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UCLA ends three-game losing streak with last-second kick against Oregon State

Heralded kicker Kai Forbath, who had missed two earlier attempts, boots a 51-yard field goal on the game's last play for a 17-14 victory over the Beavers.

November 06, 2010|By Chris Foster

UCLA kicker Kai Forbath lacked only one item on his college resume — a game-winning field goal.

He shanked that opportunity in the final minutes Saturday, only to get a do-over.

Then Forbath, who missed from 46 yards with 1 minute 17 seconds left, nailed a 51-yard kick with no time remaining to remind the Bruins what it felt like to win a game.

The 17-14 victory over Oregon State wasn't glamorous. UCLA's offense was downright prehistoric at times. The Bruins needed a replay review to get one second put back on the clock, which the officials ruled had expired after a UCLA completion at the end of the fourth quarter.

But after the low-trajectory kick split the uprights, and Forbath was swallowed by a powder-blue mass, the Bruins could exhale.

"I have always wanted one of those," said Forbath, who decided against the NFL draft to come back for his senior year. "I wasn't sure I was ever going to get one. That was the perfect opportunity."

But Forbath, who missed from 49 yards in the first half, was thinking beyond a personal agenda.

"Hopefully, this will give us momentum," he said.

Anything that doesn't involve moping their way to the locker room postgame is huge momentum.

The Bruins (4-5 overall, 2-4 in Pacific 10 Conference play) had lost three in a row, giving up more than 500 yards in each of the previous two games.

Forbath's kick kept afloat the possibility of a bowl game, if UCLA can win two of its last three games.

It was possible because of a frantic final drive. The Bruins took over at their 17-yard line with 48 seconds left. Quarterback Richard Brehaut inched them down the field, but the game appeared headed to overtime when wide receiver Randall Carroll stepped out of bounds after a 12-yard reception and the clock read 0:00.

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel asked for a review and referees determined Carroll had stepped out just before time expired. Forbath had been watching the whole scene.

"I just kept warming up," he said. "You can't worry about a miss. I just had to think about the next opportunity."

He got it.

"Death, taxes and Forbath," Neuheisel said.

The Bruins can now remain relentlessly optimistic about claiming progress this season.

"We are athletes, we're competitors," defensive lineman David Carter said. "We need to get that extra game. That's what we do, we love to play football. We're here to get to a bowl game. We're not just here to go, 'Oh, we're 4-5, oh well.' We we're hungry."

The Bruins didn't exactly feast on Oregon State (3-2, 4-4). But they nibbled.

The offense had a turn-back-the-clock afternoon on the last day of daylight savings time. The Bruins ran 74 plays, 55 of them on the ground. Johnathan Franklin had 100 yards rushing, but it was Brehaut's 61 that mattered more.

Brehaut put some powder in the Bruins' "pistol" offense. He had kept the ball on running plays only seven times.

"The quarterback has to run in this offense," Brehaut said.

Brehaut had 45 yards rushing on the game's first drive. He scored on a seven-yard run to get UCLA off on the right foot.

The Bruins tied the score, 14-14, in the third quarter with a 20-play touchdown drive, 14 of which were runs. Franklin dived into the end zone from two yards out.

"You do what you need to do to be successful," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said about the conservative approach.

The defense benefited from it, holding Oregon State to 267 yards. UCLA came in ranked 108th nationally against the run. Jacquizz Rodgers, who was 14th in the nation in rushing, got only 63 yards.

The rest was left to Forbath.

"We lost a close one [to Arizona] last week," linebacker Sean Westgate said. "It's painful, it hurts. You can either die from it or bounce back."

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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