BERKELEY — Given the choice to forgo a half-season he'll never get back to get on the field, Cal defensive lineman Trevor Guyton never wavered.
"I wanted to play," he said.
Guyton was forced to burn his redshirt year last Saturday when he got into the game at Arizona to help out the Bears' depleted defensive line. Injuries to Rulon Davis, Kendrick Payne, Ernest Owusu and Tyson Alualu left Cal desperate for depth up front, and Guyton was happy to help out.
"I don't have any problem with it," Guyton said. "The team needed me to play, and I wanted to do what the team needs, and what I wanted to do. I wanted to get out there."
Guyton played a handful of snaps against the Wildcats and figures to become part of the regular playing rotation the rest of the season. The native of the Seattle area was considered one of the top high school defensive linemen in the country last season.
Guyton said defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi called him into his office after Davis went down with a leg injury on Sept. 27 and told him they may need his services this season, but the decision was up to him.
"I wanted to do it. Scout team wasn't for me," Guyton said. "I wanted to get better. When you redshirt, you don't get game experience. I'm still getting as much experience as a redshirt would get."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford said he was confident the Bears wouldn't be distracted by Monday's arrest of fullback R.J. Garrett, who was charged with robbery along with former Cal defensive back Gary Doxy. Garrett was subsequently kicked off the team.
"Obviously, it's unfortunate," Tedford said. "I have a lot of confidence in our team that it will stay focused on what it needs to get done."
Garrett and Doxy allegedly burst into a dorm room just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 30 and demanded a laptop and wallet. Police believe the incident was intended to be retaliation for racial slurs the players heard second-hand. As it turned out, police said the players robbed the wrong room.
Cal tailback Jahvid Best, who still leads the country in all-purpose yards (200.4 ypg), expects to play again Saturday against UCLA. Best returned from a one-game absence because of a dislocated left elbow at Arizona last week and rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown. But he sat out the fourth quarter after experiencing muscle soreness in his elbow.
Best will continue to wear a brace on his elbow, a brace he said doesn't affect his play.
"If anything, it just looks bad," Best said. "But as far as from a physical standpoint, it doesn't limit me."
UCLA has had some injuries to its defensive front, but the Bruins still are solid in the middle with defensive tackles Brigham Harwell and Kevin Price manning the inside of the defensive line.
"Their two tackles in tandem are probably as good as we've played so far," Tedford said. "They are physical guys who use their hands really, really well. They're strong, and they can run."
Left guard Mark Boskovich, who will have the task of trying to block UCLA's tackles, concurs.
"They're very good," he said. "They're really strong guys. I saw them against Tennessee, and I was really impressed with them, and I still am."
Tedford said Owusu was involved in a moped accident last week but that is not the reason why he didn't play against Arizona. ... Wide receiver Michael Calvin, who tore the ACL in his right knee last week during practice, is expected to have surgery soon.
— Jonathan Okanes