By KEVIN PEARSON
UCLA starting left guard Darius Savage will have surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle and will miss the rest of the season.
Savage had his ankle rolled up on from the outside during UCLA's touchdown run on its opening drive of the game. He was taken to the locker room and underwent X-rays and further tests revealed the tear.
Scott Glicksberg relieved him for the remainder of the game, but UCLA will likely use its bye week to find a replacement for Savage over the final two games. Glicksberg, Sonny Tevaga and Brandon Bennett are all possibilities.
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel also said that the coaching staff was considering moving Micah Reed from center back to guard and letting Jake Dean maintain the starting center spot for the remainder of the season.
It is expected that Savage will be in a cast for six weeks and then have nearly two months of rehab. It is not known how it will affect his training for the track and field season.
Savage is an elite-level thrower whose personal best in the discus would have left him a foot shy of being an Olympic finalist this year and he has made it no secret of his desire to compete in the 2012 London Games.
Craft Still Struggling
In what has become an on-going issue, Neuheisel on Sunday night during his conference call spoke at length about the fact that quarterback Kevin Craft is still locking in on just one receiver throughout the course of a play.
Though he has not studied the film at length, Neuheisel said he was fairly confident that if he went back over the course of the season that the film would show Craft locking in on the same receiver each time UCLA ran the same play.
Craft was intercepted three times on Saturday and has thrown 16 interceptions this season. Two of his throws he tried to force in and they were deflected and another he threw it in a place "where only the defense could catch it."
"He just locks in like a missile," Neuheisel said. "Unfortunately, so does the defense.
"It shouldn't be a factor (at this point in the season). We've got to keep working to fix it."
More UCLA Notes
Defensive tackle Brian Price has a slightly strained hamstring and will likely be limited in practice this week.
Quarterback Ben Olson, who has missed the entire season with a broken foot, met with a specialist on Friday and may see some practice time this week.
UCLA's 135 yards allowed on Saturday were the fewest since the 1989 Cotton Bowl.
Published: Monday, November 17, 2008