Coach Is Secret Weapon

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Phil Snow knows defense. That much is apparent after UCLA held its first two opponents to 17 points each.

He also knows Arizona State, which is important to the Bruins’ preparation this week.

UCLA’s first-year defensive coordinator spent the last seven seasons with the Sun Devils in the same capacity.

He can’t say what Arizona State will do against the Bruins on Saturday, but he knows who will be doing it.


“When you set up game plans, you attack schemes, but you also attack people,” UCLA Coach Bob Toledo said. “We sat down [Sunday] night and talked about each player.

“Phil gave us a rundown on each starter and reserve, their physical ability, personal makeup and their girlfriends’ names.”

Actually, Snow is a tad conflicted about revealing the weaknesses in players he recruited.

“There are feelings of loyalty before the game and after the game,” he said. “But once the ball is put in play, no.”

Ron English, who coaches Arizona State’s cornerbacks, worked under Snow.

He’s telling Sun Devil Coach Dirk Koetter what to expect from the UCLA defense.

“Phil certainly knows our players from a talent standpoint,” Koetter said.

“On the other hand, we have grilled Ron, asked him 500 questions a day about what Phil will be thinking on this and that.”


Toledo is in a jocular mood because the Bruins are 2-0 after destroying Kansas and edging Alabama on the road.

He was even able to put a positive spin on a startling statistic: UCLA has scored first only once in its last 17 games, the worst such mark in the nation.


“Our first drives haven’t worked out, but it’s been good for us because we’ve been behind and we never give up,” Toledo said.


Toledo said reserve offensive linemen Steven Vieira, John Ream and Ed Anderson played well against Kansas.

Anderson, a seldom-used fifth-year senior, appreciated the playing time.

“That was great, really fun to get in the game,” he said.

Anderson, 22, graduated in June with a degree in sociology and is taking units toward another degree in history.

He has been an honor student nearly every quarter.

“He’s a fun kid, a vocal kid who understands his role,” Toledo said. “In his way, he’s one of the mature leaders of this team.”


Defensive linemen Ken Kocher and Stephen Sua, who did not play against Kansas because of injuries, will practice on a limited basis this week and probably play Saturday. . . . Fullback Ed Ieremia-Stansbury is questionable because of an ankle sprain suffered in the first quarter against Kansas. . . . Senior receiver Brian Poli-Dixon, who is from Tucson, Ariz., is the coaches’ choice for co-capta in this week.