Although undefeated and eighth-ranked UCLA trailed by double-digits in the fourth quarter of its last three games, teammates of senior quarterback Drew Olson say it is no surprise he led comebacks each time. The Bruins would like to avoid needing a repeat scenario today against Oregon State at the Rose Bowl, but there is plenty of confidence in Olson if one is needed. “He’s showing his true character,” UCLA strong safety Jarrad Page said. “Everybody was against his ability. And, yeah, everybody would think he could never do that. But we trusted him from day one when we started the season, and he’s just doing what we know he can do. Now, he’s one of those guys where you expect him to lead the comeback.” Olson, who had no four-quarter comebacks before this season, has done it with stellar play in the final 15 minutes. He completed 30 of 41 passes for 333 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in the fourth quarter against Washington, California and Washington State. “I’m so proud of him because nobody but us really knows how hard he worked in the offseason,” Bruins linebacker Justin London said. “He’s a very good friend of mine. Just to see him out here leading this football team is amazing. He’s come a long way. Everybody can see how far he’s come.” Easy, Haas: Beavers senior receiver Mike Haas leads the Pacific-10 Conference with 51 receptions and 848 yards, but it’s not speed or size that makes the 6-foot-1, 208-pound senior difficult to control. “He’s one of the top (receivers in the conference), and you tell that by the routes he runs,” UCLA cornerback Marcus Cassel said. “His routes are very precise. He can stop on a dime and make a cut.” UCLA may elect to get away from its zone defense to counter Haas. During defensive coordinator Larry Kerr’s first two seasons, UCLA was mostly a zone team. However, the Bruins are playing more man-to-man now. Kerr estimated UCLA played man defense “95 percent” of the second half at Washington State. “We’ve always been a good zone team and played a little bit of man behind it,” Kerr said. “This group, because of some things we tried to do in the run game, we’ve become more of a man team and mixed in some zone.” Welcome, Matt: The biggest curiosity about Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore’s transfer from UCLA in 2003 was the timing. He left during the season, weeks before the Bruins’ bowl game. “I would expect something like that to happen back then,” Page said. “That’s just the way our team was going back then. There are no hard feelings. It’s just going to be another football game.” Stat talk: OSU is 95th out of 117 Division I-A teams in rushing offense (106.8 yards per game), and UCLA is 114th in rushing defense (229.7). The Beavers are eighth in passing offense (321.8) while UCLA’s passing defense is 39th with a rating of 117.38. Meanwhile, UCLA’s passing offense is 23rd (274.5) and OSU’s passing efficiency defense is 98th at 141.11. The Bruins are sixth in scoring (43.3 points per game) and OSU is 102nd in scoring defense (33.2). Also, OSU has lost its last six games against top 10 teams, and last defeated a top-10 team on the road when it beat No. 2 Purdue 22-14 in 1967. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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