Sept. 20, 2004
UCLA sophomore tailback Maurice Drew has been named National Player of the Week by several organizations. On Wednesday, he was named USA Today's Player of the Week and was also honored by collegefootballnews.com.
Earlier in the week, the Walter Camp Football Foundation named him its Division IA Offensive Player of the Week and The Sporting News named him its National Player of the Week. In addition, he was also named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
A powerful back with a breakaway burst of speed, the spectacular sophomore enjoyed the greatest rushing afternoon in UCLA history in the Bruins' 37-31 victory at Washington. UCLA rallied from a 24-7 first-quarter deficit on the legs of Drew.
On the afternoon, the 5-8 dynamo rushed for a school-record 322 yards, breaking DeShaun Foster's mark of 301 yards, set in 2001 against Washington. He also scored a school-record (rushing and overall) five touchdowns on runs of 47, 62, 58, 15 and 37 yards thanks to huge holes, great moves, broken tackles and outstanding speed to the outside.
Drew's 322 yards also rank No. 3 all-time in the Pacific-10 conference, bettered only by Rueben Mayes' 357 for Washington State in 1984 and Ricky Bell's 347 for USC in 1976. He also tied the Pac-10 record for rushing touchdowns, held by five players.
On his first carry of the game, he burst to the outside and raced 47 yards down the left sideline to tie the game at 7-7. On his second carry, with UCLA trailing 24-7 and 2:30 remaining in the first quarter, he raced 62 yards, the second-longest run of his career, for his second score of the quarter. On his fourth carry, a third-and-12 with 40 seconds left in the quarter, he sped 58 yards for his third touchdown. Overall in the first quarter, he rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns on four attempts.
He gave the Bruins the lead for good (27-24) with 4:16 remaining in the half when he scooted around right end for a 15-yard touchdown. He finished the half with 235 yards and four touchdowns on 13 attempts.
In the third quarter, he broke several tackles en route to his school-record fifth touchdown, a 37-yard run on the Bruins' first possession of the half. Despite suffering calf cramps, he broke Foster's record on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter. Late in the game, he helped the Bruins run over five minutes off the clock by picking up two first downs on third-down runs.
On the day, he had eight runs of at least 12 yards, 13 of at least five yards and only one for negative yardage and one for zero yards.
On the year, he ranks sixth in the NCAA and second in the Pac-10 in rushing with his average of 169.3 yards per game. He also ranks second nationally and first in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards (225.0) and seventh in the NCAA and third in the Pac-10 in scoring (12.0 points per game). He is averaging 8.6 yards per game and five of his six touchdowns this season have been at least 47 yards.