PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- The UCLA Bruins are back on the winning
track, with a long break coming up before their showdown against
archrival and top-ranked USC.
Drew Olson threw for 510 yards and five touchdowns Saturday and
No. 14 UCLA defeated Arizona State 45-35. The Bruins (9-1, 6-1
Pac-10) rebounded from their stunning 52-14 loss at Arizona a week
earlier with another explosive offensive performance.
They don't play again until Dec. 3, when they face USC at the
Los Angeles Coliseum in the regular-season finale.
"It's huge going in 9-1," Olson said. "We gained some
momentum before we get a chance to play the best team in the
UCLA coach Karl Dorrell, who had promised the Bruins would
bounce back after the embarrassing loss at Arizona, said the win
makes going into the USC game "a lot easier."
"We got the bad taste out of our mouths and we are excited
about the momentum in our program. We are ready to take our best
shot," Dorrell said.
After building a 21-7 first-quarter lead against Arizona State,
the Bruins edged away from a 28-28 tie in the third quarter.
The Sun Devils (5-5, 3-4) got a 334-yard, three-touchdown pass
performance from redshirt freshman Rudy Carpenter and might have
kept pace with UCLA but for three lost fumbles.
"It felt like a shootout out there," Carpenter said. "We just
couldn't keep up. We were feeling good at halftime. The defense got
a couple of stops, but we just couldn't score."
Olson, who had thrown for a school-record six touchdowns in a
rout of Oregon State on Oct. 22, hooked up with Joe Cowan for a
91-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage against ASU. He
also threw a 56-yarder to Chris Markey, a 6-yarder and a 13-yarder
to Marcedes Lewis, and a 7-yarder to Brandon Breazell.
Lewis had seven catches for 108 yards, Markey three for 120
yards, and Cowan three for 109.
Olson, a senior who struggled much of his first three years at
UCLA, completed 22-of-27 and set a school record of 30 touchdown
passes in a season, bettering Cade McNown's mark of 25 set in 12
games in 1998.
"I couldn't ask for anything better than to come out and play
my best game of the year," Olson said. "Our receivers took 5-yard
passes and made 90-yard gains out of them. Everything was clicking
Arizona State has a bye, then needs to beat Arizona in the
regular-season finale on Nov. 25 to qualify for a bowl game.
"All I know is that we're better than a 5-5 team," ASU coach
Dirk Koetter said. "We have that game circled on our calendar. Our
whole season rides on one game."
Sun Devils wide receiver Derek Hagan had seven catches for 97
yards and set a Pac-10 record with 249 career receptions.
Stanford's Troy Walters had 248 from 1996-99.
The Bruins finally got some breathing room when Justin Medlock's
27-yard field gave them a 10-point lead with 2:06 remaining.
ASU had narrowed the margin to 42-35 on Carpenter's 2-yard
scoring pass to Hagan with 7:14 left to play.
After Carpenter threw two touchdown passes to Terry Richardson
in the second quarter to tie it 28-28, the Bruins went up again on
Olson's fourth scoring pass. Breazell caught the ball as he was
falling out of the left side of the end zone, and at first it was
ruled he did not get his foot down in bounds.
But the replay review upheld UCLA's claim that Breazell scored
on the play.
An earlier review overturned the on-the-field ruling when it
showed that Lewis was in the end zone, rather than on the 1, when
he caught the pass for his first touchdown. Another upheld
Richardson's touchdown, showing that he extended the ball over the
goal line. A third review gave possession to the Sun Devils on a
play when it initially was ruled UCLA had recovered an ASU fumble.
There was also a review on UCLA's drive to Medlock's late field
goal, when a pass to Lewis first was ruled incomplete, but then
overturned to give the Bruins a first down at the ASU 4.
The Sun Devils pulled even at 28 on Carpenter's 5-yard scoring
pass 51 seconds before halftime.
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