Oct 13, 2001
By JOHN NADEL
AP Sports Writer
PASADENA, Calif. - Look out, Florida!
And Miami, Oklahoma and Nebraska, as well.
The UCLA Bruins believe they can play with anyone in the country, and if Saturday is a reliable barometer, they're right up there.
"We just wanted to get out there and show America," DeShaun Foster said after rushing for a school-record 301 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 7 Bruins routed No. 10 Washington 35-13.
"We are shooting for the national championship, we just can't get ahead of ourselves. As long as we keep winning games, we'll be here for the championship."
The national championship game will be played Jan. 3 at the Rose Bowl - site of UCLA's domination of the early season Pac-10 showdown with the Huskies.
Foster, who carried 31 times, scored on runs of 5 and 21 yards in the first period, a 1-yarder in the third period and a 92-yarder with 4:02 left in the game.
They were the first rushing touchdowns allowed by Washington this season, and the four rushing TDs tied a UCLA school record.
"It's good to get 300 yards, but to do it against a Top 10 team is great," said Foster, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior. "I just try to keep my feet moving, that's what works for me."
Foster's total is the third-highest in Pac-10 history, behind Rueben Mayes of Washington State, who gained 357 yards against Oregon in 1984, and Ricky Bell of USC, who gained 347 against Washington State in 1976.
VIDEO: DeShaun Foster runs through|
a would-be tackler and scores
from five yards out.
56k | 100k | 300k
Mission accomplished, to date.
UCLA (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10), which gave up a school-record 368 points last year, ranks among the best defensive teams in the country this season, having allowed 60 points including 26 in the last three games.
"This is clearly the finest football team we have played in a long, long time," Washington offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson said. "Their front is very powerful. It was ridiculous, the way we let them in."
Quarterback Taylor Barton, making his first start in place of the injured Cody Pickett, was too woozy afterward to speak with reporters.
Barton was 22-of-44 for 316 yards with one interception. Under heavy pressure all day, he was sacked four times and lost two fumbles. And the Washington ground game was nearly nonexistent, netting only 16 yards.
The Huskies (4-1, 2-1) were 20th in the country in scoring coming in with a 33.5-point average.
And they had been especially effective at coming from behind in the fourth quarter, having rallied for three such victories this season and five last year.
This game was out of reach by that time, and it could have been more one-sided had UCLA not blown three golden scoring opportunities - one when a fumble by Foster was recovered by Wondame Davis in the Washington end zone.
"We've got great chemistry right now," UCLA coach Bob Toledo said. "We've just got to keep a level head, keep playing hard.
"I thought we made a statement, I thought we showed the country that we've got a good football team. A lot of people the first four games questioned each team we played. I don't think there's any question anymore.
"How many more games are we going to win? I don't know, but I like our chances, I like this football team."
Foster's third touchdown less than two minutes into the third quarter gave the Bruins a 28-6 lead, and it remained that way until his long run, which gave the crowd of 70,377 a final chance to roar.
Foster broke the UCLA rushing record of 274 yards by Theotis Brown in 1978. Foster entered the game as the 10th-leading rusher in the country with a 128-yard average. Now, he's averaging 162.3.
"Big congratulations to a fine UCLA team," Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said after his team's second loss in 17 games. "They dominated play, no excuses. We got beat at every position."
UCLA quarterback Cory Paus completed 9 of 19 passes for 128 yards without being intercepted, extending his streak without an interception to 173 passes including 106 this year.
The Bruins took a 21-0 lead in the opening 13 minutes on Foster's first two touchdown runs and Jibril Raymo's 6-yard return of a punt blocked by Marcus Reese.
Barton threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Todd Elstrom on a fourth-and-3 play with 20 seconds left before halftime, capping a 69-yard, six-play drive and cutting UCLA's lead to 21-6. UCLA's first-team defense hadn't allowed a touchdown in the previous 11 quarters.
John Anderson's conversion hit the left upright.
Willie Hurst scored on a 1-yard run for the Huskies with 2:40 left in the game to complete the scoring.
Washington reached the UCLA 2 midway through the fourth quarter, but Thomas, who had 12 tackles including three for losses, threw Rich Alexis for a 3-yard loss and later broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone.
Curtis Williams, the Washington safety paralyzed from the neck down in a game at Stanford last October, attended the game - his first since the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day when the Huskies beat Purdue 34-24 to cap an 11-1 season.
Williams, who lives in Fresno, met with several Washington players on the field before being transported to a private booth to watch the game.