YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Bruins Taking Gutty Approach : UCLA: Donahue looking for repeat of 1990 upset of Washington.


SEATTLE — If you buy the idea that history repeats itself, Terry Donahue is selling. The UCLA coach's pitch today will revolve around a game in 1990, when the Bruins were heavy underdogs, going nowhere and playing a national power.

It was a banged-up Bruin team, with its starting defensive line at home nursing injuries, and Washington was No. 2 in the country, having lost only once.

It was the last time UCLA played in Seattle, and with 10 seconds to play, Brad Daluiso kicked a 43-yard field goal in the rain.

UCLA 25, Washington 22.

"We played the second-string defensive line all day, and they did very well," Donahue recalled. "This year, we've got three of our five offensive linemen down. But there's a difference. These offensive linemen are real young kids. That defensive line wasn't that young."

This offensive line has two redshirt freshman starters in left guard Chad Sauter and right tackle Chad Overhauser. It has seldom-used junior Mike Rohme at right guard. Only left tackle Jonathan Ogden and center Mike Flanagan remain from the line that started the season's first two games.

Still, there is the memory.

Jim Lambright has it too.

"I remember getting beat and being extremely disappointed as I walked off the field," said the Washington coach, who was an assistant in 1990. He particularly recalls the Seattle crowd, whose stunned silence grew into boos because of the Huskies' performance.

And his memory is even more vivid of a game last season, when Washington rolled up a 15-0 lead, then lost to the Bruins, 39-25, when Wayne Cook and J.J. Stokes hooked up for four touchdown passes.

Stokes won't be here today. He stayed home because of a leg injury. So it remains for Cook to find other receivers, notably Kevin Jordan, who has caught 28 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns.

But who else?

Cook is locking in on Jordan, and defenses are picking that up.

"I think he's got confidence in him, and I don't blame him," Donahue said. "The quarterback wants to make plays. He wants to make things happen, and the only wide receiver on the field who's doing that now is Kevin Jordan."

Cook's counterpart, Washington's Damon Huard, is still struggling with interceptions. He has thrown five in three games after having thrown 10 last season. But Huard excelled a week ago when he passed for 217 yards, including a 75-yard screen play to fullback Richard Thomas for a touchdown in a 38-20 victory over Miami that ended the Hurricanes' record 58-game home winning streak.

He's even running into better luck. Reserve tackle Bob Sapp recovered Huard's fumble in the end zone for a touchdown against Miami.

But think Washington (2-1, 0-1 in the Pacific 10) and you think Napoleon Kaufman, the Pac-10's ultimate weapon. Kaufman, who lines up at tailback, split back and occasionally wide receiver, also returns punts and kickoffs and has 624 total yards, including 443 rushing.

"He's one of those guys who, every time he gets his hands on the ball, you hold your breath until he's on the ground," said Bob Field, UCLA's defensive coordinator.

Kaufman will be running against the Pac-10's last-place rushing defense. UCLA (2-2, 0-1) has given up 824 yards on the ground in four games, although that figure was inflated by the 484 yards gained by Nebraska two weeks ago.

The Bruins came up with a better defensive effort last week against Washington State, surrendering 249 total yards.

"There wasn't much to do but get better from the week before," Field said. "We went back to Nebraska and played a great team, but we made them a great team. We could have played them better than we did. It was an embarrassment to all of us."

The embarrassment last week was the offense, which listened to boos from a Rose Bowl crowd.

"We're coming off a game when we didn't score and that doesn't happen to us very often," Donahue said. "We've got to rebound."

That will require a stepped-up effort from a young offensive line that has to protect Cook.

"Washington is hot, very talented, extremely impressive," Donahue said. "It'll take a Herculean effort for us to go up there and compete and win the game."

It will take history repeating itself.

Said Donahue: "When you're an underdog and nobody thinks you have much of a chance, sometimes people rise to the occasion, come together and say, 'We're going to get some respect and prove to people that we're better than people think we are.' "

Today, he'll tell the Bruins a story about a 1990 team that did just that.


* Opponent: Washington Huskies.

* Site: Husky Stadium, Seattle.

* Time: 12:30 p.m.

* Records: UCLA 2-2, 0-1 in Pacific 10; Washington 2-1, 0-1.

* Radio: XTRA (690).

* TV: Channel 7.

Los Angeles Times Articles