UCLA Drops Opener To Oklahoma State
Sept. 4, 2004
By KEN PETERS
AP Sports Writer
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Vernand Morency rushed for 261 yards and twotouchdowns and Oklahoma State beat UCLA 31-20 Saturday in the season opener forboth teams.
With the Cowboys' ground game clicking, Oklahoma State's Donovan Woods threwjust eight passes in his college debut. The redshirt freshman completed twopasses for 23 yards and ran 15 yards for a score.
OSU, facing UCLA for just the second time and winning for the first, did nothave a turnover, but recovered two Bruins' fumbles and intercepted two of DrewOlson's passes.
The Cowboys' veteran offensive line consistently overpowered the Bruins'young defensive front, so Morency often sprinted through gaping holes and wasuntouched until he was already into the UCLA secondary.
The 5-foot-10, 215-pound junior carried 29 times and scored on runs of 22yards and 1 yard. Morency topped 200 yards rushing twice after taking over forthe injured Tatum Bell late last season, gaining 269 yards against Kansas and227 against Baylor.
Manuel White carried 20 times for 145 yards for the Bruins, includingtouchdown runs of 60 and 4 yards.
UCLA's Drew Olson completed 16-of-36 for 252 yards, but went just 4-for-11for 78 yards in the second half.
Jamie Thompson stopped a late UCLA drive when he intercepted a tipped passdeep in Oklahoma State territory, and Grant Vernon made another interceptionnear midfield in the waning moments.
Oklahoma State held a 28-17 after a busy first half.
In the third quarter, Justin Medlock kicked a 52-yarder for the Bruins, andJason Ricks made a 35-yarder for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys scored two of their touchdowns after recovering UCLA fumbles,and another after the Bruins' Chris Kluwe shanked a punt that traveled just 25yards.
Woods scored on a quarterback draw to put the Cowboys up 28-14 with 3:36left in the half. The TD came after Kluwe's short punt gave OSU the ball at theUCLA 40.
The Bruins got a field goal as the first half ended, with Olson engineeringan 80-yard drive that culminated in Medlock's 21-yard kick.
Oklahoma State went up 21-14 on Greg Jones' 13-yard scoring run midwaythrough the second quarter. The drive began after Paul Duren recovered MauriceDrew's fumble at the OSU 19-yard line.
The Bruins led briefly when White scored for the second time in the openingquarter, on a 2-yard run late in the period.
The Cowboys came back to even it 14-14 when Morency bulled over from the1-yard line early in the second quarter.
Morency scored on his 22-yard run on the Cowboys' first possession of theafternoon. The Bruins took the opening kickoff and were driving, but CraigBragg fumbled after a reception and Robert Jones recovered to give the Cowboysthe ball at their own 37.
In the only previous meeting, UCLA was a 38-24 winner at Stillwater in2002.