This Week In UCLA Football
Sept. 13, 2004
KEY DATES TO REMEMBER --
Mon., Sept. 13 - Coach Dorrell Media Briefing (1:30 p.m.)
Tue., Sept. 14 - Coach Dorrell on Pac-10 Teleconference (10:30 a.m.); Last day to interview Bruin quarterbacks
Wed., Sept. 15 - Last day to interview UCLA players
Sat. Sept. 18 - UCLA at Washington on ABC (4:00 p.m. PDT)
-- UCLA will be on the road for Game No. 3 when it plays at Washington in the Pac-10 opener for both teams on Saturday, Sept. 18. The Bruins are 1-1, coming off a 35-17 victory at Illinois. The Huskies are 0-1, having lost to Fresno State on Sept. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PDT and will be televised on a regional basis by ABC Sports (Keith Jackson, Dan Fouts and Todd Harris).
XTRA Sports 690/1150 and the Bruin Radio Network broadcasts all of the Bruin games with Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens in the booth. Wayne Cook will work the sidelines. The game can also be heard nationally on Sirius Satellite Radio.
DID YOU KNOW? --
Craig Bragg has moved into second on UCLA's career reception list with 164. He needs just 16 to move to the top of the list. He has scored 20 career touchdowns and 11 have measured at least 40 yards. Already the only player to record two seasons of at least 50 receptions, Bragg will become the first Bruin ever to record three straight 1,000-plus all-purpose yardage seasons should he reach that level in 2004. Bragg had 1,388 yards last season and 1,194 yards in 2002.At the end of his first two seasons of play, linebacker Spencer Havner had totaled 178 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and six interceptions to rank with some of UCLA's best ever players.
Spencer Havner's 17 tackles against Illinois were the most by a Bruin since Robert Thomas made 18 at Washington State in 2001. He has made 33 tackles in the first two games of the 2004 season (16 vs. Oklahoma State, 17 at Illinois).
Justin Medlock's 52-yard field goal against Oklahoma State is the longest by a Bruin since 1997 and tied for fourth-longest in school history.
The 481 yards of total offense UCLA gained against Illinois is the highest total under head coach Karl Dorrell, bettering the previous high of 443 yards in this year's opener. Last year's high was 403 yards against Arizona State. The last time the Bruins totaled more yards was Oct. 5, 2002, when they piled up 625 yards at Oregon State. The last time the Bruins had at least 400 yards in back-to-back games was Oct. 5 and 12, 2002 (625 at Oregon State, 477 versus Oregon).
UCLA's 273 yards rushing at Illinois is its best effort since October 13, 2001, when it compiled 325 rushing yards against Washington (301 by DeShaun Foster).
The Bruins' five offensive touchdowns at Illinois were the most since Dec. 1, 2001, when the offense produced seven touchdowns against Arizona State.
UCLA has played 12 defensive linemen this season and all 12 saw action at Illinois.
Maurice Drew's all-purpose yardage total of 1,219 in 2003 was the most ever by a Bruin true freshman.
Marcedes Lewis' 30 catches in 2003 ranked among the best by a UCLA tight end since 1980. Only Mike Seidman, 41 in 2002, Charles Arbuckle, 33 in 1989 and Paul Bergmann, 44 in 1983 and 41 in 1982, have caught more balls in a season than Lewis.
UCLA has won its last three Pac-10 openers but is just 5-8 in the last 13 years. The Bruins are 1-0 under Karl Dorrell in league openers.
UCLA owns a 29-11 (.725) record in regular-season games played in the Rose Bowl since a loss to Tennessee in the home opener in 1997.
UCLA is the only school to produce five quarterbacks -- Troy Aikman, Steve Bono, Billy Kilmer, Tom Ramsey, Jay Schroeder -- to have played on a Super Bowl team.
Football stars Dennis Dummit (1969-70), Carlton Gray (1989-92) and James Owens (1975-78) will head a 2004 class of eight Bruins being inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame this Fall. Also in the class are Henry Bibby-basketball, Steve Lewis-track, Sigi Schmid-soccer, Fred Slaughter-basketball and Natalie Williams-volleyball / basketball. The inductees will be honored at halftime of the Arizona game on October 9.
