Olson sharp again as UCLA opens season 2-0

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

"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.

Chris Markey, UCLA's featured runner since Maurice Drew
graduated, had 23 carries for 208 yards. Kahlil Bell added 102
yards on 19 carries.

"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

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.

They extended the lead to 26-10 when Brandon Breazell hauled in
an 18-yard scoring pass from Olson in the back corner of the end
zone before being knocked down by defender Brandon King.

Graham challenged the play, claiming Breazell had stepped out of
bounds. After a 4-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

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.