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Newz Forum: COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Drew's huge night leads UCLA to victory in barnburner

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posted on Sep, 19 2004 @ 09:04 AM
SEATTLE -- A taste of ballet and a tumble with gymnastics helped make UCLA's Maurice Drew into quite a tailback.

Drew ran for a school-record 322 yards and five touchdowns and UCLA's defense stopped Washington at the 2 as time expired to give the Bruins a 37-31 victory Saturday night.

"You couldn't get a game more exciting than that," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said.

The Bruins (2-1, 1-0) have won four straight in the series and seven of the past eight, but the Pac-10 opener for both teams wasn't over until Washington's Charles Frederick was smothered near the goal line on the final play.

"Probably a yard-and-a-half," Frederick said, asked how close it was. "I thought I could have gotten in, maybe if I'd just gotten a push."

The Huskies (0-2, 0-1) drove 58 yards in the final 39 seconds, taking over when UCLA quarterback Drew Olson couldn't draw Washington's defenders offside on fourth-and-inches. Officials spotted the ball where Olson downed his knee.

Washington's Casey Paus, who threw three interceptions in an opening loss to Fresno State, did his part this week. He completed three passes to get Washington to UCLA's 27, then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 16 seconds to go.

Paus missed Corey Williams on an end zone route, leaving 12 seconds. Then he overthrew Williams in the left corner, shaving another six seconds off the clock and bringing up fourth-and-10.

On the last play Paus threw to the 5 for Frederick, who came free from a tackler and spun toward the end zone, but several defenders wrapped up the Washington wideout and the Bruins came onto the field in celebration.

"I just watched that last second tick off," Paus said. "When they said he didn't get in, that was hard."

Paus was 13-for-28 for 200 yards with no interceptions, and Kenny James ran for 133 yards for the Huskies.

Olson was 12-of-17 for 122 yards with one interception.

Drew became the 75th player in NCAA Division I-A history and the second this season with a 300-yard rushing game. West Virginia's Kay-Jay Harris gained 337 yards rushing in a 56-23 win over East Carolina two weeks ago.

"I don't think the defense saw me the whole time," Drew said. "They were going the opposite way. Our offensive line is so big, so they probably couldn't see me because I'm only 5-foot-8. They made all the blocks that they needed to make."

Drew, who had 152 yards rushing in last week's win at Illinois, followed up with a remarkable day, bursting through big holes, slipping from tacklers and cutting back into open field for one long run after another.

By halftime, he had 235 yards rushing on 13 carries.

"Maurice is a special guy," UCLA tackle Paul Mociler said. "He makes those long runs and he makes us look good."

The NCAA Division I-A record for rushing yards in a half is 287 -- set by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois against Fresno State in 1990 and matched by TCU's LaDanian Tomlinson in 1999 against UTEP.

The NCAA single-game record was set by Tomlinson -- 406 yards in the UTEP game.

The previous single-game rushing record for UCLA was held by DeShaun Foster, who ran for 301 against Washington in 2001.

"I thought it was going to be a special game," Drew said. "The offensive line accepted the challenge and played with a championship mentality. They just did what they had to do to get the running backs into the open field."

Manuel White added 84 yards rushing as the Bruins gained 424 yards on the ground.

"We're not the first team they did it to," Washington linebacker Evan Benjamin said. "We knew what they were going to do and we didn't stop it."

The way Drew ran, the Bruins never trailed by much. He had 169 yards rushing on only four carries through the first period, scoring on runs of 47, 62 and 58 yards as UCLA trailed 24-20 after the opening quarter.

He credited his grandmother for putting him in ballet and gymnastics classes as a young child, before he began football at age 9.

"Everyone would tell me I was too small to play football," Drew said. "By the time I got to football, I had all this balance. It just came in handy."

His grandfather wasn't crazy about seeing the boy in tights.

"My grandfather didn't like it," Drew said. "They used to get into arguments, but he grew to like it. It helped put me into football."

Drew kept it going in the second half, scoring on a 37-yard burst as the Bruins took a 34-24 lead after their first drive of the third quarter. That boosted his total at that point to 17 carries for 294 yards.

It also was his fifth TD, a UCLA record and the most ever accomplished by one player against the Huskies.

"They gashed us. He's only 5-8, but he's a powerful runner," Washington linebacker Joe Lobendahn said. "He's got good eyes and he can see the daylight."

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