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Bruins Lacking Depth at Receiver

It has become more than a passing concern.

Compounding the problems at quarterback, there is little continuity at receiver.

Against Washington State, injuries to Tab Perry, Brian Poli-Dixon and Ryan Smith--UCLA’s three leading receivers--left redshirt freshman Craig Bragg as the only receiver who had come to UCLA on scholarship.

Garrett Lepisto, a converted walk-on safety, and fifth-year senior Devon Reese, a walk-on until this season, played significantly.

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Poli-Dixon, who missed the last three games because of a separated shoulder, did not accompany the team to Washington State and watched the 20-14 defeat with his family in Tucson, Ariz.

He said he will play against Oregon on Saturday.

“I know my body better than anybody else, and I feel great,” he said. “I was crazy watching. Not only was I not playing, but the team was struggling. I’m ready to make up for it.”

Smith, the Bruins’ leading receiver against California and Stanford, is recovered from a separated shoulder but bothered by a sprained ankle.

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Perry, who leads UCLA with 21 catches, remains hospitalized in Pullman, Wash., with four broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. A chest tube was removed Tuesday and he is expected to return to UCLA on Thursday or Friday.

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Free safety Marques Anderson is one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.

“I’m thrilled,” he said. “That’s an accomplishment right there.”

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Anderson, a fifth-year senior, is second on the team with 50 tackles, including four for a loss, with one sack.

He has two interceptions, one fumble recovery and has broken up nine passes.

Three finalists will be chosen Nov. 20 and the winner will be announced Dec. 6.


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