Sept. 22, 1999
LOS ANGELES - UCLA may start second-string quarterback Drew Bennett when the 18th-ranked Bruins open defense of their Pac-10 championship at Stanford on Saturday.
UCLA (2-1) will put its 15-game Pac-10 winning streak on the line against an explosive Stanford team without redshirt freshman quarterback Cory Paus.
Paus, who threw for 113 yards and one touchdown in UCLA's 35-21 victory over Fresno State last Saturday, landed on the football when sacked early in the second quarter. Then a few more Bulldogs fell on him.
By Monday, Paus' chest and neck were still very sore. So sore that he was having difficulty turning his head.
"The trainers can't really do anything but let it heal," Paus said. "It's like being in a car accident."
Against Fresno State, Paus completed his first eight passes and finished 9-of-12 before being injured.
He completed 20 of 38 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions in a 38-7 win over Boise State and a 42-20 loss at then-No. 13 Ohio State.
But Bennett, a junior who lost his starting job to Paus, had a solid performance against Fresno State, completing 13 of 24 passes for 176 yards while filling in for the injured starter.
Bennett threw two second-half touchdowns and rushed for 36 yards on eight carries.
UCLA coach Bob Toledo is more concerned with Stanford's depth chart that lists 15 seniors as starters - six on offense and nine on defense.
"There's no doubt they're one of the teams in the Pac-10 in the driver's seat," Toledo said. "They're 2-0 (in the conference) and they beat the team picked to win."
On Saturday, Stanford defeated Pac-10 preseason favorite Arizona 50-22. The Cardinal rolled up 580 yards in total offense, and will test UCLA's defense.
Stanford (2-1) is averaging 283.3 yards passing and 146.7 yards rushing.
The Cardinal rebounded from a 69-17 opening loss at Texas to beat Washington State 54-17.