With a Heisman Trophy candidate in his backfield, UCLA quarterback Cory Paus had a great deal of the spotlight Saturday night, throwing for 273 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bruins over the hapless Bears, 56-17.
UCLA's Heisman hopeful, tailback DeShaun Foster, had some Heisman-esque moments, including popping a defender so hard he removed him from his helmet. Foster finished with 117 yards on 24 carries and caught two passes for 61 yards, while scoring a total of three touchdowns. Foster seemed to be always a shoelace away from breaking off a big run, but was held in check most of the first half as Cal stacked the box against him.
It gave Paus the opportunity to then exploit the Cal defense dedicated to stopping the run. In one stretch in the first half, Paus completed 11 passes in a row. He finished the game 13 for 16, and continued his streak without being intercepted, which has grown to 189 straight passes.
UCLA, though, started out the game pretty flat and sloppy. UCLA's defense suffered a couple of carless offsides penalties that allowed Cal's offense key first downs. UCLA's offensive line allowed Paus to be sacked twice in its opening offensive series. These mishaps allowed Cal to take a 10-lead in the second quarter.
UCLA, with luck seemingly on its side this year, finished the second quarter scoring on a 34-yard TD pass from Paus to Foster, which sounds better than it was. Paus was hit as he was throwing, the ball wobbled out of Paus's hand 15 yards down the field only to land in a sprinting Foster's hand, who then beat two defenders to the end zone. UCLA went into halftime leading 21-10 and considering itself lucky.
UCLA then got more on track in the second half. Paus found wide receiver Ryan Smith in the end zone for a 27-yard TD reception and fullback Ed Ieremia Stansbury for a 4-yard TC pass, both in the third quarter. UCLA outscored Cal in the third quarter 21-0 and put the game away. UCLA has outscored its' opponents 72-0 this year in the third quarter.
The Bruins had some other highlights. Freshman wide receiver Craig Bragg scored on a double reverse in the first quarter. Bragg also had a 56-yard reception on a nice paus from Paus. Tight end Mike Seidman caught a 40-yard pass on the first possession of the second half. Linebacker Marcus Reese blocked a Cal punt in the third quarter, which was then picked up by receiver Devon Reese who walked it into the end zone for a touchdown (it was Marcus Reese's second blocked punt in two weeks, both resulting in touchdowns). Also, second-string tailback Akil Harris broke a 48-yard run in the fourth quarter for a touchdown.