This season marks the 50th anniversary of the Bruins' 1954 National Championship won under coach Red Sanders. UCLA compiled a perfect 9-0 record that season, including a 12-7 win over defending national champion Maryland in the Coliseum. The Bruins did not play in the Rose Bowl game following that magical season because of the 'no repeat' rule. The team was voted No. 1 on the United Press International Poll and shared the national championship with Rose Bowl winner Ohio State, the Associated Press champion. The 1954 team led the nation in scoring offense (40.8) and scoring defense (4.4). The team still holds the school records for fewest rushing yards allowed (659), total defense (1,708) and scoring defense (40). Its 40.8 scoring mark ranks second in school history. Jack Ellena, Jim Salsbury, Bob Davenport and Primo Villanueva all earned first-team All-America honors that season. Members of the national championship team will be honored during the weekend of the Homecoming game against Stanford on October 30.
The Bruins have now won their last four regular season matchups against Big 10 Conference opponents -- Illinois - 2004 and 2003, Ohio State - 2001, Michigan - 2000.The following players have changed numbers from those listed in last year's media guide --- safety Eric McNeal, now #2; wide receiver Tab Perry, now #3; fullback Steve Seigel, now #35; linebacker Aaron Whittington, now #42; defensive lineman Bruce Davis, now #44; defensive lineman Kevin Brown, now #75.
The following players have changed numbers from those listed in this year's media guide --- wide receiver Brandon Breazell, now # 1; safety Dennis Keyes, now #11; defensive back Rodney Van, now #12; wide receiver Michael Norris, now #22; defensive back Trey Brown, now #23; linebacker Mark Mangelsdorf, now #23; fullback Jimmy Stephens, now #45; offensive tackle Tony Lee, now #70.UCLA's 10 bowl wins in the last 22 years rank No. 1 in the Pac-10. Only seven schools (Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Penn State) have won more bowl games in that span.
During the last 22 years, UCLA has been ranked in the final Associated Press Top 25 on 11 occasions the most of any Pac-10 school (Washington and USC are second with 10).In the last 22 seasons (1982-2003), UCLA has more Top 10 rankings (seven) than any other Pac-10 school. In fact, only seven schools (Florida State, Nebraska, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma) have been ranked in the AP Top 10 more often than UCLA during this period.Starting Streaks -- Steven Vieira has started the last 31 straight games along the offensive line at either guard or tackle. Ed Blanton has started the last 15 games at tackle. Defensively, cornerback Matt Clark and linebacker Spencer Havner have each started the last 13 straight games.
Two Bruins on the 2004 roster are the sons of former Bruin football players -- DB Trey Brown (dad, Theotis, played running back from 1976-78 and rushed for 2,914 yards to rank No. 7 all-time at school); DL Bruce Davis (dad, Bruce, played offensive line from 1975-78 and went on to a long NFL career, winning two Super Bowl titles).
UCLA played five true freshmen, including returners Mil'Von James, Maurice Drew, Joe Cowan and Kevin Brown, in 2003. Ten true freshmen played in 2002. Thus far, a school-record 11 true freshmen have played in 2004. In this year's season opener against Oklahoma State, the Bruins played nine true freshmen and two more made their debut at Illinois.
Six Bruins made their first career starts in the opener against Oklahoma State -- junior Robert Cleary at weak guard; sophomore Justin Hickman and redshirt freshman Bruce Davis at defensive end; sophomore Robert Garcia at defensive tackle, sophomore Danny Nelson at linebacker and junior Marcus Cassel at cornerback. In addition, sophomore Kevin Brown made his first start on defense (tackle) after starting three times at offensive guard in 2003. Three more Bruins made their first career starts at Illinois -- true freshman Kenneth Lombard at defensive tackle; redshirt freshman Aaron Whittington at outside linebacker and sophomore Eric McNeal at strong safety. Lombard is the first true freshman defensive lineman to start a game since Ken Kocher and Anthony Fletcher started the 1999 Rose Bowl.
