7:00 PM ET, October 22, 2005
Rose Bowl, PASADENA, CA
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Matt Moore left UCLA two years ago after losing his starting job to Drew Olson.
The Oregon State quarterback is returning to the Rose Bowl -- with a new team and his same feisty attitude.
"There definitely will be some emotion. I guess I will have a chip on my shoulder, but that's in every game I play," Moore said. "It will definitely be awkward for me, on a different sideline, wearing a different jersey.
"I'm trying to handle it like any other game -- stay cool and not make it a big deal."
That may be difficult when he takes the field at the Rose Bowl to try to lead the upstart Beavers (4-2, 2-1 Pac-10) to an upset of the No. 8 Bruins (6-0, 3-0).
"I'm sure when I get there, I'm going to be like, `I'm back here and it's weird,"' Moore said in a conference call.
He played in 14 games during his two years at UCLA, including leading the Bruins to a 2002 win over Stanford as a freshman filling in after Cory Paus and Olson were injured.
In 2003, Karl Dorrell, who had replaced Bob Toledo as the Bruins' coach, named Moore the starter heading into the season, but the then-sophomore quarterback went out in the first quarter of the opening game with a leg injury.
He came back later in the season to reclaim the No. 1 spot, but lost the job to Olson again for the final two games.
Asked why he finally decided to stick with Olson, Dorrell said, "I can't remember and it's not even important at this point in time. We're two years later now and our team is playing very, very well.
"He (Moore) has done a great job. I'm happy for him. He's found a place to extend his college experience and play this game."
Moore spent 2004 at a junior college, then transferred to Oregon State earlier this year and won the Beavers' starting job.
He insists he feels no bitterness toward Dorrell.
"Coach Dorrell handled it the way he had to. After I was hurt, he didn't think I was capable of leading his team to victory, and he did what he had to do," Moore said. "He's got a family and kids to worry about, and if he's not winning, he can get fired. There are no hard feelings there.
"It's not like I got cheated or anything. It's better how it panned out. Ultimately, he got what he wanted and I got what I wanted."
Moore, a junior, has completed 58 percent of his throws for 1,766 yards this year, with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has guided the Beavers to three come-from-behind victories, including a 23-20 win over then-No. 18 California last Saturday.
Olson, a senior, has a 67 percent completion rate and has thrown for 1,612 yards, with 15 touchdowns and three interceptions. He's brought the Bruins from behind each of the past three weeks, including last weekend when he threw for five touchdowns in a 44-41 overtime win at Washington State.
Moore said he and Olson were friends at UCLA, although they haven't stayed in touch.
"Drew knows me very well. We're good buddies," Moore said. "I'm a chip-on-the-shoulder guy, he's more mellow, that kind of guy. I've moved on, he's moved on. I'm here and he's doing his thing in L.A.
"In the offseason, if I have time, I'll give him a call."
And at the Rose Bowl this weekend?
"I'll probably shake his hand. It's going to be all good stuff, nothing bad."
Top 25 Overview
As good as the Bruins have been offensively, their defense has been a little shaky (89th in total defense and 75th in scoring defense). How many shootouts can a team win?
Scouts, Inc.: Matchups to watch
|Avg Points Allowed||35.7||27.4|