Dorrell tabs Ben Olson as UCLA's starting QB

Updated: August 21, 2006, 7:23 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- As expected, UCLA coach Karl Dorrell announced Monday that Ben Olson has beaten out Patrick Cowan and will start at quarterback for the Bruins on Sept. 2 when they open the season against Utah at the Rose Bowl.

Olson played briefly in relief of starter Drew Olson last season, completing 2-of-4 passes for 11 yards.

"I think everything considered, it was very good competition between both those guys," Dorrell said. "Pat did a nice job of developing and taking steps forward and pushing [Ben]. I told the quarterbacks my decision last night. Pat was disappointed, but I know he's a fighter and he'll be ready to go when his name is called upon if need be.

"We are fortunate to have two really good, solid quarterbacks. Unfortunately, you can only use one of them."

The 23-year-old Olson enrolled at UCLA last winter after transferring from BYU. He had been on a church mission for the previous two years after redshirting as a freshman in 2002.

Olson, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound sophomore, was one of the country's top recruits before deciding to attend BYU. The left-hander passed for 2,989 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior at Thousand Oaks High in 2001.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press