Eleven true freshmen have played for the Bruins this year. Nine made their debut against the Cowboys -- OL Brian Abraham; WR Brandon Breazell; DE Brigham Harwell; LB Fred Holmes; OL Chris Joseph; DT Kenneth Lombard; WR/DB Michael Norris; OL Shannon Tevaga; and CB Rodney Van. Two more played at Illinois -- WR Marcus Everett and RB Chris Markey.Ten redshirt freshmen saw their first career action in the season-opener -- CB Trey Brown; DL Bruce Davis; DL Nikola Dragovic; DB Chris Horton; DB Dennis Keyes; DB Olukayode Oredugba; FB Michael Pitre; DL William Snead; DL Noah Sutherland; and LB Aaron Whittington. Three junior college transfers also saw their first action in the Oklahoma State game -- DL Justin Hickman; DL Kyle Morgan; and LB Danny Nelson.
SERIES NOTES -- UCLA leads the series with Washington, 33-28-2. The Bruins have won the last three matchups in the series, including a 34-24 win in Seattle in Drew Olson's first game as a starting quarterback in 2002.
Last season, the Bruins recorded a 46-16 win over the Huskies in the Rose Bowl. UCLA spotted the Huskies a 13-0 lead before storming back and outscoring the visitors 39-0 over the final 30 minutes of the contest. The game turned around in the first seconds of the second half when Dave Ball sacked the Husky quarterback in the end zone and Rodney Leisle recovered for a touchdown. With 4:19 remaining in the third quarter, the Bruins took the lead for good on a Manuel White one-yard run.
Coaching Notes -- Bruin head coach Karl Dorrell spent the 1999 season at the University of Washington serving as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Tom Cable, a native of Snohomish, WA, spent six seasons at the University of California working under current Husky head coach Keith Gilbertson. Husky defensive coordinator Phil Snow filled the same role for two years at UCLA and UW receiver coach Steve Axman twice coached at UCLA.
LAST WEEK -- UCLA scored on each of its first two possessions to build a 14-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 35-17 victory at Illinois. The five touchdowns were the most scored by a Bruin offensive unit since the final game of the 2001 season.
UCLA built some early momentum when the defense stopped Illinois on a fourth-and-one at the four-yard line. The offense responded by driving 96 yards for a touchdown, the final 41 on a pass from Drew Olson to a diving Craig Bragg. After an Illini three-and-out, UCLA drove 65 yards to make the score 14-0 on Maurice Drew's 47-yard scoring run.
Illinois closed to within 14-7 early in the second quarter but with 3:58 remaining, Olson found Bragg alone in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown. The score stayed at 21-7 at halftime when Spencer Havner blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt on the half's final play.
UCLA made the score 28-7 on its first possession of the second half, driving 80 yards and scoring on a one-yard run by Manuel White. Illinois closed to 28-17 early in the fourth quarter and had the football but Chris Horton made an interception at the Illini 15-yard line. On the next play, Olson found Marcedes Lewis over the middle and he fought his way into the end zone to make the score 35-17.
On the afternoon, UCLA accumulated 481 yards of total offense (273 rushing, 208 passing), the most since 2002 (625 at Oregon State). Olson completed 14 of 21 passes for 208 yards and a career-best three touchdowns. Drew rushed for 142 yards, the second-highest total of his career, and one touchdown and Manuel White added 97 yards and one score. Lewis led the receivers with four receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown while Bragg had 73 yards and one touchdown on his three receptions. The offensive line of tackles Paul Mociler and Ed Blanton, guards Steven Vieira, Robert Cleary and Robert Chai and center Mike McCloskey helped the Bruins average 5.8 yards on the ground and 7.1 yards overall and did not allow a sack (one was originally recorded but the play was a broken running play, not a pass play).
Defensively, inside linebacker Spencer Havner again led the way with 17 tackles, the most by a Bruin since Robert Thomas made 18 at Washington State in 2001. He also blocked the third field goal of his career. Free safety Ben Emanuel and outside linebacker Aaron Whittington, making his first career start, each recorded eight tackles. Safety Chris Horton made seven tackles off the bench while cornerback Matt Clark added six stops.
