PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- The Washington State Cougars were an
unhappy group at halftime, figuring they hadn't played up to their
They did in the second half.
Alex Brink passed for 405 yards and three touchdowns, and the
Cougars dominated the final 30 minutes in beating UCLA 37-15
Saturday to snap the Bruins' 10-game winning streak at the Rose
"That's what we talked about, shutting them out in the second
half," WSU cornerback Tyron Brackenridge said. "And we skinned
them pretty well.
"We said, `Shut 'em out in the second half, and let's go
Brackenridge referred to the fact that the Cougars became bowl
eligible by winning their sixth game.
Brink completed 17-of-21 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns
in the first half, but the Cougars (6-3, 4-2 Pac-10) trailed 15-14
at the intermission. They outscored the Bruins 23-0 after that.
UCLA was held without a first down in the second half until
Patrick Cowan's 12-yard pass to Junior Taylor with 11½ minutes
remaining. The Bruins then moved to the WSU 17-yard line before an
interception by Brackenridge prompted many in the crowd of 53,058
at the Rose Bowl to head for the exits.
UCLA's Eric McNeal intercepted a pass 2 minutes later, but
fumbled during the return and WSU's Brandon Gibson recovered. The
Bruins were unable to pose a scoring threat after that.
"That wasn't anything close to the game I was expecting," UCLA
coach Karl Dorrell said. "We came in with a good plan but did not
execute very well on either side of the ball."
That was especially true in the second half, when the Cougars
had the ball for nearly 22 minutes while UCLA had it just over
"We knew we had the capability to do that," Brink said
regarding the second-half domination.
Overall, WSU had the ball 36:59 to UCLA's 23:01.
By winning, the Cougars avenged a 44-41 overtime loss to the
Bruins last season. They led 21-0 and 28-7 before UCLA came back.
Washington State took a 20-15 lead late in the third quarter of
this game on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Brink to Gibson. The
Cougars' offense made sure they wouldn't blow their lead, scoring
on their next two possessions. And the WSU defense did the rest.
Brink completed 28 of 38 passes with two interceptions. He
passed for a career-high 531 yards against Oregon State last year.
Gibson had eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, and Jason
Hill made eight receptions for 115 yards and one score.
After the Cougars went ahead to stay, the Bruins failed on a
fourth-and-1 play at midfield. Brink threw a 34-yard pass to Hill
on the next play, setting up a 31-yard field goal by Romeen
Abdollmohammadi that made it 23-15.
DeMaundray Woolridge scored twice in the fourth quarter -- on a
4-yard run with 11:49 remaining and a 15-yarder with 49 seconds
left -- to complete the scoring.
UCLA (4-4, 2-3) was unsuccessful in trying to rebound from a
crushing 20-17 loss at No. 11 Notre Dame last weekend when the
Fighting Irish moved 80 yards on three plays to score the winning
touchdown with 27 seconds left.
Dorrell denied there was a hangover from that game.
"We weren't flat at the beginning," he said. "We played well
in the beginning. We have to get back to work and deal with all the
criticism and all the things that happened. We've got to play
better, coach better and make the right calls. It starts with me
and goes all the way down."
Cowan, making his third collegiate start, completed 17 of 37
passes for 252 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.
"It wasn't one of his better performances, that's for sure,"
Dorrell said. "It wasn't just him."
UCLA moved inside the WSU 20 twice in the first quarter, but had
to settle for field goals of 37 and 28 yards by Justin Medlock.
The Cougars had only one first down on their first two
possessions, but moved 90 and 98 yards on their next two to take a
14-6 lead, with Brink throwing touchdown passes of 6 yards to
Gibson and 17 yards to Hill.
The Bruins responded, getting a 38-yard field goal from Medlock
and a 36-yard scoring pass from Cowan to Taylor. A 2-point
conversion attempt following the touchdown failed.
WSU's Loren Langley missed a 37-yard field goal in the opening 5
minutes, and a 43-yarder with 8 seconds left before halftime. The
Cougars didn't do much wrong otherwise.
"It was a great effort all-around," WSU coach Bill Doba said,
adding he was surprised concerning the final margin. The 22-point
margin was UCLA's most lopsided loss to Washington State since
1936, when the Cougars beat the Bruins 32-7.