3:30 PM ET, October 18, 2003
Rose Bowl, PASADENA, CA
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- UCLA has developed a knack for winning weirdly.
"We keep finding a way. We have a little luck on our side," coach Karl Dorrell said after UCLA's 23-20 overtime win over California on Saturday.
The Bruins got a 41-yard field goal from Justin Medlock in overtime, then rushed onto the field to celebrate when Cal's Tyler Frederickson's 50-yard try hit the left upright and bounced away.
"It was a heck of a football game," Dorrell said after the Bruins (5-2, 3-0 Pac-10) won their fourth straight.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford thought so, too.
"I am very disappointed for the kids. They deserved better. It tears your up when they don't come away with the prize," Tedford said.
Cal (3-5, 1-2) tied the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion in the waning seconds of regulation, only to lose on the missed kick by Frederickson, who had two earlier attempts blocked by Spencer Havner and was wide right on still another try.
Dorrell thought Frederickson's kick was going to force a second overtime.
"He had plenty of leg on it. It looked good to me until it hit the upright," the Bruins' first-year coach said.
On the way to the overtime, the Bruins' Drew Olson threw for two touchdowns and Brandon Chillar ran 65 yards to score after Havner's second blocked field goal.
Last week, the Bruins rallied to beat Arizona 24-21 when defensive tackle Rodney Leisle rumbled 55 yards with an interception in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead touchdown. The previous week, Leisle covered a fumble in the Washington end zone to help UCLA break open a close game on the way to a 46-16 victory.
On a day when temperatures reached the high 90s at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins got the ball first in overtime against Cal and managed just 1 yard on two rushes before Olson threw an incomplete pass. Medlock then trotted on and drilled his kick.
The Bears wound up with a longer kick after Aaron Rodgers dumped the ball off to Adimchinobe Echemandu on third-and-9 from the 24. Echemandu tried to reverse his field and scramble into the open -- but instead was dropped for a 9-yard loss.
"The team found a way to make a big stop when we needed it," Dorrell said.
Rodgers threw a 35-yard scoring pass to Burl Toler on fourth-and-10 with 11 seconds left in regulation. The Bears' quarterback then passed to Echemandu for the 2-point conversion to tie it at 20.
Rodgers, who finished 28-of-41 for 322 yards, took the Bears 68 yards to the tying score on a drive that began with 2:19 remaining.
Olson finished 9-of-20 for 173 yards.
The Bruins had blown the PAT on a fumbled snap after their fourth-quarter touchdown, or they would have had a nine-point lead.
Olson connected on scoring passes of 31 yards to Marcedes Lewis on the Bruins' first series of the game, and 40 yards to Craig Bragg early in the second half.
Trailing 14-3, the Bears closed within two points with a field goal and a touchdown in a 2:19 span of the third quarter -- Frederickson's 39-yarder and a 3-year run by Rodgers after the Bears recovered an Olson fumble at the UCLA 6.
Rodgers' pass sailed high over the head of Geoff McArthur on the 2-point try after that touchdown.
The Bears haven't gone 0-2 since upsetting No. 4 Southern California 34-31 in triple overtime. Cal was beaten 35-21 by Oregon State the following week, then had a bye before facing UCLA.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-16||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||0-0|
|TD||9:03||MARCEDES LEWIS 31 YD PASS FROM DREW OLSON (JUSTIN MEDLOCK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yards.
|FG||2:51||TYLER FREDRICKSON 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||11:53||CRAIG BRAGG 40 YD PASS FROM DREW OLSON (JUSTIN MEDLOCK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||8:28||TYLER FREDRICKSON 39 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 57 yards.
|TD||6:19||AARON RODGERS 3 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 5 yards.
|TD||13:01||BRANDON CHILLAR 65 YD BLOCKED FG RETURN (FAILED 2PT RUSH)||12||20|
|TD||0:11||BURL TOLER 35 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (ADIMCHINOBE ECHEMANDU 2PT PASS FROM AARON RODGERS)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yards.
|FG||0:00||JUSTIN MEDLOCK 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 1 yards.