The defense gave the Bruins early momentum with its fourth-down stop at the four-yard line on Illinois' opening drive and late in the game, the defense held on a fourth-and-one at the 10-yard line.UCLA blocked two kicks on special teams -- a punt by Benjamin Lorier and a field goal by Havner.
BRUIN HEAD COACH KARL DORRELL
-- Former Bruin wide receiver Karl Dorrell is in his second season as the 15th head coach in UCLA history. He returned to Westwood, where he played on teams that won five consecutive bowl games, after serving as an assistant coach at both the collegiate and professional levels. The Bruins qualified for their sixth bowl game in the past seven seasons in Dorrell's first season at the helm. His record is 7-8 overall, 4-4 in Pac-10 play.
Dorrell came to UCLA after working the previous three seasons for Mike Shanahan's Denver Broncos as an assistant coach in charge of wide receivers. Prior to his arrival in Denver, Dorrell coached 12 years on the collegiate level, including seven seasons as an offensive coordinator.
During his career as a collegiate player and coach, Dorrell has participated in 13 bowl games, including three Rose Bowls, two Fiesta Bowls and two Cotton Bowls. He played on teams that won three Pacific-10 titles and defeated USC four times in five seasons. His 108 receptions still rank in the all-time school career Top 10 (tied for 10th) and his receiving yards total of 1,517 yards ranks No. 13.
Dorrell's previous collegiate coaching experience includes six seasons at Colorado, two years at Northern Arizona, and one year each at UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and Central Florida. He earned his bachelor's degree from UCLA following the 1986 season and began his coaching career in the 1988 season as a graduate assistant.
He became receivers coach at Central Florida the next season and moved on to Northern Arizona for the 1990 and 1991 seasons as offensive coordinator and receivers coach. He then embarked on the first of two stints at Colorado. Dorrell served as receivers coach in the 1992-93 seasons. During that tenure, receivers Charles Johnson and Michael Westbrook, became just the fourth pair of wideouts on the same team in NCAA history to accumulate more than 1,000 yards in the same season.
Dorrell returned to the Pac-10 for the 1994 season as receivers coach at Arizona State before going back to Colorado for the 1995-98 campaigns as offensive coordinator and receivers coach. The Buffaloes won three bowl games in that four-year span and were victorious in 33 of 47 games. He spent the 1999 season at Washington, serving as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
The former Bruin then moved to the professional ranks and served as receiving coach with the Broncos from 2000 until the time he took the UCLA job on December 18, 2003. In his first season in Denver, Bronco receiver Rod Smith earned a spot in the Pro Bowl after shattering the team record with 1,602 receiving yards and fellow wideout Ed McCaffrey caught a then-franchise record 101 passes. In 2001, Smith set a new team mark with 113 catches.
COACHING MOVES -- The Bruins have added three new offensive coaches to the staff for the 2004 season. Tom Cable, former head coach at Idaho, serves as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Cable has been an assistant coach at Colorado (offensive coordinator), California, UNLV and Cal State Fullerton.
Dino Babers is mentoring the Bruin wide receivers. He comes to UCLA after serving as an assistant coach at Pittsburgh last season and in previous seasons at Texas A&M, Arizona (offensive coordinator), San Diego State, Purdue, Northern Arizona, UNLV and Eastern Illinois.
Jim Svoboda is serving as quarterbacks coach. He came to UCLA after serving as offensive coordinator at Northwest Missouri State University where his units led the nation (Div. II) in scoring in 1998 and 2000. Svoboda had previously served as head coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
In conjunction with the new hires, Assistant Head Coach Jon Embree is now coach ing the tight end position. Last season, he was the wide receivers coach. Defensive line coach Don Johnson is now serving as recruiting coordinator. In addition, outside linebacker / nickel back coach Brian Schneider is in charge of all of the Bruin special teams units.
