UCLA ends six-game losing streak at Illinois' expense

Sunday, September 12, 2004

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- UCLA coach Karl Dorrell says any win is gratifying. His quarterback, Drew Olson, says winning on the road is especially so.

"It's good to come into somebody else's house and put 35 on them," Olson said after throwing three touchdown passes in the Bruins' 35-17 win over Illinois Saturday. "It's a big confidence booster for us."

The victory snapped UCLA's six-game losing streak that dated back to last November. The offense put up 481 yards, the defense took the ball away from Illinois three times and special teams blocked a field goal and deflected a punt.

Olson was 14 of 21 for 208 yards, including TD tosses of 41 and 14 yards to Craig Bragg and 15 yards to Marcedes Lewis. Maurice Drew rushed for 142 yards and Manuel White ran for 97 for the Bruins (1-1).

Illinois (1-1) played the second half without senior quarterback Jon Beutjer, who was hit hard as he attempted a pass with nine seconds left in the half.

"He took a shot to the sternum area, so we don't know if it's the ribs or sternum or what," Illinois coach Ron Turner said after the game. Beutjer's status for next Saturday's game against Western Michigan was unclear, he said.

Backup Brad Bower, a redshirt freshman, was 11-of-15 for 102 yards. He also ran for 39 yards, including one 14-yard scramble, leading the Illini to 10 second-half points.

"I liked the poise he had," Turner said. "Obviously he's a great runner. We'll do things to take advantage of that."

Three turnovers hurt Illinois. The Bruins, who had turned the ball over four times themselves a week ago, converted a fumble and an interception into touchdowns.

Beutjer was 12-of-22 for 146 yards before he was hurt.

E.B. Halsey rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown.

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