Bruins down Huskies in Rose Bowl

PASADENA, CALIF. - Drew Olson threw for 258 yards and UCLA scored 39 unanswered points to throttle the Huskies 46-16 in the House of Horrors known as the Rose Bowl this evening. Washington dominated the first half of the contest but then fell apart as Olson found the range and the Bruin defense scored twice, once on a sack in the end zone and one on an interception return.

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  • The UCLA defense shut down the Huskies entirely after the second quarter, as they took the ball away four times and held Reggie Williams to just two receptions, and the entire Husky offense to just 87 yards in the final two periods. UCLA racked up 243 yards in the second half. Olson and Craig Bragg torched the Husky secondary, as the Bruin receiver netted142 yards on 8 receptions.

    The Huskies were plagued by mistakes, as they were flagged 10 times for 63 yards.

    It was like a snowball on the top of Mount Rainer that just kept rolling against the Dawgs in the third quarter, and it became an avalanche that buried the Huskies chances of a Pac-10 championship pretty deep.

    FIRST QUARTER: DAWG DEFENSE DANDY (UW 10, UCLA 0)

    Starting on their own 35, Washington's first drive was flawless for the first drive through their first nine plays, picking up two third down conversions and moving into the Bruin red zone. However a third and 7 from the Bruin 16 was trouble, as Reggie Williams was flagged for offensive pass interference. The flag pushed the Dawgs back out beyond the Bruin 30 and Evan Knudson was called upon. He kicked a 44-yard field goal through the uprights to give the Dawgs a 3-0 lead.

    On the second Husky drive, which began on the Husky 44, once again Pickett marched them right down the field, finding Williams for 18 and 12 yards respectively. A Dave Ball sack of Pickett was negated by cornerback Matt Clark's hold on Charles Frederick. One play later Pickett rolled right and bought enough time to allow Williams to find an opening in the back of the endzone. The 9-yard touchdown pass and Knudson's extra point made it 10-0 with 4:57 remaining in the quarter.

    UCLA finally got a break on their third drive. Facing third and 18, Olson hit Craig Bragg for a 17-yard gain but Roc Alexander took him down by the face mask to keep the drive alive. It didn't matter, however, as a holding penalty on the interior UCLA offensive line killed it. The ensuing punt by Chris Klewe was nearly stuffed by Isaiah Stanback.

    Stanback would make a tough third-down reception for a nine-yard game to end a first quarter where UCLA only had one first down and a paltry 47 yards against a stingy Husky defense. The Bruin defense, missing nose tackle Rod Leisle, struggled without him.

    SECOND QUARTER: BRUINS ANSWER THE BELL (UW 16, UCLA 7)

    UCLA's second personal foul of the game nullified a tackle for loss by Spencer Havner on Rich Alexis. Pickett took advantage, finding Frederick on consecutive receptions followed by a 12 yard Alexis run and an 18-yard perfect strike to TE John Lyon to put the ball on the Bruin 11. The drive stalled there and Evan Knudson's 24-yard field goal was low but true to put the Dawgs on top 13-0.

    With 11:02 left in the first half, UCLA picked up their first non-penalty first down when Tyler Ebell picked up 10 yards. It got the home team going, as Drew Olson followed that up two plays later by finding Craig Bragg behind the Husky secondary for a 41-yard gain, setting up first and goal. Bragg laid out and made the diving grab, after he ran by Jimmy Newell. On second and goal from the eight, Ebell followed his blocking around left end for a touchdown. The Husky defensive line was creased and Evan Benjamin overran the play, allowing Ebell to cut inside to pay dirt.

    Washington was stopped on fourth and inches near midfield on their next drive. Tailback Kenny James was stuffed at the line and couldn't get anything up the middle, turning the ball over on downs. Husky cornerback Derrick Johnson intercepted Drew Olson to save the Husky bacon. Olson overthrew Marcedes Lewis and Johnson easily ran it down near the Husky 20.

    Washington took over on their own 18 with 1:10 left in the half. Pickett moved the ball skillfully with short passes to TE Ben Bandel and Williams before facing a fourth and two at the UCLA 46 with just 18 seconds remaining. Pickett hit Alexis in the flat, who ran through the Bruin secondary for a 27-yard gain, leaving 10 seconds on the clock. Knudson drilled a 37-yard field goal to send the two teams into the locker room.

