Olson replaced after going 5-1 for Bruins

Updated: October 20, 2003, 8:31 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA's Matt Moore will start at quarterback Saturday against Arizona State for the first time since being injured in the Bruins' opener.

Moore's return as starter had been planned and "was just a matter of time," coach Karl Dorrell said Monday.

"I wanted to make sure that he was fully capable of assuming the role that he had at the beginning of the season," Dorrell said. "I think he is back to 100 percent of his skills, both physically and mentally."

Moore replaces fellow sophomore Drew Olson, who posted a 5-1 record as a starter, including a current four-game winning streak. UCLA (5-2, 3-0 Pac-10) lost only one game with Olson as the starter, 59-24 at No. 1 Oklahoma.

"Drew Olson did a great job for us in terms of helping keep things together and generating some wins for us," Dorrell said. "Given a full week of preparation, I think Matt will do a great job in getting back to his role as starting quarterback."

Moore, who beat out Olson for the starting job in preseason practice, started the Bruins opener at Colorado on Sept. 6, but sustained a severe bone bruise of the left tibia in the first quarter. The sophomore did not play again until Oct. 4 in the final two series of UCLA's 46-16 victory over Washington, handing off twice and taking a knee twice.

Moore completed four of eight passes for 41 yards and was intercepted once in a 24-21 victory Oct. 11 at Arizona. Dorrell said he did not use Moore in Saturday's 23-20 overtime victory over California because of "the nature of the game."

Olson completed a season-low nine passes in 20 attempts for 173 yards and two touchdowns against the Golden Bears. His performance against California was not "the biggest part of the decision," to make a change, Dorrell said.

"I wanted to make sure Matt was at the level of both his mental and physical nature as what he was before his injury, getting used to the brace, doing some things in practice, throwing, timing and all that stuff," Dorrell said. "The time felt right to make the decision."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press