Sept. 4, 2000
True junior tailback DeShaun Foster, who enjoyed one of the greatest games in UCLA history during the 35-24 victory over Alabama, has been named National Player of the Week by CNNSI.com and USA Today.com. Against Alabama, he served notice that he is fully recovered from last year's injuries and ready to contend for All-America honors.
Against the Crimson Tide, he demonstrated his power and strength, punishing would-be tacklers and gaining additional yards after the initial contact while carrying the football 42 times to tie the school record set by Karim Abdul-Jabbar in 1995. He was at his best in the fourth quarter as UCLA was protecting its 35-24 lead, carrying the ball on 12 of the team's 16 offensive plays (excluding a final kneel by the quarterback) for 59 yards and three key first downs to keep the clock moving.
On the afternoon, the 1998 first-team Freshman All-American rushed for a career-high 187 yards and three touchdowns (his previous high was 118 yards at Arizona in 1998). He was one-half yard shy of gaining 50% of his 1999 total in one game. His total was the highest since the 1997 opener when Skip Hicks rushed for 190 at Washington State and ranks 17th (tied) on UCLA's single-game list. He has now rushed for 100+ yards four times in his career (twice in 1998, once in 1999 and once in 2000).
Foster carried the ball 21 times for 93 yards in the first half and 21 times for 94 yards in the second half despite not having a single run of more than 20 yards. He had five double-digit runs and 35 of his 42 carries resulted in positive yardage. After analyzing the video, head coach Bob Toledo said that 105 of Foster's yards game after initial contact.
On UCLA's 19-play, 9:06-minute drive, Foster converted on fourth down twice, including the one-yard touchdown to tie the game. On the afternoon, his runs produced 12 first downs.
Foster has now scored 21 touchdowns in his career, 19 on the ground and two through the air. He has rushed for 1,235 yards on 279 attempts and has made 36 receptions.