Oct. 7, 2006
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Patrick Cowan, taking over for injured UCLA quarterback Ben Olson, threw for two touchdowns and Alterraun Verner returned an interception 89 yards for a score as the Bruins beat Arizona 27-7 Saturday.
Olson, a 23-year-old redshirt sophomore, sprained his left knee with 6:47 to play in the first quarter when he took a hit after an incomplete pass and did not return.
Cowan took over for UCLA (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10) and completed the first four passes of his college career, including a 10-yard TD toss to Marcus Everett for the first points of the game.
Cowan also threw a 15-yarder to Matt Willis in the second.
The Bruins avenged last year's shocker in Tucson, when the Wildcats knocked off an 8-0 and seventh-ranked UCLA team 52-14.
With just 65 yards rushing, the Bruins leaned heavily on Cowan's untested arm. He completed eight of his first nine and went 20-for-29 for 201 yards in the game.
A sophomore who competed with Olson for the starting job before the season began, Cowan made a single brief appearance last year and had not attempted a pass until Saturday.
Arizona trailed 20-7 and was at the UCLA 16 with 4:33 to play when Verner picked off a short pass from Wildcats backup Adam Austin near the line of scrimmage and had a clear path to the goal line for a touchdown that put the game away.
Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the second quarter.
Austin had early success, leading the Wildcats (2-4, 0-3) on a 71-yard scoring drive, capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas to tie it at 7 with 8:41 to play in the first half.
Austin, a senior seeing his first action of the season, was 15-for-30 for 192 yards passing.
Cowan and the Bruins answered immediately, with a touchdown pass to Willis that completed a three-play, 49-yard drive.
Justin Medlock kicked field goals of 33 and 39 yards for UCLA in the third quarter.
The Bruin defense held Arizona to minus-13 yards rushing and have allowed just one rushing touchdown all season. They have held all five opponents under 300 yards of total offense. Arizona had 222.
UCLA now faces its toughest two-game stretch of the season, going on the road to play No. 11 Oregon and No. 12 Notre Dame in the Bruins' first games against ranked opponents.