#41 LB SPENCER HAVNER -- Junior inside linebacker Spencer Havner, a candidate for All-America honors, is on the pre-season `Watch List' for the Butkus and Lombardi awards. The third-year starter has also been selected one of two season captains by a vote of his teammates.Havner is off to a great start in the 2004 season, having made 33 tackles in the first two games (first in the Pac-10). He recorded a career-high (at the time) 16 tackles, including 11 solos and five assists, in the opener against Oklahoma State despite playing with a bruised shoulder that caused him to miss time in the second quarter. Two of his stops were for losses (four yards) and 11 were made in the second half.
At Illinois, he made a career-high 17 tackles (seven solos and 10 assists) for the second straight week, the most by a Bruin since Robert Thomas made 18 at Washington State in 2001. He also blocked a field goal for the third time in his career and broke up one pass.
In 2003, he ranked third on the squad with 82 tackles, tied for the team lead with three interceptions and ranked 25th in the Pac-10 with his average of 6.3 tackles. Havner was selected honorable mention all-conference.
Havner recorded seven tackles in the Oklahoma game and returned an interception 72 yards. He recorded seven tackles against San Diego State with one sack and an interception. He was credited with eight tackles, an interception and a forced fumble at Arizona. He earned Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Cal game after he blocked two field goals, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Havner made a career-best (at the time) with 13 tackles at Washington State, including two for losses.
In 2002, he started all 13 games and his 96 tackles ranked second on the team and as the second-most ever by a Bruin freshman player (James Washington - 119 in 1984). His average of 7.4 tackles ranked 11th in the conference. His 12 tackles for loss were second on the team. He ranked third on the team with three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns to tie an NCAA record for linebackers. Havner was selected first-team Freshman All-America and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year by The Sporting News.
#24 FS BEN EMANUEL -- This fifth-year senior made 10 tackles, including four solos and six assists, in the 2004 season opener against Oklahoma State. Against Illinois, he added eight stops (five solos), tied for second on the squad, and is now second to Spencer Havner with 18 tackles in two games. He has started 29 of the last 32 Bruin games, six at strong safety and 23 at free safety.
Emanuel finished fourth on the team in tackles last season with 80. He made a career-high 12 stops in the season-opener at Colorado. Emanuel recorded 10 tackles in the Illinois contest. He tied for the team lead with 10 stops at Arizona. Ben made five tackles, recovered two fumbles, forced one fumble and made an interception in the game at Washington State.
Emanuel moved to free safety after starting the first three games of 2002 at strong safety and had 58 tackles for the season. He picked off two passes each in games against Oklahoma State and Washington State. He also returned a fumbled extra point attempt for two points against Colorado State.
#9 LB JUSTIN LONDON -- True junior Justin London, on the pre-season `Watch List' for the Lombardi and Butkus award, sprained his ankle in practice on August 19 and sat out the opener against Oklahoma State. He returned to practice on September 7 and saw his first game action of the season at Illinois, making three assisted tackles coming off the bench.
Last season, he started 12 games and ranked second on the team with 98 tackles. He also ranked second with 8.5 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. London ranked eighth in the Pac-10 with his average of 7.67 tackles and was selected honorable mention all-conference.
London made his first career start in the 2003 opener at Colorado. He made the first interception of his career in the Illinois game. He came off the bench against San Diego State and made a team-best 11 tackles. London picked off his second pass against Washington. He tied for the team lead with 10 stops, forced a fumble and picked off another pass in the game at Arizona. London matched his career-best with 11 tackles, three for losses, against Cal, including a tackle for a key nine-yard loss on the Bears' second possession in overtime. London led the Bruins with nine tackles and forced a fumble at USC, including one tackle for loss.
London saw action in 12 games as a true freshman in 2002 and made five tackles while playing at linebacker and on special teams.
#4 SS JARRAD PAGE -- Now in his third year as the starter at strong safety, Page was credited with nine tackles (four solos) in the season opener against Oklahoma State. Due to a strained heel, he did not start at Illinois but came off the bench to record three solo tackles. He also forced two first-half fumbles before missing much of the second half due to muscle cramps. He is tied for the Pac-10 lead in fumbles forced (1.0)
The true junior ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 55 in 12 games a year ago. He missed the Arizona game due to an injury which snapped a string of 15 straight starting assignments. Page tied for the team lead with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown (Washington). He was named honorable mention all-conference.
