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Toledoto Callthe Plays

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Bob Toledo has eliminated the middle man.

The Bruin head coach will call offensive plays tonight in UCLA’s opener against Alabama.

Toledo’s good friend and longtime offensive coordinator Al Borges now calls plays at California.

“Al and I were on the same page most of the time,” Toledo said. “I’ll do it now. I’ve always been an offensive coach.”

Kelly Skipper, promoted this year from running backs coach to offensive coordinator, will be in the press box and suggest plays to Toledo, who will have one of the backup quarterbacks signal the play to the field.

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Last season, Skipper suggested plays to Borges, who stood with Toledo on the field.

Freshman cornerback Matt Ware has plenty on his mind preparing for his first college game. That’s why he is leaving negotiations with the Seattle Mariners to his father, Bernard.

Bernard Ware, an attorney, said he hopes a deal will be completed by Tuesday. Matt, an outfielder who has not played since his sophomore year at Loyola High, was a 21st-round pick of the Mariners in June.

“I’m leaving the back-and-forth stuff to my dad,” Ware said. “I’ll be there for the final decision.”

Bruin center Troy Danoff was recruited by Dennis Franchione when the first-year Alabama coach was the coach at New Mexico in 1996.

Danoff, a three-year starter, attended high school in Albuquerque.

A loud thunderstorm complete with lightning hit Friday evening right about the time the teams will take the field for warmups tonight.

More rain and thunder is forecast today with temperatures in the low 80s.

SCOUTING REPORT

No. 15 UCLA at No. 25 Alabama

Time--4:45 p.m. PDT

TV--ESPN

Radio--XTRA (690)

When UCLA has the ball--DeShaun Foster had 42 carries for 187 yards in UCLA’s 35-24 victory over Alabama last year. Sturdy Manuel White might ease the load a little. Foster and White could also be the target of short passes from Cory Paus. Freddie Mitchell and Brian Poli-Dixon had 130 receptions last year, 60% of the Bruins’ total. Although Poli-Dixon is back, Paus will spread the ball among four wide receivers and two tight ends. There are even pass plays for the fullbacks. Under new defensive coordinator Carl Torbush, Alabama will blitz frequently. Ends Kenny King and Kindal Moorehead are standouts. Saleem Rasheed is an All-American candidate at linebacker. Next to him is Victor Ellis, who had 13 tackles against UCLA last year. The inexperienced secondary will play bump-and-run and could be vulnerable to big plays.

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When Alabama has the ball--A lot depends on whether Andrew Zow or Tyler Watts starts at quarterback. Zow, who needs 361 yards to become the school’s all-time leader, will throw quick passes to elusive wideout Freddie Milons and try to establish a running game with tailback Ahmaad Galloway. Watts will direct the option and try to stretch the defense with deep passes to Antonio Carter, who will test Ware. Brandon Miree, Santonio Beard and speedy converted defensive back Ray Hudson have pushed Galloway at tailback. UCLA’s front four of Kenyon Coleman, Ken Kocher, Rodney Leisle and Dave Ball--plus several experienced reserves--is the strength of the defense.

Key to the game--Adjustments. Both teams have new defensive coordinators and will use alignments and stunts for which the other side is unprepared. UCLA must stop the run and force Alabama into passing situations. Neither Zow nor Watts has proved to be a capable enough passer to shred UCLA’s defense.

Fast fact--Alabama is the only team ranked in preseason polls that had a losing record last season. UCLA is the only one that was .500.

Line--Alabama by 3.

The pick--UCLA won convincingly last year and most key personnel returns for both teams. UCLA might miss big-play receiver Mitchell but will benefit from a healthy Cory Paus at quarterback. History proves Dennis Franchione can turn around a program and that Alabama doesn’t stay down for long. The Tuscaloosa crowd will give Alabama a boost, but Franchione might need some time to get the Tide rolling. Edge: UCLA.

Series--1-1.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

HOW THEY COMPARE

UCLA Alabama 29.4 Scoring 20.7 30.7 Points Allowed 22.4 265.5 Passing 171.7 100.0 Rushing 137.6 365.5 Total Offense 309.3 217.8 Passing Defense 211.6 185.3 Rushing Defense 125.4 403.0 Total Defense 337.0

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