By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
No. 12 UCLA's 23-9 victory over BYU last weekend looks to be a costly one. By the time the game ended, the Bruins faced the possibility of going up against a tough No. 20 Oregon team next week without the service of its three main guns.
Bruin coach Terry Donahue said Monday that quarterback Ryan Fien would definitely miss the game, running back Karim Abdul-Jabbar was doubtful and wide receiver Kevin Jordan was questionable.
But it was announced yesterday that the situation was not quite as grim as originally thought for UCLA (2-0). While Fien is still out, Abdul-Jabbar was moved to questionable and Jordan is now probable for this weekend's game.
Fien's injury woes continued last week when he sustained his second concussion and deep chin cut in as many weeks. But his glass jaw was not his only problem Ÿ he also separated his left shoulder in the first quarter of last weekend's game.
"Our doctors indicate that he'll be out one to two weeks," Donahue said. "Ryan is convinced he'll just miss one week. We're hoping that's right. Ryan will have to do a real sales job to get back after one week."
Replacing Fien will be freshman Cade McNown, who was 9-for-18 for 91 yards against the Cougars. But Donahue still insists that Fien will be his number-one guy when he returns to action.
"McNown doesn't have the experience Ryan has," Donahue said. "McNown's been here for four weeks, Ryan's been here for four years. McNown's going to be a much better player two years from now."
Abdul-Jabbar, who is averaging 163.5 yards a game, suffered a lower back bruise and even if he plays, he will only see limited action. And the idea of losing the Pacific 10 Conference's top rusher against the defending Pac-10 champions is one that has Donahue worried.
"This guy's a war horse. On Sunday he's walking like he's 90 years old," Donahue said. "The doctors say, 'This guy's got a real bad back bruise, he's going to be several days, you might not have him this week.'
"I'm worried about Karim right now. I don't think Karim has to practice to play well, but I don't think you can do that every week."
The least serious injury is the one to Jordan. He sprained his neck when he was kneed in head in Saturday's game.
"Kevin may miss this week, he's got a real sore neck," Donahue said. "I expect he'll be O.K."
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Oregon coach Mike Bellotti can sympathize with Donahue's quarterback predicament. Bellotti had to start junior Ryan Perry-Smith against Illinois instead of starter Tony Graziani as a precautionary measure for Graziani's sore throwing shoulder. But the move paid off as Perry-Smith helped the Ducks (2-0) steal the game from the Illini.
"He made some great throws Ÿ the two-point conversion was a great throw in a clutch situation and I'm extremely proud of him," Bellotti said. "He got an opportunity to show what he could do and I think he did a good job."
While Perry-Smith's first half was rocky , he had a reasonable excuse: the Illinois defense. All-America linebacker Simeon Rice and second-team All-America linebacker Kevin Hardy have made a career out of giving quarterbacks fits, and Perry-Smith was no exception.
"We talked about the fact that we could not let Simeon Rice dictate the game," Bellotti said. "He made some big plays Ÿ Kevin Hardy made some big plays. They're pros and I'm just glad we survived. That's a great football team, and I feel fortunate to sit here and say we won."
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Though No. 2 Nebraska has suspended its top running back, Heisman Trophy candidate Lawrence Phillips, that doesn't mean Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder has rested easily. The Sun Devils will face the Cornhuskers this Saturday, and Snyder knows that he will have his work cut out for him if ASU (1-1 overall, 0-1 in the Pac-10) is to leave Lincoln in one piece.
"It's Nebraska football," Snyder said. "That's why when they lose a Lawrence Phillips, somebody else is going to line up."
Phillips, along with backup running back Damon Benning, was arrested this weekend for separate cases of assault of women. Coach Tom Osborne suspended Phillips indefinitely, but did not suspend Benning. Phillips rushed for 206 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's 50-10 win at Michigan State.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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