By JOHN K. WILEY
Associated Press Writer
PULLMAN, Wash. - When the starting quarterback went down, Jonathan Smith ran.
Smith rushed for three touchdowns and No. 12 Washington State beat UCLA 31-13 to move into first place in the Pac-10 on Saturday.
Smith's running came in handy for the Cougars after quarterback Matt Kegel left the game after a hard hit late in the first quarter and was replaced by freshman Josh Swogger.
Washington State (8-2, 5-1) broke a three-way tie for first by beating the Bruins (6-4, 4-2). No. 2 Southern California (4-1) is a half-game behind the Cougars, but controls the race after beating Washington State last week.
The Cougars bounced back from that 43-16 loss to the Trojans by winning a game marked by seven turnovers from each team. UCLA fumbles led to all four Cougars touchdowns.
"Just two good defenses in there stripping the ball out," WSU coach Bill Doba said.
Smith, who has been hobbled by an ankle injury, scored on runs of 1, 12 and 9 yards. It was the first time he has run for more than 100 yards since the opening game against Idaho. He carried 36 times for 130 yards and caught four passes for 85 yards.
"We knew the problems with our running game; we just had to get it done," Smith said. "When you have a balanced offense, you need to have a running game."
Offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller said Kegel's injury, a sprain of his right, throwing shoulder, forced the Cougars to change their game plan and rely more on Smith.
"I thought he was our best offensive player, coming out of camp," Levenseller said. "And I thought our offensive line did a good job of blocking for him. He was finding the holes."
"The holes were big and I was able to hit them faster," he said. "I was kind of shocked they kept coming to me."
Swogger finished 5-for-16 for 82 yards and two interceptions. Kegel was 3-for-5 for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Doba said the extent of Kegel's injury won't be known until Sunday or Monday, so Swogger likely will get the majority of repetitions in practice next week.
"Josh got baptized tonight, so he'll be better next week," Doba said. "We tried to simplify it just a little bit for him and restrict the plays. I thought he started off really well, avoided the rush well, got rid of the ball. He made a couple of really nice throws and he made a couple of bad throws. He's got a lot of work to do."
Tyler Elbell had 105 yards on 12 carries for UCLA. Matt Moore completed 11 of 29 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice.
UCLA's only scoring in the first half was the result of Washington State turnovers. Receiver Scott Lunde was intercepted on a trick play and Sammy Moore fumbled a punt return, setting up field goals of 46 and 32 yards by Justin Medlock in the second quarter.
The Cougars scored first after Matt Moore was sacked and fumbled, forcing a punt. Smith caught a 47-yard pass from Kegel and then ran it in from the 1 for the score.
Troy Bienemann caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Kegel after Maurice Drew fumbled and Jason David recovered on the UCLA 35 for the Cougars.
Smith scored from 12 yards out after Craig Bragg fumbled a punt return and WSU's Jeremy Bohannon scooped up the ball and returned it 72 yards.
Four plays later, the Bruins muffed a punt snap and Chris Kluwe was tackled on the 9. Smith scored on the next play.
"The fumble on the punt return turned out to be a big play for them to score," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "Then the very next series, the mishandled snap on the punt ended up being another quick score for them. When it was 14-6 and it seemed we were putting ourselves back in the game, those were critical plays."
Matt Moore connected with Bragg on a 34-yard touchdown in the third quarter to make it 28-13.
Drew Dunning kicked a 42-yard field goal to complete Washington State's scoring.
Eric Coleman intercepted Drew Olson's pass at the goal line to end a late scoring threat with 1:39 remaining.