Oct. 29, 2005
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - UCLA is still unbeaten, thanks to the come-from-behind Bruins' most unlikely escape yet.
Brandon Breazell caught a 23-yard TD pass from Drew Olson in overtime after No. 8 UCLA scored 21 points in the final 7:04 of regulation to stun Stanford 30-27 on Saturday.
Maurice Drew ran for two late scores, including a 1-yard tumble across the goal line with 46 seconds left to force OT. Olson, soundly outplayed in the first 52 minutes by workout buddy Trent Edwards, went 24-of-35 for 293 yards and two TDs while leading his latest jaw-dropping comeback.
UCLA (8-0, 4-0 Pac-10) has specialized in fantastic finishes during conference play, rallying from consecutive deficits against Washington, California and Washington State earlier in October - but none was as dramatic or unlikely as the escape at Stanford Stadium.
Edwards passed for 169 yards and two scores for the Cardinal (4-3, 3-2), who blew a golden opportunity to make a national mark in their first season under new coach Walt Harris. J.R. Lemon had two TD catches, but the Stanford defense gave up 200 yards in the fourth quarter after allowing just 147 in the first three.
Olson led fourth-quarter scoring drives of 65, 72 and 66 yards - and all three took a combined 3:40. Joe Cowan caught a 31-yard TD pass with 4:43 to play, and Drew shook off a knee injury to score on UCLA's final play of regulation.
Michael Sgroi kicked a field goal on Stanford's overtime possession - but on UCLA's second play, Olson hit Breazell with a perfect fade into the corner of the end zone. The Bruins and their large cheering section celebrated wildly, throwing helmets and jumping around, while the Cardinal stood in disbelief.
UCLA's offense was ranked fifth nationally with 44.4 points per game, but Olson, Drew and star tight end Marcedes Lewis did almost nothing right until Cardinal fullback Nick Frank scored to put Stanford up 24-3 with 8:26 left. The Bruins, who had lost just one fumble all season, fumbled twice in the second half and often looked lost on offense.
But something finally ignited the Bruins, who made two lightning-quick scoring drives after Frank's score.
The Bruins got the ball again at their 34 with 2:30 to play, and Lewis made a big third-down catch to preserve the drive. Stanford committed consecutive pass-interference penalties, and Olson hit Cowan inside the 2 on a fourth-down play that set up Drew's 1-yard TD.
A large portion of the 42,850 fans wore powder blue, but had little to cheer until the frantic final minutes. Olson and Drew, both natives of the East Bay suburbs with busloads of more than 100 friends and family cheering them on, finally won their first game in the Bay Area for UCLA.
The Cardinal played three solid quarters despite the absence of starting running back Anthony Kimble, who had an undisclosed injury, and top receiver Mark Bradford, who was on crutches on the sideline after hurting his ankle early in the game.
The Cardinal opened the game with their longest, most impressive drive of the year, marching 88 yards in 13 plays. Lemon scored on a screen pass, slipping through the middle for the first receiving touchdown of his career.
The clubs settled into the type of defensive struggle rarely seen in the high-flying Pac-10 - until Drew fumbled midway through the third quarter, committing UCLA's fifth turnover all season. Stanford drove 29 yards for its second score, with Lemon slipping behind wall of blockers again for another TD screen pass.
Olson fumbled near the UCLA goal line moments later - but linebacker Jon Alston couldn't grab the loose ball to take it into the end zone, and Drew recovered.
Sgroi put Stanford up 17-3 with a 40-yard field goal with 13:18 to play. The Bruins got near midfield on their next drive - but Marcus Everett fumbled while trying to stretch his catch past the first-down marker, and Stanford scored on another short drive, with Frank igniting celebrations in the stands when he rumbled into the end zone.