PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Patrick Cowan knew his moment would
come. Just not this soon.
Cowan took over for injured UCLA quarterback Ben Olson and threw
for two touchdowns, while Alterraun Verner returned an interception
89 yards for a score as the Bruins beat Arizona 27-7 Saturday.
"We had a very capable No. 2," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said.
"I tell Pat, 'You're only one play away from getting in."
Arizona also had to switch quarterbacks when Willie Tuitama was
knocked out of the game with a concussion in the second quarter.
Adam Austin, a senior seeing his first action of the season, took
over and had a respectable 15-for-30 for 192 yards passing.
Olson, a 23-year-old redshirt sophomore, sprained his left knee
with 6:47 to play in the first quarter when he took a hit after an
"It's unfortunate it had to happen like this," Cowan said.
"Once you get on the field there's no going back."
He took over for UCLA (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10) and completed the first
four passes of his college career, including the TD toss to Everett
for the first points of the game.
With just 65 yards rushing, the Bruins leaned heavily on Cowan's
untested arm. He completed eight of his first nine and went
20-for-29 for 201 yards in the game.
A sophomore who competed with Olson for the starting job before
the season began, Cowan made a single brief appearance last year
and had not attempted a pass until Saturday.
"You can tell the competition in camp paid off," Dorrell said.
"Pat played with a lot of confidence."
Cowan threw for most of his yardage in the second half but could
not lead the Bruins to the end zone.
Verner, UCLA's youngest player at 17 and one of its smallest at
161 pounds, took care of that.
Arizona trailed 20-7 at the UCLA 16 with 4:33 to play when
Verner picked off a short pass from Austin near the line of
scrimmage and had a clear path to the faraway goal line for a
touchdown that put the game away.
"After I caught the ball, there was a little shot of
adrenalin," Verner said. "Actually there was a lot of
Verner returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown in the
Bruins' season opener against Utah.
Austin had early success, leading the Wildcats (2-4, 0-3) on a
71-yard scoring drive, capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to
Michael Thomas to tie the game 7-7 with 8:41 to play in the first
"We have a luxury of having two quarterbacks," Arizona coach
Mike Stoops said. "Our quarterback position is not our problem."
Cowan and the Bruins answered immediately, with a 15-yard
touchdown pass to Matt Willis that completed a three-play, 49-yard
drive capped by the touchdown pass to Willis with 7:25 to play.
Justin Medlock kicked field goals of 33 and 39 yards for UCLA in
the third quarter.
The Bruin defense held Arizona to minus-13 yards rushing and
have allowed just one rushing touchdown all season.
They have held all five opponents under 300 yards of total
offense. Their opponents have averaged 221 yards of offense.
Arizona had 222.
"Our inability to rush is a major concern," Arizona coach Mike
Stoops said. "We will just keep huffing and puffing and hopefully
we will blow the door down."
UCLA now faces its toughest two-game stretch of the season,
possibly without Olson. But Cowan gave them no reason to fret, and
looked like he could win the job outright after some flat
performances from Olson.
"We're not thinking right away that there's a quarterback
controversy. If Ben's unable to play then we're ready," Dorrell
said. "We're fortunate to have both."
Olson sat on a locker room bench with crutches leaning on his
"I just hope I don't need surgery," Olson said. "It didn't
feel too good."
He has an MRI scheduled for Monday.
"I don't think my season's over at all," he said.