Oregon State has its own concerns

Times Staff Writer

While UCLA sifts through its quarterback troubles, with training room reports becoming more important than scouting reports, the Bruins’ opponent this week has its own quarterback concerns.

Oregon State has 18 starters returning from last season’s 10-4 team, but the one hole was at quarterback, where former Bruin Matt Moore had to be replaced. Coach Mike Riley has settled on Sean Canfield.

Canfield has started all four games. He threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns in the Beavers’ 44-32 loss to Arizona State on Saturday but had five passes intercepted, which left Beavers fans grumbling.


“The outside world is the outside world. We can’t control that,” Riley said. “We all have to do our job. Sean has to keep working to get better and we have to coach him on levels of confidence, levels of knowledge.”

Canfield has six touchdown passes but has had nine passes intercepted, the most by a Pacific 10 Conference quarterback.

The biggest difference for UCLA senior tailback Chris Markey in the Bruins’ 44-31 victory over Washington on Saturday?

“I was having fun again,” said Markey, who had 193 yards in 14 carries. “I was having a good time out there.”

Markey had only 253 yards rushing in the previous three games.

“I really challenged myself and refocused,” Markey said. “I didn’t want to go out my senior year performing like that.”

Bruins fullback Michael Pitre, who hasn’t played this season because of a bruised bone, went through practice in full pads for the first time since the first week of practice in August.

Defensive end Nikola Dragovic (concussion) and linebacker Aaron Whittington (concussion) returned to practice. Guard Shannon Tevaga (knee) went through limited drills.

Riley has never beaten UCLA.

“That includes four seasons at USC,” said Riley, an assistant for the Trojans from 1993 to 1996. “Hopefully, it’s time.”

The Bruins beat Riley’s Oregon State teams in 2005 and 2006.