The UCLA Bruins are back on the winning track, with a long break coming up before their showdown against archrival and top-ranked USC. Drew Olson threw for...
PASADENA, Calif. — The UCLA Bruins are back on the winning track, with a long break coming up before their showdown against archrival and top-ranked USC.
Drew Olson threw for 510 yards and five touchdowns Saturday and No. 14 UCLA defeated Arizona State 45-35. The Bruins (9-1, 6-1 Pac-10) rebounded from their stunning 52-14 loss at Arizona a week earlier with another explosive offensive performance.
They don’t play again until Dec. 3, when they face USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum in the regular-season finale.
“It’s huge going in 9-1,” Olson said. “We gained some momentum before we get a chance to play the best team in the nation.”
After building a 21-7 first-quarter lead against Arizona State, the Bruins edged away from a 28-28 tie in the third quarter.
The Sun Devils (5-5, 3-4) got a 334-yard, three-touchdown pass performance from Rudy Carpenter and might have kept pace with UCLA but for three lost fumbles.
“It felt like a shootout out there,” Carpenter said. “We just couldn’t keep up.”
Olson, who had thrown for a school-record six touchdowns in a rout of Oregon State on Oct. 22, hooked up with Joe Cowan for a 91-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage against ASU. He also threw a 56-yarder to Chris Markey, a 6-yarder and a 13-yarder to Marcedes Lewis, and a 7-yarder to Brandon Breazell.
Lewis had seven catches for 108 yards, Markey three for 120 yards, and Cowan three for 109.
Olson completed 22 of 27 passes and set a school record of 30 touchdown passes in a season, bettering Cade McNown’s mark of 25 set in 12 games in 1998.
“I couldn’t ask for anything better than to come out and play my best game of the year,” Olson said.
Arizona State has a bye, then needs to beat Arizona in the regular-season finale on Nov. 25 to qualify for a bowl game.
“All I know is that we’re better than a 5-5 team,” ASU coach Dirk Koetter said. “We have that game circled on our calendar. Our whole season rides on one game.”
Sun Devils wide receiver Derek Hagan had seven catches for 97 yards and set a Pac-10 record with 249 career receptions.