UCLA Bruins: A Look Back at the Top Five QB Seasons for the Bruins Since 2000

Jeremy LinebagerContributor ISeptember 2, 2011

UCLA Bruins: A Look Back at the Top Five QB Seasons for the Bruins Since 2000

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    With no clear winner of the QB job to start the season, UCLA's quarterback competition is far from settled. What does seem to be clear though, is that neither Kevin Prince nor his backup Richard Brehaut is expected to put up big numbers this year. UCLA will be almost exclusively running the pistol offense, which will maximize their backfield depth.

    Let's take a look back at the top five QB seasons by a Bruin since 2000.

5. 2006 Patrick Cowan, Sophmore

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    2006 Stats:

    Completions - 145

    Attempts - 276 (52.5%)

    Yards - 1,782

    TD/INT - 11/9

    Player Efficiency Rating (NCAA's equivalent to QB Rating) - 113.4

    Best Game - 20 for 29, 201 yards, 2 TDs / 27-7 W vs. Arizona

    Cowan, who wasn't named the starter coming into the season, was put on center stage due to injuries to Ben Olsen. Cowan helped lead the Bruins to a 7-6 record which was capped by the most unlikely of upsets against number two ranked USC on the last game of the regular season.

4. 2002 Cory Paus, Senior

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    2002 Stats:

    Completions - 109

    Attempts - 184 (59.2%)

    Yards - 1,647

    TD/INT - 10/6

    P.E.R - 145.8

    Best Game - 24 for 32, 378 yards, 1 TD / 43-35 W vs. Oregon State

    Paus, who suffered a separated shoulder against Cal, helped guide the Bruins to a 7-5 record in Bob Toledo's final season as Head Coach

3. 2000 Cory Paus, Sophmore

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    2000 Stats:

    Completions - 126

    Attempts - 226 (55.8%)

    Yards - 2007

    TD/INT - 16/9

    P.E.R - 145.7

    Best Game - 16 for 27, 328 yards, 3 TDs / 2 INTs / 37-35 W vs. Stanford

    This proved to be the Bruins' last win of the year as they dropped the final two regular season games and lost in the Sun Bowl to Wisconsin.

    2000 was the 2nd season under center for Paus, who was the last 4-year starter at QB for the Bruins. UCLA posted a 6-6 record and averaged nearly 30 points per game.

2. 2004 Drew Olson, Junior

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    2004 Stats:

    Completions - 196

    Attempts - 341 (57.5%)

    Yards - 2,565

    TD/INT - 20/13

    P.E.R - 132.4

    Best Game - 17 for 25, 234 yards, 4 TDs / 37-17. Olson hooked up with Tight End Mercedes Lewis for three scores.

    Though UCLA finished with a disappointing 6-6 record, losing 5 of their last 7 contests, it was in 2004 that Olson laid the groundwork for a breakout senior season.

1. 2005 Drew Olson, Senior

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    2005 Stats:

    Completions - 242

    Attempts - 378 (64%)

    Yards - 3,198

    TD/INT - 34/6

    P.E.R - 161.6

    Best Game - 22 for 27, 510 yards 5 TDs / 45-35 W vs. Arizona St.

    In a showdown against highly touted QB Rudy Carpenter, Olson was brilliant from the onset, connecting with Joe Cowan on the first play from scrimmage for a 91-yard touchdown. By the end of the game Olson had thrown completions to nine different receivers, and after the score was knotted at 28 by halftime, Olson threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter that helped seal the fate of the Sun Devils.

    2005 was easily the Bruins' most successful season since 2000. The team went to finish with a 10-2 overall record. Olson finished 2nd in the country in touchdown passes. The Bruins were loaded with talent and had two players (Mercedes Lewis, and Maurice Drew) named consensus 1st Team All Americans. That with Olson's strong performance made UCLA one of the most dangerous teams in the country. The Bruins were ranked as high as 7th in the nation at one point and averaged a whopping 39 points per game.

    The Bruins are not expected to air it out like in years past, so here's hoping that they have plenty of ammo in that pistol offense. Go Bruins!