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Bruins' Paus can pass with the best of them

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2001

PASADENA, Calif. -- UCLA has a quarterback, too.

When California stacked its defense to stop DeShaun Foster on Saturday night, Cory Paus picked the Golden Bears apart, leading the fourth-ranked Bruins to a 56-17 victory before a Rose Bowl crowd of 65,366.

Paus, who entered the game ranked last among Pac-10 starting quarterbacks in passing yards per game (177.8), completed 13 of 16 for a season-high 273 yards and three touchdowns without being intercepted.

''Close to being perfect, I would have liked being perfect,'' said Paus, who came out of the game for good late in the third quarter. ''I'll take it, for sure.

''People forget we had some great passing games last year.''

That was a necessity. With an injury-plagued defense, the Bruins were often behind and needed to pass to catch up.

This season, the defense has allowed 77 points in six games (a 12.8-point average), and Foster is one of the nation's top running backs, causing coach Bob Toledo to take a different offensive approach.

After throwing an incompletion to start the game, Paus connected on his next 11 passes. He has now thrown 189 passes since his last interception.

''He's been very accurate for the most part,'' Toledo said of Paus, a junior who has completed 68 of his 122 passes for 1,162 yards and eight touchdowns and no interceptions this season. ''He's not getting us beat right now. He's doing a great job of orchestrating the offense.''

Foster, who entered the game as the country's leading rusher with a 162.6-yard average, gained 117 yards on 24 carries and caught two passes for 61 yards Saturday night.

Held to 38 yards on 12 carries in the first half, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior scored on runs of 1 and 6 yards and on a 34-yard pass from Paus.

Foster ran for a school-record 301 yards on 31 carries and scored four touchdowns in UCLA's 35-13 victory over Washington a week earlier.

''You saw the way they were playing defense -- nine guys in the box,'' Paus said. ''We're still going to run the ball. I'm just glad we were able to do some things we wanted to do.

''I really didn't do anything different. We had to do some things to change it, but they didn't loosen up like we expected.''

Paus also threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Smith and a 4-yarder to Ed Ieremia-Stansbury -- both in the third period.

The Bruins (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10) have outscored their six opponents 72-0 in the third quarter.

''They were packing the paint,'' Toledo said. ''For the most part, he made them pay for what they were trying to do. And they paid, dearly.''

Cal coach Tom Holmoe admitted the game plan was to control Foster.

''Our only way to beat UCLA was to hit DeShaun first,'' Holmoe said. ''We wore him down in the first half, but he just kept coming back. He is the best back in the country.

''In the first half, we went at them physically. We knew we could not out-finesse them. Basically in the second half, their skill level took over.''

The defeat was the ninth straight for Cal -- a school record. The Bears (0-6, 0-4) are off to the worst start in the program's 119-year history.

The Bears played without quarterback Kyle Boller, sidelined with a back injury. Boller, a junior who has made 24 career starts, led his team to wins over UCLA in each of the last two seasons.

Eric Holtfreter, making his first career start as Boller's replacement, completed 11 of 29 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown before being relieved early in the fourth quarter.

The Bruins now face the meat of their schedule, playing road games against No. 20 Stanford (4-1, 3-1) and No. 14 Washington State (7-0, 4-0) and a home game against No. 11 Oregon (6-1, 3-1).

Stanford rallied to beat Oregon 49-42 Saturday.

''We'll probably get into a shootout with Stanford,'' said Foster, who has gained 930 yards, an average of 155, on 167 carries. ''I'm looking forward to it.''



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