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PAC 10 briefs

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 17, 2000


McCann leads UCLA comeback

PASADENA, Calif. -- UCLA coach Bob Toledo said he wasn't about to yank Ryan McCann again, no matter what happened.

It proved to be the right decision as the Bruins beat the No. 3 team in the country for the second time in three games.

Pulled after a subpar first half last weekend, McCann overcame a difficult opening 30 minutes to lead the Bruins to a 23-20 comeback victory against Michigan on Saturday.

McCann passed for 236 yards and two second-half touchdowns, including a 2-yarder to Ed Ieremia-Stansbury with 6:30 remaining to put the Bruins ahead for the first time.

"I think we proved we were the No. 1 team in the nation," said McCann, a third-year sophomore who completed 21 of 40 passes. "I don't know who else we can beat, or what else we can do.

"The first half, we were so close. The second half, we executed and showed everybody what we could do."

Toledo said he told McCann he was going to play until the outcome was decided.

"I told him, "This is your game to win, don't look behind you,' " Toledo said. "This game was for the program. If we were going to be among the elite teams in the country, we had to make a statement today. I think we made it."

The Bruins, who opened the season with a 35-24 victory against then-No. 3 Alabama on Sept. 2, moved 85 yards on seven plays to go ahead for the first time.

Holder Drew Bennett bobbled a low snap from center on the extra-point try, leaving UCLA with a three-point lead and opening the door for the Wolverines to tie with a field goal. Hayden Epstein, who had a tough time kicking all day, was wide left on a 24-yarder with 3:27 left.

Then, with 1:28 remaining and Michigan at the UCLA 25, John Navarre's pass across the middle was intercepted by Jason Stephens. The Bruins then ran out the clock.

"I was just playing my normal zone, and when I saw the ball coming, I was in disbelief," Stephens said. "The closer it got, the bigger it got. The minute I caught the ball, I started to cry."

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said the Wolverines had no excuses.

"We had the opportunities," Carr said. "They came up with the turnover at the end. I think McCann played extremely well."

OREGON 42, IDAHO 13: Joey Harrington threw four touchdowns and Maurice Morris ran for two as the Ducks rolled to their 16th consecutive home win.

WASH. STATE 38, UTAH 21: Jason Gesser passed for a career-high 211 yards and four touchdowns to lead the visiting Cougars.

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