J.J. Stokes touchdown hookup after Washington had taken a 15-0 lead.
But Stokes won’t be making the trip to Seattle, joining three starting UCLA linemen at home by the television. The Bruins will field a patchwork offensive line, with veterans Matt Flanagan at center and Jonathan Ogden at left tackle being joined by redshirt freshmen Chad Sauter at left guard and Chad Overhauser at right tackle and junior Mike Rohme at right guard.
“I know how they feel,” Flanagan said. “They’re being thrown into the fire right away.”
Flanagan went through the same baptism a year ago when James Christensen was injured in the second game of the season, against Nebraska.
“Now, I’m the veteran,” Flanagan said, shaking his head.
Practice has been more lengthy than usual this week because of the changes.
“We’ve had to go over plays, then repeat them for the new guys,” Donahue said. “Then we have Jim McElroy run a pass pattern, then come back and run it again.”
McElroy, a freshman, will probably get additional playing time at wide receiver, with Stokes out.
J.J. Stokes, quarterback? He spent time Thursday throwing to the Bruin receivers in a drill, subbing for assistant Norm Andersen. . . . Tough at home: Washington has outscored opponents, 9,769-4,868, in 434 games at Husky Stadium. . . . Washington’s point total in its 38-20 victory over Miami last week is the most points given up by the Hurricanes since they lost to UCLA, 39-37, in the Fiesta Bowl in 1985.