November 28, 2007

Cal: Big Game Bruises

Cal receiver and returnman DeSean Jackson sat out of Tuesday's practice with a bruised right leg, and is uncertain as to whether or not he will play in the 110th Big Game on Saturday against Stanford. The Bears have lost five of their last six games and playing this one without Jackson would really hurt. Stanford may be outside anyone's list of the top teams in the nation, but the Cardinal did defeat USC in the Colisuem, and with Cal dangerously close to finishing its season at .500 (after falling like a rock from the No. 2 ranking they held earlier in the season), the junior is an essential piece in this weekend's puzzle.

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November 22, 2007

UCLA vs. Oregon: New Faces Behind Center

UCLA is used to quarterback changes, which should give the Bruins the advantage in this weekend's matchup with Oregon, where both teams will be sporting out-of-practice signal callers. Redshirt junior Ben Olson will not be starting for the Bruins after missing five weeks of practice with a knee injury, but he has practiced all week to try to earn back his backup role (Osaar Rasshan is the unquestioned starter). As for Oregon, the Ducks will have to rethink their offensive strategy after Dennis Dixon tore his ACL, taking him off the field for the rest of the season. Brady Leaf will make his first start on Saturday in a game that has Pac-10 implications for both squads.

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September 25, 2007

UCLA: Quarterback Carousel Goes Around Again

In the carousel ride that is the quarterback situation at UCLA, junior Ben Olson just got a turn in his favor. Patrick Cowan may have helped the Bruins beat Washington last Saturday, but with a parcial tear in the MCL in his right knee, Cowan will be out for three weeks and Olson will return to his former post as captain of the UCLA ship.

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September 23, 2007

UCLA: Quarterbacks Thinning Rapidly

Junior quarterback Patrick Cowan had the opportunity of the year on Saturday afternoon. With starting QB Ben Olson sidelined with lingering headaches, Cowan stepped in under center, hoping to lead UCLA to a win against conference foe Washington. The Bruins did get the win, and Cowan led them to it, but he left the field on crutches, not his teammates' shoulders. Not exactly how Cowan hoped his 2007 comeback would begin.

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September 21, 2007

UCLA: Battered Bruins

If UCLA was looking to quarterback Ben Olson to help them bounce back from last week's 44-6 embarrasment of a loss to Utah, they would do well to look elsewhere. The junior has been officially ruled out of Saturday's game against Washington, even in a backup role. Olson is still suffering from lingering headaches and nausea caused by the five sacks and innumerable hits he took last Saturday, but doctors have yet to call it a concussion. UCLA school policy says that players must have a symptom-free 24 hours prior to kickoff in order to take the field after a head injury, and Olson will not make it, which leaves the offense in the hands of junior Patrick Cowan.

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September 20, 2007

UCLA: Cowan To Start

After last week's horrifyingly bad 44-6 loss to broken Utah, UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell is understandably in the hot seat this week, when his Bruins take on Washington in their second conference game of the season. Unfortunately for Dorrell, his headaches look like they're continuing along with quarterback Ben Olson's, as the redshirt junior has missed practices all week with headaches that will most likely keep him out of the game. Junior Patrick Cowan will probably take his place under center, but he's not exactly at full strength, either.

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September 12, 2007

UCLA: Injuries Bruin

UCLA scored a win last saturday, jumping out to a 2-0 start after topping BYU 27-17. But the team is feeling pretty lost after scores of players turned up with injuries of every kind this week, ailing with everything from broken teeth to the flu. And with a trip to injury-ridden Utah just days away, Saturday's game against Utah could be the Broken Bowl.

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August 12, 2007

ACL Madness

This week's most popular injury was a common one - tearing the knee's anterior cruciate ligament - and it claimed the season of more than a few players. Pittsburgh wide receiver Derek Kinder is the most recent victim of the epidemic, tearing his ACL on Saturday, but he joins a long list of players whose seasons will be spent on the bench after making a cut in a routine drill.

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