|Olson back in, Cowan out at quarterback for UCLA|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 24 September 2007 16:19|
Cowan, who helped the Bruins beat Washington over the weekend, has a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee and will be sidelined for approximately three weeks.
After missing the first three games of the season because of a hamstring injury, Cowan got the start against the Huskies because Olson had recurring headaches following the loss at Utah and didn't practice last week.
Redshirt freshman McLeod Bethel-Thompson, a walk-on, is listed as the backup this week when the Bruins travel to Oregon State.
After Cowan was hurt early in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 44-31 victory over the Huskies, Bethel-Thompson engineered drives to one touchdown and two field goals - without throwing a pass.
He had made his debut during mop-up time in UCLA's rout of Stanford in the first game this season, and still hasn't thrown his first collegiate pass.
Last year, Olson went out with a knee injury in the fifth game and Cowan played the rest of the season.
Olson, who for the second year in a row played great in the season opener then tailed off, went 20-of-40, threw three interceptions and no touchdowns, and was sacked five times in the 44-6 loss at Utah on Sept. 15.
He was on the sideline in street clothes for the game against Washington.
UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said Cowan provided the team a spark against the Huskies, and that Olson needs to do the same this weekend against the Beavers.
``We definitely need to see that from Ben from an improvement standpoint. I know he's disgusted with how he played in the Utah game and I know he's working hard already to trying to get himself ready to have a great game,'' Dorrell said Monday. ``He knows what he has to do.''
The coach said Olson isn't worry or feeling negative.
``He's more excited about `Hey, this is my chance again. I want to get it fixed. Let's go get this done.' That's kind of his attitude right now,'' Dorrell said.
Cowan went 17-of-30 for 147 yards and one touchdown against Washington. He threw one interception and hurt his knee on the play when he tried to make the tackle.
Olson, like Cowan a redshirt junior, has gone 49-of-97 for 702 yards in his three games this fall, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. All five of his touchdown passes came in the opening 45-17 victory over Stanford.
Kahlil Bell, who shares the tailback duty with Chris Markey, said the Bruins are ready to go with any of their quarterbacks.
``Whoever our quarterback is, he's the guy we're going to ride with,'' Bell said. ``We have confidence in all three guys. They're all leaders.''
Bell carried 27 times for 116 yards and a touchdown, and Markey rushed 14 times for 193 yards, including a 72-yard scoring run, as the tailback tandem led the way against Washington.
Bell said it obviously was important for the Bruins to bounce back after the lopsided loss to the Utes.
``A huge morale-booster,'' he said of the win over Washington. ``We know week in and week out in order to win a Pac-10 championship, we're going to have to go out there and perform like that - or better.
``For us to go out there and do what we did two weekends ago (at Utah), that can't happen again, or else everything we've worked for is down the toilet.''