No. 4 UCLA 49, Washington St. 17
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) _ Washington State played in its first Rose Bowl game in 67 years last New Year’s Day. If what happened Saturday is an accurate indication, the Cougars won’t be returning any time soon.
Jermaine Lewis, making the most of an opportunity for redemption, rushed for 94 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns as No. 4 UCLA took command early in rolling to a 49-17 victory over the Cougars.
Keith Brown also ran for two TDs, and Cade McNown ran for one score, passed for another, and completed 14 of 27 passes for 205 yards. McNown has passed for more than 200 yards in a school-record 18 straight games.
By winning, the explosive Bruins (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) extended their school-record winning streak to 13, and won a league opener for just the second time in eight years.
UCLA, which led at halftime 35-10, is averaging 46.7 points per game. WSU (3-2, 0-2) came in leading the conference in total defense, and none of its previous opponents had scored more than 24 points.
But the Cougars helped the Bruins by committing four turnovers and getting two punts blocked.
WSU beat the Bruins 37-34 to start last season, ultimately enabling the Cougars to play in the Rose Bowl game since the schools were Pac-10 co-champions with 7-1 records.
Then a freshman playing in his first college game, Lewis hit the wrong hole on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and was stopped with less than three minutes remaining, snuffing out UCLA’s final hope.
The Bruins scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead after just 10:15 of play in this game, and the Cougars didn’t pose a scoring threat until midway through the second period.
By that time, UCLA led 28-0.
UCLA moved 42, 48 and 54 yards following two turnovers and a punt for its first three TDs. The WSU defense allowed only seven first-quarter points in its first four games, and an average of 3.5 points in the first period of its last 61 games.
Lewis, who has rushed for eight touchdowns this year, opened the scoring with a 5-yard run.
A 10-yard run by Brown made it 14-0, and McNown made it three TDs in a span of 5:13 by scoring on a 6-yard rollout, hurdling over the final defenders in the left corner.
DuVal Hicks blocked a punt by Kareem Anderson early in the second quarter, giving UCLA possession at the WSU 6-yard line, and Lewis scored on the next play to make it 28-0.
Kevin Brown’s 19-yard run with 7:03 left before halftime put the Cougars on the scoreboard, but Keith Brown scored on a 2-yard run less than three minutes later.
WSU’s Rian Lindell kicked a 34-yard field goal on the final play of the half, and it remained that way until McNown threw a 7-yard TD pass to Brian Poli-Dixon with nine seconds left in the third quarter, making it 42-10.
Drew Bennett replaced McNown with nine minutes remaining, and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Randy Hakes with 4:47 left.
WSU’s Steve Birnbaum threw a 68-yard scoring pass to Adam Davis 25 seconds later to complete the scoring.
Birnbaum completed 13-of-29 passes for 221 yards, and Kevin Brown led the Cougars in rushing with 109 yards on 21 carries.
The game was played before a crowd of 67,210 the Rose Bowl.