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Tale of Bruin QBs

Of course the easy storyline for this week is Drew v. Matt in a showdown between UCLA quarterbacks (current v. former), who came into Westwood as freshmen and were even room-mates in their first season (here is the ESPN story on it). But on this Friday, there is another UCLA QB (well legend is a better word for the BruinsNation) is on my mind after seeing some posts on Bruin message boards.

Yes, I don't usually browse through the message boards as much I used to back in the day. It mostly seems like a total waste of time. And, if you need any confirmation (or just how to cope with those stale/predictable message boards) just read this.

Anywyas, this week while browsing over some threads, I found some gems comparing Drew Olson to no. 18., Cade McNown, the greatest quarterback ever to put on a UCLA uniform (settle down Aikman lovers, I am just talking about college game here, I couldn't care less what did they do in their professional career).  Anyways, lot of these bandwagon Drew Olson supporters, who interestingly before the season were down on Olson's abilities as a convenient excuse for why it was unfair to expect 9-10 wins from this Dorrell team, are now saying DO is OMG like the BESTEST UCLA QB ever! lol

Yes they point to the stats. through first 6 games. Here they are:

(First 6 games) Att-Cmp-Int   Pct  Yds  TD Avg/G
(Cade in 98): 176-97-5 54% 1607 12 267.8
(Drew in 05): 198-133-3 67% 1612  15  268.7

Cade had 2 rushing TDs (including a 57 yard rushing game against Cal). Drew has had 1.

Taken from Cade's fan page (he still has some left) and the official UCLA site.

Yes, one can make the assertion that statistically, Drew has had a better first half than Cade, but just based on to say that Drew is better or comparable to Cade, well ... is just absurd.  Here are few things to consider:

Drew this season came under the radar.  No one was paying any attention to him. Cade on the other hand, came into the 1998 season, as one of the pre-season Heisman favorites, thrusted into the spotlight in very first game, against the eventual Heisman winner - Yoga Boy - Ricky Williams. Cade outperformed him. Cade went on to basically carry the team in next 5 games, pulling out an incredible win over Oregon at home, beating a very good Arizona team on the road:

Photo credit: Athlon Sports

And, of course how can any one forget the SI spread, in which Cade was puking his gut out. No. 18, willing the Bruins to a win over Smelloti's Quacks at the Rose Bowl, even though he was playing with a high fever, and literally sick to his stomach.  Cade was a warrior. Period.

Anyways, in comparison, Drew has beaten a good team in Cal, a mediocre one in Oklahoma, and a great road win over Washington State, who always plays us tough.

But it's lot more than that.  Cade was a warrior.  He brought lot more to the team than just throwing TD.  Cade was a dangerous QB because of his running ability (as evidenced in his 57 yard rushing against Cal). There was an aura about him, in that we all knew while watching him that he was not going to let us lose. And that "aura" (or you can call it legend) was created, after the incredible 17 point comeback win against those thugs from South Central (Lavelle Woods is my hero) in his last game of sophomore season. Ever since that SC game of 96, Cade played with an invincible aura in Westwood, which couldn't be measured by passing and rushing stats.

Drew has had a great season so far. And, we are keeping our fingers crossed that he will keep this up and evolve into something special like Cade had already evoled into his third year in Westwood. But to be even mentioned in the same breath as no. 18, Drew still has to take few more steps. Leading UCLA to a 10 win season, including a win on December 3rd, would go a long way in accomplishing that feat (Cade got that done in his third season, and ended up doing it twice). I only wish Drew luck. And, I am rooting for him, because back in the day when all those Olson v. Moore war were breaking out on the Bruin message boards, I was pulling for Olson. I never liked Moore. Now nothing would make me happier if Drew can take his place next to no. 18. As mentioned, above he still needs to do few more things (10 wins/beat SC), before people can proclaim no. 14 as the second coming of no. 18.

Go Bruins.