Upon further review, Cougars can't get a break
Washington State loses lead, and game, to UCLA
PASADENA, Calif. — Leads have been few for Washington State recently.
When you've won four games in the past two-plus football seasons, lost 11 consecutive Pac-10 Conference games and go about a year without scoring a first-quarter touchdown, it's understandable.
But something different happened Saturday afternoon before 62,072 in the Rose Bowl, though it wasn't the outcome. UCLA scored 14 fourth-quarter points and held off WSU, 42-28, to drop WSU's record to 1-4, 0-2 in Pac-10 play.
No, what was different was the Cougars led in the second half, once by eight points, and — with 14 minutes, 8 seconds left to play — by six on Jeff Tuel's 1-yard bootleg run.
Then they didn't.
After attempting, and missing, an extra point following Tuel's run, the Cougars headed to the sideline. Referee Larry Farina followed, where he put on his headset and talked with the replay booth. About a minute later the headset came off and Farina addressed the crowd, which was waiting for the kickoff.
The touchdown had been reviewed. Tuel's knee was down 2 feet from the end zone. Third-and-goal.
"All they said was the guy in the booth pushed the button as the (extra-point) ball was being snapped," WSU coach Paul Wulff said, though there was no stoppage of play.
But it certainly seemed to stop WSU's momentum.
"Adversity is something this ballclub is pretty used to," professed Tuel, who had his second 300-yard passing game. "We didn't put our heads down and say 'Oh, crap.' We were actually positive, (saying) 'Hey, we could make the extra point this time.' "
They never got the opportunity.
Tuel rolled left, was pressured and had to throw quickly, sailing it over Jared Karstetter's head. On fourth down, he gave the ball to James Montgomery, who had already bulled his way into the end zone twice, and the senior tried the right side. Cornerback Aaron Hester avoided a block, forced Montgomery inside and, with help, wrapped him up about 6 inches short.
"That was the game right there," said center Zack Williams. "That would have (made) a statement if we would have gotten in there."
"It's going to haunt me," said Montgomery.
No lead, no ball and, in about two minutes, no chance.
"We had the ball on the 1-foot line," Wulff said of his decision to disdain a go-ahead field-goal attempt. "Worst-case scenario, if we didn't get it, they had to go 99 yards."
The worst-case scenario came true. UCLA's big back, 6-foot, 231-pound Derrick Coleman, popped free off left tackle on third-and-one from the 10 and rumbled 73 yards — a career long by 29 yards — before Nolan Washington chased him down.
After Coleman went to the bench for some oxygen, Franklin gashed a tired WSU defense three times, getting the ball to the 1. From there, quarterback Richard Brehaut, making his first collegiate start in place of injured Kevin Prince, faked the ball to Franklin and virtually walked around left end for the go-ahead score.
"That's tough to swallow," said safety Tyree Toomer. "It was all on the defense, that's what you live for. And we let them score — twice."
When the Bruins (3-2, 1-1) got the ball back, they went 72 yards on eight plays, all runs from either Franklin or Coleman, took 4:21 off the clock and clinched it with Coleman's 4-yard run.
Franklin (a career-high 216 yards on 30 carries) and Coleman (a career-high 185 on 15) powered the UCLA to 437 rushing yards.
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