Bruins’ Victory Puts Them Back in Top 25

Times Staff Writer

As a reward for Saturday’s 41-24 victory over Oklahoma, UCLA moved into the Associated Press top 25 for first time in almost three years by being ranked No. 25 on Sunday.

The Bruins (3-0), who are off this week, had not been ranked since they were No. 25 before a 52-21 loss to USC on Nov. 23, 2002.

For quarterback Drew Olson, who passed for 314 yards and three touchdowns against the Sooners, being ranked doesn’t mean much now because Coach Karl Dorrell has the Bruins targeting higher goals.

“Truthfully, it does not matter,” Olson said. “I feel like we have a good football team. We are going to earn our respect late in the year. That’s how we feel, regardless of the rank. That has no bearing on what this team can do or where we’re at.”


Olson’s strong start has been a major force behind UCLA’s early success. He ranks seventh nationally with a 179.2 passing efficiency rating and is second in the Pacific 10 Conference behind USC’s Matt Leinart, the national leader at 243.7.

Olson has completed 56 of 78 passes for 762 yards and six touchdowns. In his last 11 games, Olson has completed 196 of 316 passes for 2,587 yards and 22 touchdowns with only four interceptions.

“Starting with San Diego State and then to Rice and now Oklahoma, you can see just strides where his confidence has grown,” senior tight end Marcedes Lewis said.

“He’s just a leader out there ... as long as he keeps making plays and doing what he has to do, this team is going to keep on growing.”


Against Oklahoma, Olson may have been at his best between plays when the Bruins trailed, 7-0, late in the first quarter.

“In the huddle, it was his composure,” Lewis said. “He was like, ‘Calm down and let’s play ball. We know what we have to do ... they are not showing us nothing different than we practiced against.’

“Everybody listened to him and we weathered the storm.”


After averaging 222 yards rushing in the first two games, UCLA’s ground attack struggled against Oklahoma’s eight-man front.

The Bruins were held to 19 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 83.

Part of the problem was the Sooners’ ability to guess UCLA’s snap count, led by nose tackle Dusty Dvoracek, who finished with three tackles for losses.

“It seemed like he was timing it up pretty well,” Bruin center Mike McCloskey said.


“He got us a couple of times on running plays. But once we changed from going with the same one every single time, it wasn’t a problem.”

The Bruins had 60 of their 83 yards in the fourth quarter.


Senior wide receiver Junior Taylor will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after an MRI test revealed that he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Saturday. Taylor, injured on the Bruins’ second play from scrimmage while catching a 16-yard pass, has six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns this season. Taylor could utilize a medical redshirt year this season.

Freshman linebacker John Hale made his first start when he got the nod over Aaron Whittington.... Sophomore Chris Joseph started at weakside guard but split time with senior Robert Cleary.... Olson has 5,483 yards in total offense in his career, which moved him past Troy Aikman, Gary Beban and Tommy Maddox for fourth all-time for the Bruins.... Justin Medlock’s 51-yard field goal was his fourth of 50 yards or more in his career, tying him with John Lee for most in school history.



AP top 25


*--* Rk Team Record Pts. Prv. 1 USC (57) 2-0 1,617 1 2 Texas (8) 3-0 1,564 2 3 Louisiana State 1-0 1,437 3 4 Virginia Tech 3-0 1,406 4 5 Florida 3-0 1,372 6 6 Florida State 3-0 1,246 8 7 Georgia 3-0 1,235 7 8 Ohio State 2-1 1,127 9 9 Louisville 2-0 1,096 11 10 Tennessee 1-1 929 5 11 Purdue 2-0 916 12 12 Miami 1-1 901 13 13 California 3-0 739 15 14 Michigan 2-1 702 14 15 Georgia Tech 3-0 699 16 16 Notre Dame 2-1 609 10 17 Michigan State 3-0 500 -- 18 Arizona State 2-1 480 18 19 Texas Tech 2-0 416 19 20 Alabama 3-0 298 -- 21 Iowa 2-1 282 22 22 Iowa State 2-0 245 24 23 Virginia 2-0 221 25 24 Oregon 3-0 201 -- 25 UCLA 3-0 185 --


Others receiving votes: Clemson 177, Boston College 150, Auburn 89, Wisconsin 76, Minnesota 51, Texas A&M; 50, Colorado 35, West Virginia 23, Penn State 14, Fresno State 8, N.C. State 6, Toledo 6, UTEP 6, Vanderbilt 6, Utah 5.