Olson Leads No. 14 UCLA to 45-17 Victory Over Stanford
Sept. 1, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Ben Olson helped UCLA spoil Jim Harbaugh's debut at Stanford.
Olson threw five touchdown passes and Kahlil Bell ran for a career-high 195 yards to lead the 14th-ranked Bruins to a 45-17 victory Saturday in Harbaugh's first game as the Cardinal coach.
Olson's cool efficiency in his return to the starting lineup and 20 returning starters for the Bruins (1-0, 1-0 Pac-10) were too much for the emotion-fueled Cardinal (0-1, 0-1), who tried to match the high energy level of their new head coach.
Olson came through with the big plays throughout and the Bruins lived up to their highest preseason ranking since 1998. His 77-yard touchdown pass to Joe Cowan gave the Bruins a 28-10 lead with 4:49 to go in the third quarter. He added a 15-yard score in the fourth quarter to Brandon Breazell, who had six catches for 111 yards.
Olson started the first five games last season before being sidelined with a left knee injury against Arizona. He returned to practice a month later but remained the backup to Patrick Cowan for the final four games. Olson won the starting job in training camp and showed he has no intentions of giving it up soon.
Olson finished 16-for-29 for 286 yards as UCLA won in its first season opener against a conference opponent since 1997.
Stanford senior T.C. Ostrander, beginning the season as the starter for the first time in his career, was 27-for-59 for 331 yards and two touchdowns, including a 70-yarder to Richard Sherman in the fourth quarter.
The Harbaugh era got off to an inauspicious start when Ostrander was stripped on a sack by a blitzing Trey Brown on the third play of the game, giving UCLA the ball at the Cardinal 12 after Bruce Davis' recovery.
Stanford's defense held the Bruins and Kai Forbath missed a 28-yard field goal to keep the game scoreless. But the Cardinal could not shut down the Bruins for long.
An 11-yard punt by Jay Ottovegio gave UCLA the ball on its own 40 midway through the first quarter. Four plays later, Breazell made a leaping 19-yard touchdown grab over Tim Sims to give UCLA the lead.
Sims was victimized again early in the second quarter, when Gavin Ketchum beat him for a 6-yard score that was set up by Bell's 59-yard run.
While the Cardinal played with more enthusiasm than last year, the offense didn't show much more effectiveness until Ostrander led the team on an 80-yard drive in the final minutes of the opening half. He went 4-for-6 for 45 yards on the drive, capping it with a 9-yard score to Jim Dray.