    THIRD QUARTER: DAWG MISTAKES AND OLSON WAKES UP (UCLA 22, UW 16)

    Roc Alexander made perhaps the worst choice in his collegiate career when he decided to return the opening kickoff of the third quarter from six yards deep in the endzone. He only made it to his own seven. It would haunt the Huskies horribly, as Dave Ball sacked Pickett from his blind side and caused a fumble in the end zone. Rod Leisle recovered for the easy touchdown and suddenly a game that the Huskies had dominated was just a 16-14 lead with only 13 seconds elapsed. The slumbering Bruin crowd came to life and it was a new ball game.

    Alexander's next kickoff return from the end zone was only advanced to the 16. Washington went three and out and UCLA took over on their own 41 after just a 32 yard punt.

    The Bruins had converted a third down successfully with an Olson to Junior Taylor completion at midfield, but an inadvertent whistle nullified the play. When the Bruins tried again, the pass fell incomplete.

    UCLA then went 91 yards on a Husky defense that looked tired. It began with Olson finding Bragg in front of Husky cornerback Chris Massey for two long completions. Manuel White then made the Huskies pay with a 15-yard catch and run in the face of a Husky blitz to move the ball into Husky territory. A Greg Carothers sack of Olson slowed the Bruin attack temporarily, but on third and 11, Olson lobbed the ball to Bragg, who made the catch over Alexander at the boundary, putting the ball on the Husky 13. On third and eight, Ryan Smith made a shoestring catch on a slant pattern in front of Derrick Johnson at the one. Manuel White bulled over from the one to put the Bruins in front. A successful two-point conversion reception by White made it 22-16 with 4:19 left in the quarter. The drive consumed nearly 6 minutes and Olson hit on six of eight of his throws.

    Washington finally got untracked on offense as Pickett found Frederick for 14 and 21 yard completions, and Alexis busted a 27-yard run up the middle. A pass interference penalty set up the Dawgs first and goal on the 10. However the Bruins received a gift when lineman Ryan Brooks moved, moving the ball back to the 15. It turned out to be crucial, when on third down, Pickett's pass bounced off of Tuiasosopo and Rod Leisle intercepted the ricochet to kill the drive.

    UCLA quickly moved out of their own end as Olson hit Bragg for yet another big gain behind Alexander. The quarter mercifully ended for the Huskies at that point. UCLA closed the gap in every category over the third quarter, as Olson had all day to throw and Bragg continuously got open. The Bruins racked up 174 yards in the quarter.

    FOURTH QUARTER: TOTAL DESTRUCTION (UCLA 46, UW 16)

    The fourth quarter began with a bit of Déjà vu, as Alexander was once again burned deep, this time by Junior Taylor for 38 yards on a go route. It was a perfectly thrown ball that Alexander had solid coverage, but Bragg made the play. Marcedes Lewis picked up 16 more on a cross route through the Husky secondary to move the ball to the Husky 16. The Huskies finally got a stop when Johnson sacked Olson for a loss of 12 and then Massey knocked down a third down pass. Justin Medlock made a 39-yard field goal to extend the lead to 25-16.

    The game was essentially sealed when Pickett threw a lazy pass to the left flat that was easily intercepted by Jarrad Page and returned for a touchdown with 12:05 remaining. The extra point made it 32-16 and the Huskies were dead.

    Just to make sure, Dave Ball of UCLA sacked Pickett on three consecutive plays, accumulating 23 yards in tackle for loss yardage for the three-play Husky "drive."

    UCLA continued the onslaught with touchdowns by Olson and freshman tailback Maurice Drew to finish the scoring and drop the Huskies to 3-2, 1-1 in the Pac-10.

    Just to show how complete the domination was by UCLA in the second half, Washington was 0-6 on third downs in the final two quarters, missing on their last eight attempts overall. A lot of work needs to be done with Nevada coming to town for a non-conference clash. As Gilbertson told his team in the locker room after the game, they can either go in the tank or suck it up and improve from here.

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