Huskies drop Pac-10 opening thriller

Under the gray clouds and wet conditions that surrounded Husky Stadium, there was one exciting game that was played that had fans on the edge of their seat literally until the finals second. UCLA survived a thrilling one minute drive in the fourth quarter to escape Seattle with a 37-31 win over the Washington Huskies.

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  • With six seconds remaining in the game, Washington quarterback Casey Paus connected with wide receiver Charles Frederick on a deep post in the middle of the field. Frederick managed the zigzag his way in pursuit of the end zone but was met on the one yard line by UCLA's Matt Clark and Ben Emanuel and brought down to preserve the UCLA victory.

    UCLA (1-0, 2-1) was led by the record-breaking performance of running back Maurice Drew. The 5'8" sophomore speedster for the Bruins carried the ball 26 times for 323 yards and scored all five UCLA touchdowns. As a team, the Bruins put up 546 yards of offense with 424 coming on the ground. Drew broke former UCLA running back Deshaun Foster's record for most yards and touchdowns allowed by a single player by the Washington defense.

    Washington (0-1, 0-2) got off to a good start in the game. The Huskies ran sophomore running back Kenny James like a workhorse to start the game. On their very first possession, James had seven carries for 57 yards. James finished the game with 133 yards on 27 carries. James led Washington down to the UCLA 19-yard line before the Huskies were forced to kick a field goal. Michael Braunstein's 36 yard field goal however was reversed when UCLA's standout linebacker Spencer Havner committed a personal foul on the play, thus resulting in Washington first down. The Huskies took full advantage of their second life and four plays later, Paus found wide receiver Anthony Russo from 13 yards out to go on top 7-0.

    That was when the "Maurice Drew Show" began. On UCLA's very first drive, Drew took his first carry of the game 47 yards down field to tie the game 7-7.

    Washington answered right back on their next drive. With some razzle-dazzle plays like Jimmy Newell's drive-saving fake punt rush, Washington found their way back into the end zone with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Paus to Frederick to go up 14-7. Washington then took advantage of a Drew fumble on the ensuing kickoff to go up 17-7 after a Braunstein field goal. An Evan Benjamin interception and Shelton Sampson touchdown on the next drives allowed the Huskies to storm to a 24-7 lead.

    Not to be outdone and be shaken up by his fumble, Drew was just beginning. UCLA collected themselves from that point on as well and rode Drew's 62-yard touchdown run to make it 24-13.

    The game was still in the first quarter and Drew was just beginning. On UCLA's next drive, Drew ran a 58-yard touchdown dash to close the gap to 24-20 in Washington's favor. After just the first quarter alone, the scoreboard read Washington 24, UCLA 20. Drew had four carries for 169 yards and three touchdowns -- in the first quarter.

    UCLA took the lead in the second quarter with another touchdown by Drew from 15 yards out to go up 27-24 and that was the score the two teams took into halftime.

    The Bruins then stormed out in the third quarter with another touchdown by Drew to go up 34-24 but the Huskies finally answered back with a touchdown by James on the next drive to pull closer to 34-31 UCLA. A UCLA field goal in the fourth quarter would put them up to 37-31 and that was when it got interesting.

    Washington knew they were running out of time and they needed to score fast. At third-and-five on the UCLA 36 yard line, Paus found Frederick for 11 yards to get the first down. However a holding penalty brought the Huskies back 10 yards and soon, Washington had no choice but to punt and hope the defense could get the ball back for them.

    The Bruins however worked the clock beautifully by squeaking out first downs on every third down presented to them. However, they ran into a fourth-and-one situation near midfield. UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell went against punting the ball and thought he could draw the Washington defense off-sides with a long snap. It worked and some Huskies did jump, but managed to get back out of the neutral zone. Not knowing this, UCLA quarterback Drew Olson thought that it was a dead play and took a knee and gave the Washington offense some unexpected hope with just under a minute left.

    With 39 seconds in the game and standing at their own 38 yard line, Paus took the offense and led a final charge hoping for a miracle. James caught a five yard pass and got out of bounds. At 34 seconds remaining, Paus found Jon Lyon near the sideline for a 17 yard gain and a first down. Paus then found Corey Williams in midfield for another first down. Without a time out remaining, the offense quickly gathered for a spike to stop the clock.

    There was just 16 second remaining at the UCLA 27-yard line. Paus was looking for Williams on the next two plays but could not connect. At fourth down and just six seconds left, Paus found Frederick for that last play where he made his best Kevin Dyson impersonation.

    UCLA managed to put out the fire and ran off the field victorious while a dejected-looking Husky team walked off the home field with a loss for the second consecutive game. Top Stories