10:00 PM ET, September 9, 2006
Rose Bowl, PASADENA, CA
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Justin Medlock's foot kept UCLA ahead of Rice in a game that was more close than comfortable for the Bruins.
Medlock tied his career high with four field goals and UCLA displayed an improved ground attack in a 26-16 victory Saturday night.
"It was a tough win," Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said. "The offense wasn't getting enough touchdowns in the end zone. We're disappointed that we didn't play to our capabilities."
A week ago, Ben Olson passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns in his first college start against Utah. This time, he threw for two touchdowns and was 13-of-19 for 124 yards.
The rest of UCLA's offense came courtesy of Medlock.
His best effort was a 51-yarder in the third quarter that extended UCLA's lead to 16-3. It was the senior kicker's fifth career field goal of 50 yards or more, a school record.
The Bruins (2-0) racked up 401 yards of total offense, including 277 on the ground. Rice managed 184 total yards, with 131 coming in the air.
"We have to finish drives," Bell said. "The defense they ran allowed us to get down there, but they did a very good job of making us get three points instead of seven."
The Owls (0-2) lost for the 18th time in 19 games, and are 0-13 on the road since closing the 2003 season with a win at Louisiana Tech. Things only get tougher, too, with No. 2 Texas looming next week and No. 9 Florida State the week after.
But they were hardly down after their latest defeat.
"I saw something tonight that I didn't see last week. It was a confidence in them that excites me," first-year Rice coach Todd Graham said. "This team is dangerous. We're going to win a lot of games."
A year ago, UCLA routed the Owls by 42 points at the Rose Bowl.
This time, it was hardly a blowout.
The Bruins led 19-10 early in the fourth quarter on Medlock's 34-yard field goal.
Graham challenged the play, claiming Breazell had stepped out of bounds. After a 4½-minute review, with the announced crowd of 46,023 booing, referees ruled it good.
The Bruins needed the score because the Owls came right back.
Quinton Smith, who led Rice in rushing last season, charged down the Owls' sideline for a 48-yard touchdown with 5:38 remaining. The 2-point conversion failed.
The Owls tried on onside kick that also failed.
"We had all the momentum," Rice defensive back Ja'Corey Shepherd said. "We shut the Rose Bowl down. We had the Rose Bowl quiet."
UCLA was forced to punt for the only time in the game with 43 seconds remaining. Justin Hickman sacked Rice backup quarterback Joel Armstrong twice.
"That's a very inspired football team," Dorrell said. "That team is definitely on the way up in how hard they're playing and their attitude."
Rice's Smith carried 14 times for 76 yards and one touchdown. Jarett Dillard caught seven passes for a career-high 102 yards.
The Owls were hurt by 10 penalties for 90 yards, while the Bruins had five for 45 yards.
The Bruins led 6-0 on field goals of 32 and 37 yards by Medlock in the first quarter.
Dogged by defender Shepherd, Junior Taylor caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Olson that extended UCLA's lead to 13-0 early in the second quarter.
The Owls didn't have anything to show for their first three possessions. They lost the ball on a bad snap, went 3-and-out and were forced to punt after UCLA's first touchdown.
The Bruins turned the ball over on their next possession when Dietrich Davis recovered Olson's fumble, but Rice couldn't convert.
However, the Owls caught a break when Marcus Everett went back to receive Jared Scruggs' punt and fumbled it.
Will Moss recovered for Rice, which had first-and-goal at the 2-yard line. Smith dove up the middle for a 1-yard gain, but the Owls were penalized for a false start, which took them back to the 6. On the next play, Mike Falco got dropped by Davis for a 15-yard loss. Luke Juist's 38-yard field goal attempt missed.
Juist made up for the miss early in the third quarter, kicking a 45-yarder to get Rice on the board, 13-3.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-13||6-13|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||1-2|
|FG||8:04||JUSTIN MEDLOCK 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 51 yards.
|FG||3:02||JUSTIN MEDLOCK 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 0 yards.
|TD||14:08||JUNIOR TAYLOR 9 YD PASS FROM BEN OLSON (JUSTIN MEDLOCK KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 73 yards.
|FG||11:23||LUKE JUIST 45 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 14 yards.
|FG||8:53||JUSTIN MEDLOCK 51 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yards.
|TD||6:18||JARETT DILLARD 15 YD PASS FROM JOEL ARMSTRONG (CLARK FANGMEIER KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 78 yards.
|FG||13:32||JUSTIN MEDLOCK 34 YD FG|
Drive info: 8 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||8:19||BRANDON BREAZELL 18 YD PASS FROM BEN OLSON (JUSTIN MEDLOCK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||5:38||QUINTON SMITH 48 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT PASS)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 68 yards.