UCLA notes: Downplaying Moore’s return
“(The coaches) brought it up, that it’s important for us not to get caught up in that,” UCLA fullback Michael Pitre said. “They said it’s not an individual battle between quarterbacks. It’s not an individual battle between anybody. It’s a battle between UCLA and Oregon State.” For many of the Bruins who played with Moore, this will be the first time they see him since he abruptly left the program after a 47-22 loss to USC. Trying to downplay any game-week hype about the return of Matt Moore, several players said Bruins coach Karl Dorrell and his staff warned against the pitfalls of letting the quarterback’s return be a distraction during Sunday’s team meeting. Moore, who played at UCLA in 2002 and 2003, leads Oregon State into the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Moore, who sat out of football for a year and contemplated playing professional baseball before transferring to Oregon State, did not remain with UCLA during preparation for its bowl game. “When he was here, between me and him, we had no problems at all,” UCLA linebacker Spencer Havner said. “I don’t think he had a problem with anybody. It was like, one day he was gone. I really don’t take that personally. I don’t really know what his plan was. I think if I would have left, I probably would have had a plan, but it doesn’t bother me.” Moore transferred after he was replaced by current starter Drew Olson late in the 2003 season. But Dorrell said he couldn’t recall why he chose Olson late in that season. “I can’t remember and it’s not even important at this point in time,” Dorrell said. “We’re two years later and our team is playing very, very well, and we want to continue to move forward with all the positive things we’ve done.” Olson, who roomed with Moore as freshmen and battled for the starting job as sophomores, said he has no ill feelings. “I got along with Matt my whole time here,” Olson said. “It’s just another football game, another team coming into the Rose Bowl. I look forward to playing them.” Odds and ends: Offensive guard Chris Joseph will have surgery to repair meniscus in his injured left knee this week. Because it is the same knee Joseph had reconstructive surgery on last year, the recovery time could be longer than anticipated and he may be out the rest of the regular season. … Kickoff for the Oct. 29 game at Stanford is 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net. Brian Dohn, (818) 713-3607 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!