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Bruins' Small Achievement Is Short-Lived : UCLA: Arizona falls behind briefly, then pulls away to hand Donahue's team its sixth loss in a row, 34-24.

October 23, 1994|JIM HODGES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TUCSON — It had been so long--5 hours 38 minutes 18 seconds of game time. Long enough to fly to New York into a head wind. Almost two nights of prime time. Time enough to watch almost three innings of Ken Burns' "Baseball."

Longer than any UCLA coach has slept in a night since the Bruins last held a lead, five weeks ago.

Saturday, with 6:42 to play in the third quarter, Daron Washington scored from the one-yard line. The Bruins had a 17-14 lead and the 22-quarter streak was broken.

However, another started 5:36 later, when Arizona's Dan White threw to Lamar Harris for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats back in control.

A more important streak is intact. UCLA lost its sixth game in a row, 34-24, before 58,817, a record for 65-year-old Arizona Stadium.

A loss to Stanford next Saturday in the Rose Bowl would tie the school record for futility: seven losses in a row, set in 1940 and tied in 1943.

"We got the lead and it felt good," Bruin quarterback Wayne Cook said. "When you have positive things happen, people feed off that. Too bad we didn't keep it."

UCLA lost it because Arizona fed off the Bruin secondary, with White completing 14 of 21 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Ten of the completions and both of the touchdown passes came on third-down plays.

"We tried all-out blitzes with man-to-man coverages, four-man rushes with two-deep zones and four-man rushes with straight-across zone," said Bob Field, UCLA's defensive coordinator. "I don't know any other way to defend against them."

Nothing worked.

"We were playing zone, we were playing man, we were blitzing, we were doing everything we could," UCLA Coach Terry Donahue said. "Their quarterback did a good job of keeping his poise and getting the ball up in the air.

"If we had defended on third down, it might have been closer, but we couldn't control them on third down."

Much of the reason for that was Richard Dice's work against UCLA's diminutive cornerbacks, Teddy Lawrence and Javelin Guidry. Dice is 6 feet 2, Lawrence and Guidry about 5-9 each, and the mismatch was apparent in the second quarter when Arizona took a 14-7 lead after White went to Dice on an eight-yard scoring play against Lawrence.

"I just didn't cover well," Lawrence said. "He's big, and I'm at a disadvantage, but I needed to make that play. If I had covered well all day, we might have won."

Dice caught six passes for 138 yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter because of a bruised knee. Five of the six catches--including one play of 61 yards--came on third down and all six got first downs for Arizona.

Still, the Bruins, playing better than they had since winning their second game of the season, against Southern Methodist, came back.

Bjorn Merten cut the Wildcats' lead to 14-10 with a 19-yard field goal as the first half ended. UCLA drove 49 yards to Washington's touchdown and a 17-14 lead in the third quarter, with most of the yardage coming on Cook-to-Kevin Jordan passes. They hooked up three times on passes of 19, 12 and six yards to the Arizona six, and Washington scored three plays later.

The Bruins (2-6, 0-5 in the Pacific 10) couldn't keep it because 14th-ranked Arizona (6-1, 4-0) showed why it is in control of the Rose Bowl race.

The Wildcats drove 64 yards in 11 plays, two of them White-to-Dice connections of 13 and 20 yards, the latter on third down, again against Lawrence.

White's touchdown pass to Harris covered 14 yards and gave Arizona a 21-17 lead, which it opened to 24-17 in the fourth quarter on Steve McLaughlin's 44-yard field goal.

"We answered their lead," Arizona Coach Dick Tomey said. "That was the most positive aspect of the game. It was a tough game, even with the first-place team playing the last."

It got tougher quickly for UCLA, which was trying to tie the score early in the final quarter. After two first downs put the ball on the Bruin 47, Cook was sacked by Joe Salave'a and fumbled, with UCLA's Chad Sauter falling on the ball for an 18-yard loss.

An incomplete pass later, Cook faced third and 28, going to Avery Anderson for an 11-yard gain. Salave'a hit Anderson, with the fumble squirting to Spencer Wray, who returned it 15 yards to the UCLA 26.

McLaughlin's 24-yard field goal gave Arizona a 27-17 lead and Ontiwaun Carter's second touchdown, on a one-yard run, closed the Wildcat scoring. Carter rushed for 164 yards.

"They were fighting, but I think the (Anderson) turnover put a stake in their heart," said Wildcat defensive end Tedy Bruschi, who broke up two passes at the line of scrimmage and occupied Bruin blockers enough for teammates to sack Cook three times. He sacked himself twice, falling over the feet of offensive linemen, and the five sacks totaled 42 yards.

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