Monday, October 31, 2005

College football

For 52 minutes Saturday, I witnessed the worst football game ever played by a major college undefeated team as UCLA managed to dig themselves deep into a well-deserved 24-3 hole. A deader bunch of losers I couldn't imagine. "Who are these imposters, where are you holding my 7-0 team, and how much do you want for them?" I shouted. I was packed and ready to make a run for the car but my son insisted on seeing the bitter end. For the next 8 minutes, I witnessed something truly extraordinary...

Oct 29, 11:21 PM (ET)

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Maurice Drew and Marcedes Lewis sat at their lockers and looked at each other in disbelief. UCLA was down and disheveled at halftime, its powerful offense sputtering and its perfect season in big trouble. [nah! They were only down 7-3 at halftime, but let's not quibble...]

Two hours later, Drew and Lewis looked at each other again with even more amazement - because UCLA was still unbeaten, thanks to the cardiac 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.

UCLA (8-0, 4-0 Pac-10) has specialized in fantastic finishes during conference play, rallying from double-digit deficits against Washington, California and Washington State earlier in October - but none was as dramatic or unlikely as the Bruins' escape from Stanford Stadium.

"It doesn't seem real. I still can't believe what we did," said Drew, who 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. He 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 bruised right knee to score on UCLA's final play of regulation. Though Olson celebrated wildly along with his teammates, the quarterback knew his team might not have deserved its outrageous fortune.

"For 3? quarters, we played horrible football," Olson said. "I was surprised we were only down 7-3 at halftime. I've got no explanation for this."

UCLA 30, Stanford 27, OT

Has there ever been a season of finishes like this?

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