Bruin Rally Falls Short
Oct 27, 2001
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. - Chris Lewis just doesn't understand goosebumps.After a thrilling win over UCLA, his Stanford teammates know all about them.
In his fourth career start, Lewis threw for 250 yards and three touchdownsas No. 20 Stanford held on for a 38-28 victory over No. 4 UCLA on Saturday,ending the Bruins' unbeaten season and thoroughly muddling the Pac-10 race.
The backup quarterback sparked the Cardinal (5-1, 4-1) to 31 straight pointsagainst a team that hadn't allowed more than 17 in any game this season. Hethrew three interceptions, but got his teammates to believe they could driveand score against the mighty Bruins' defense.
Afterward, Lewis was his usual smiling self. His poise under pressure didn'tseem remarkable to him - but his teammates were singing his praises afterStanford got off to its best start since 1992.
The Cardinal's defense also came up big with a late defensive stop, butLewis' teammates gave much of the credit to Lewis, who stepped in for injuredstarter Randy Fasani last week in Stanford's 49-42 upset win at Oregon.
'The guys in this room have a lot of confidence in him, and sometimesthat's the only difference between great teams and good teams,' said two-sportstar Teyo Johnson, who caught a 3-yard TD pass from Lewis.
'We know that Chris has got the superstar stuff, and we respond to that.'
Lewis rallied Stanford to two last-second victories last season, but losthis first three career starts.
By the time UCLA's defense got off its heels, the Bruins (6-1, 3-1) weredown 31-7 - and Stanford had enough points for an impressive upset. Lewiscompleted 13 straight passes in the first half as Stanford beat a top-five teamfor the second straight week.
'I don't know why or how, but I really don't get nervous,' said Lewis, whowas 20-of-29. 'Whenever we make mistakes, I feel we get tighter as a group. Wefeel that we're as good as anybody in the country. If we play well, we can putup points with the best of them.'
|AUDIO: Bob Toledo says UCLA's comeback just was not enough against a good Stanford team. 14k | 28k | 56k|
|VIDEO: Ryan Nece picks up the loose ball and runs it back 44 yards for the touchdown.
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|VIDEO: Scott McEwan finds an open Mike Seidman for a 23-yard score.
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|VIDEO: Scott McEwan lofts the ball to Bryan Fletcher who makes the over-the-shoulder TD catch.
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Kerry Carter scored his second TD on a 27-yard run with 2 minutes left asStanford fought off an excellent second-half charge by the Bruins.
'Not only Chris, but our entire offensive team came out and got us off to agreat start, and our defense followed,' said Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham,who's off to his best start in seven seasons.
UCLA, its vaunted defense in tatters, fell despite an impressive day frombackup quarterback Scott McEwan, who replaced injured starter Cory Paus afterhalftime and rallied the Bruins to 21 straight points while passing for 221yards.
'We tried to treat the second half as a test of character, but we didn'tdig deep enough,' McEwan said. 'We did come back, but we just ran out oftime. If we had another two minutes, maybe things would have changed.'
Carter - who rushed for 102 yards - Luke Powell and Teyo Johnson all caughtTD passes, while Brian Allen rushed for 87 yards and a TD.
Stanford Stadium was uncharacteristically packed with 64,495 enthusiasticfans for the biggest college football game in the San Francisco Bay area inseveral years.
The Cardinal gave the crowd plenty to cheer, putting on a thrilling showeven before the late-game theatrics that practically have become standard atStanford.
With Stanford up 31-21, Powell fumbled at UCLA's 20 with 6:49 left. TheBruins made an 80-yard scoring drive in two minutes, culminating in BryanFletcher's 29-yard over-the-shoulder TD catch.
UCLA cornerback Matt Ware then intercepted a long pass by Lewis at theBruins 39 - but for the first time in the second half, UCLA couldn't move theball, turning it over on downs with 2:45 left. On Stanford's ensuing drive,Carter broke through the line for the clinching score.
DeShaun Foster, UCLA's Heisman-hopeful tailback, had just 26 yards rushingin the first half, finishing with 77 yards and a score in 21 carries.
'They have a good defense, but it wasn't the beset we've faced this year,'Foster said. 'We can still win the Pac-10 championship. There are a lot ofteams with one loss, so hopefully we can just keep rolling.'
The first-half numbers were amazing: Stanford held the ball for more than 20minutes and gained 353 yards, running 49 plays to UCLA's 25. Johnson could tellthat Stanford was rolling when he went to the line of scrimmage and was greetedby silence.
'I could tell because the (defensive backs) were quiet,' Johnson said.'When that happens, you know their defensive coaches are yelling at them.
Paus threw his first interception in 198 passes when he underthrew areceiver at the goal line and was picked off by Ryan Fernandez midway throughthe second quarter.
Paus was extremely erratic, often missing open receivers and completing just5 of 16 passes. The team said Paus injured his throwing hand at some pointduring the first half.