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Turning 50 in Style : UCLA
UCLA quarterback Drew Olson completed a school-record six touchdown passes, running back Maurice Drew scored twice and had 250 all-purpose yards and the Bruins scored more than 40 points for the sixth time this season.
But even after defeating Oregon State, 51-28, Saturday, the eighth-ranked Bruins still have their share of non-believers, including some of their own fans based on the announced crowd of 49,932 at the Rose Bowl.
Said Beaver safety Sabby Piscitelli: "They played well, but I don't know about them being a top-10 team."
In improving to 7-0 for the first time since 1998, UCLA remains one of six undefeated Division I-A teams, and that's the most important statistic.
"We're not looking for anybody else to give us respect because that's the way it's been from the beginning," senior safety Jarrad Page said after the Bruins improved to 4-0 in the Pacific 10 Conference.
"We're not going to look for it now. From what we've done and to where we are, we accomplished all of this from within. Because if it was up to what everybody else thought about us, we'd have two or three losses already."
The Bruins have done a great job of using every perceived slight as motivation, and no one has done that better than Olson, who broke Cade McNown's and his own single-game record for touchdown passes.
Olson, who has thrown for 11 touchdowns in his last two games, credits his current success to previous setbacks he and the Bruins suffered before to this season.
"That's been my main attitude throughout my career here," said Olson, who completed 16 of 24 passes for 262 yards Saturday. "It's definitely been not to run from situations and when things get bad, not to point fingers.
"Every game just gets bigger for me and I just get more and more motivated to go out there and prove myself."
With former UCLA quarterback Matt Moore starting for Oregon State, Olson was sharp nearly all game.
He completed deep throws and short passes. He looked off some receivers and found others in tight spots. And when UCLA needed touchdowns, he provided them.
"It's just the way he's preparing for games and coming out there with so much savvy and calmness in the huddle," said tight end Marcedes Lewis, who grabbed six of Olson's passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
"I think things have just slowed down for him a lot."
UCLA, which needed late comebacks to win its previous three games, fell behind in the first two minutes again Saturday. But this time, the Bruins gave up only one score before taking over.
After Oregon State jumped ahead, 7-0, when Moore completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Mike Haas -- who finished with a game-high seven catches for 199 yards -- the Bruins scored 24 consecutive points.
Olson found Drew one-on-one with linebacker Andy Darkins and completed a 43-yard touchdown to tie the score at 7-7. Justin Medlock followed with a field goal and then Olson found Drew and freshman tight end Ryan Moya for second-quarter touchdowns to give UCLA a commanding 24-7 lead.
Moore completed another touchdown pass to Haas to get Oregon State within 24-14, but Olson closed the first half with his fourth touchdown pass, a two-yarder to Lewis.
"We had a much faster start than we had the last few weeks even though they scored first," Dorrell said. "But we responded with a score and evened it up. Soon after, we took the lead and kept it."
UCLA began the second half as it finished the first with a touchdown pass from Olson to Lewis, who scored from three yards to stretch the Bruins' lead to 38-14, and they never looked back.
Oregon State's Yvenson Bernard, who rushed for 194 yards in a victory at California last week, scored two second-half touchdowns and finished with 167 yards on the ground.
But the Beavers' ground game did not have a big impact against the Bruins, who finished the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown reception from Brandon Breazell and Medlock's third field goal in the fourth quarter.
"This is not like playing Cal," Oregon State Coach Mike Riley said. "UCLA has a very good offense, and they're very balanced. Maurice Drew is an excellent football player. Their tight end is good, and so is their quarterback."
For Dorrell, who improved to 19-13 at UCLA, getting win No. 7 is special after going 6-7 and 6-6 his first two seasons.
"We still need to work on getting better and building on the things we're doing up to this point," he said. "We got our seventh win, my first seventh win. And that's great to get over that hurdle. So I'm pleased with that."
Comparing records of the schools on UCLA's schedule:
San Diego State 3-5
Washington State 3-4
Oregon State 4-3
Arizona State 3-4