STANFORD — Gaston Green became UCLA's all-time leading rusher on a 91-yard touchdown run, breezing away from the sweating, panting Stanford defenders who had no shot at him, even with a head start and an angle.
It was no contest.
And it was like that all day as UCLA dazzled the frazzled Cardinal players who watched as the Bruins not only dominated but also came up on the lucky end of a series of fluke plays.
The combination was devastating.
UCLA remained undefeated in the Pac-10 by routing Stanford, 49-0, at Stanford Stadium Saturday in a game that was even more one-sided than the score would indicate.
While Stanford was casting about for a quarterback who could come up with a first down, UCLA was running wild, scoring on runs, passes, field goals, interception returns--even on a safety.
It was almost laughable, but no one was laughing. The Stanford fans among the estimated crowd of 57,500 seemed stunned, while the Bruin fans were ecstatic, finally coaxing the players over to take part in a U-C-L-A eight-count cheer before they left the field.
The players were all wrapped up in Green's record, chanting, "Gas-ton, Gas-ton, Gas-ton" in the locker room until he could break away from the TV cameras and join them for a raucous cheer.
Green, in just 14 carries, ran up 139 yards for a career total of 3,217 that moved him past Freeman McNeil's record of 3,195. His 615 career carries is also a school record, but he needs one more touchdown to tie the school record of 35.
"I'm glad I finally got the record and got it out of the way," Green said. "It's been on my mind for the last few games."
Bruin linebacker Ken Norton Jr. said it was on everybody's mind. "We were all pushing for him to get the record today," Norton said. "We knew he needed 118 and that he could get it. We wanted it to be today on TV. That was good for him, and we all feel real close to him."
It was Green's 17th game of 100 yards or more, which tied McNeil's record.
Green also caught 4 passes for 78 yards as the Bruins frustrated the Cardinal defense in every way imaginable.
UCLA rolled up 564 yards to 146 for Stanford. And UCLA tied the national record (held by USC) by scoring in its 186th straight game.
In recording their second shutout of the season, the Bruin defense held Stanford to just 21 yards rushing.
Now, that was with Stanford's star running back, Brad Muster, out with a third recurrence of his ankle injury. Asked how much difference he thought Muster would have made in the game, Stanford Coach Jack Elway answered: "None."
No doubt he was right about that. One more running back wouldn't have helped much against the legions of Bruins.
UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman completed 12 of 15 passes for 187 yards (with his first interception in five games) but he spent about half of the time on the bench.
Quarterback Brendan McCracken, who came in along with the entire second unit with just under two minutes to play in the first quarter, said the decision to use reserves early was part of the game plan.
"They told us before the game we would do that, and I was glad to hear it," McCracken said. "You feel more like you're contributing when you play early like that.
"I think it was important, because it was really hot out there, and the first team needed the break."
McCracken was perspiring as he said that.
The official temperature at game time was 80 degrees, but it seemed a lot hotter on the field.
When McCracken and Co. took the field, the score was 6-0, and Aikman had just thrown his interception, a ball that Aikman said was "stupid and thrown too late." If it hadn't been picked off by Stanford safety Brad Humphreys, it would have been a touchdown catch by Flipper Anderson.
But Donahue said the interception had nothing to do with the call for McCracken. "That was suggested by our offensive coaches," Donahue said. "(Line coach) Don Riley was on the field, and he agreed that we needed to get some fresh players in there. I thought, at that point, that Stanford's defensive line was looking quicker than we were, and we were looking tired."
But it was the Stanford players who were worn down. "We just had an absolutely terrible, terrible day on offense," Elway said.
Stanford started freshman quarterback Scott Stark, a second-year player out of Capistrano Valley in Mission Viejo. It was a nightmare of a debut.
By the end of the first half, Elway had gone back to Greg Ennis, the quarterback who had started the first three games for the Cardinal.
Before Ennis could get anything going, UCLA had Stanford in such a hole there was no way out.
The Bruins put the game out of reach with three quick touchdowns in the first five minutes of the second half.
On the fourth play of the second half, Aikman hit flanker Paco Craig on a 40-yard touchdown pass play.
Three plays later, Bruin linebacker Ben Hummel picked a ball out of the air--the result of defensive tackle Jim Wahler swinging Ennis around by the back of the jersey--and he carried it nine yards for another touchdown.