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UCLA football: Oregon quarterback Masoli appears questionable

October 6, 2009 |  1:24 pm
Oregon Coach Chip Kelly sounded like a chip off the old block, emulating for his former boss Mike Bellotti.

UCLA-logo “We don’t talk about injuries,” said Kelly, who was Bellotti’s offensive coordinator. “You are either out or you’re day-to-day.”

A quick check of the list:

  • Cornerback William Thurmond III: out after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
  • Cornerback Willie Glasper: day-to-day, though it was leaked that Glasper, who replaced Thurmond, went down with a knee injury Tuesday.
  • Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli: day-to-day, though so far he has spent his day-to-days watching practice from the sidelines.

Masoli, injured against Washington State on Saturday, is of greatest interest to UCLA, which plays Oregon at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. He rolled up 170 yards rushing in a 31-24 victory over the Bruins last season.

That means the Ducks will likely be without 281 of the 323 yards rushing they had against the Bruins, in that game-suspended running back LaGarette Blount had 111 yards.

Masoli’s absence will alter the Ducks' offense slightly, but significantly. Nate Costa stepped in at quarterback against Washington State on Saturday.

“They are similar,” Kelly said of the two quarterbacks. “Jeremiah has got more experience.... But they are similar size. Both are physical. Both have quick releases and strong arms.”

But Masoli had healthy knees, or did until Saturday.

Costa was the heir apparent to Dennis Dixon and was to spend the season backing him up in 2007. Then Costa tore knee ligaments. He was named the starter in 2008, but injured a knee two weeks before the season.

Before getting in against California two weeks ago, Costa’s last game was against Portland State in 2006.

Washington State Coach Paul Wulff, who saw both quarterbacks Saturday, had this scouting report.

“Costa probably throws the ball little better and with more consistency,” Wulff said. “Both operate the system well, and they are operating it fast right now.”

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said, “We do have game-tape of Costa playing.” But he also said, “We have to assume Masoli will be in there and ready to play.”

Kelly said this week that he expects Masoli to play, even though he has been a day-to-day spectator this week.

Other UCLA notes:

It is clear Bruins junior defensive tackle Brian Price is NFL-bound, whether it is this season or next.

“There is no question he has the talent to play on Sundays,” Neuheisel said, an opinion other teams hold as well.

“He gets a lot of attention from teams,” Neuheisel said. “They know where he is and try to find ways to put two guys on him. It can open things up for other guys, but it can limit his effectiveness.”

Not always. Price has seven tackles for a loss with two sacks this season.

--Chris Foster