Nov. 12, 2005
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 nation."
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 for us."
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.