In 2002, Page saw action in all 13 games and started the final 10 contests at strong safety to become the first Bruin safety since Kenny Easley in 1977 to start as many as 10 games as a true freshman. He finished sixth on the team with 43 stops and added two interceptions. He was named first-team Freshman All-America and first-team Freshman All-Conference teams by The Sporting News.
#6 CB MATT CLARK -- The senior made four tackles, including three solos, in the opening game against Oklahoma State. He recorded six tackles (five solos) at Illinois.
Clark started all 12 games in which he played in 2003 and was seventh on the team with 53 tackles. He made his first career start in the 2003 season-opener at Colorado and had seven tackles.Clark picked off the first pass of his career in the Oklahoma contest. He made seven tackles against Washington. Clark made five stops against USC and returned a blocked extra point for a defensive two-point score.As a sophomore, he appeared in 11 games and had seven tackles. He also saw action as a kickoff and punt returner. In 2001, he was one of three freshmen to earn playing time and saw action in 10 games.
#97 DT C.J. NIUSULU -- True junior tackle C.J. Niusulu is the veteran of the defensive front. He was set to make the first start of his career in the season opener against Oklahoma State, but underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Sept. 1. He returned to limited duty just 10 days later at Illinois, playing about a dozen snaps and disrupting the Illini offensive line before illness sidelined him.
Niusulu appeared in all 13 games last season and accounted for 26 tackles, including five tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. Niusulu recorded six stops, including 2.5 for loss, in the game at Washington State. He had a career-best seven tackles against Fresno State.
C.J. saw action in five games as a true freshman in 2002. He joined the Bruin defensive rotation after Rodney Leisle broke his foot. Niusulu sat out the final three games of the season after an emergency appendicitis attack the week of the USC contest.
#75 KEVIN BROWN -- The true sophomore made his first career start on the defensive line in the opener against Oklahoma State. He was credited with five tackles, including one for loss, against the Cowboys. At Illinois, he was credited with one tackle assist.
Brown has established himself as one of the two starting defensive tackles and has the ability to be an outstanding performer. In his first year in the program, he saw action on both sides of the ball. After playing defense for the first seven games of the 2003 season, Kevin switched to the offensive line and started three games (ASU, Stanford, USC) at guard. Brown totaled four tackles on the year.
DEFENSIVE LINE -- Junior transfer KYLE MORGAN had an impressive Spring practice and was contending for a starting slot at defensive end during the pre-season camp. However, he injured his left knee in practice and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus on August 16. He came off the bench against Oklahoma State but was not credited with any tackles. He saw more action off the bench at Illinois and recorded a quarterback hurry. Morgan played two seasons at Pearl River (MS) Community College and enrolled at UCLA in the 2004 winter quarter.
Redshirt freshman BRUCE DAVIS made his first career start in his first college game in the season opener versus Oklahoma State. A quick and explosive player, he made three tackles (two solos) against the Cowboys. At Illinois, he started and recorded two tackle assists.
True sophomore JUSTIN HICKMAN enjoyed a productive Fall camp and started the Oklahoma State game at defensive end. He recorded four tackles (all assists), including 0.5 sacks (he shared a sack with Danny Nelson). At Illinois, he made three tackles (one solo) and had one quarterback hurry that knocked Jon Beutjer out of the game.
Sophomore ROBERT GARCIA started at tackle against Oklahoma State and was credited with three tackles. He came off the bench at Illinois.
True freshman KENNETH LOMBARD saw extensive action against Oklahoma State off the bench and made one tackle. He started at Illinois, becoming the first true freshman to start on the defensive line since Ken Kocher and Anthony Fletcher did it in the 1999 Rose Bowl.
True freshman BRIGHAM HARWELL, a contender for playing time at a defensive end spot, underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on August 16. He saw limited action in the opener and was credited with two assists. At Illinois, he made five tackles (three solos), including one for loss.Senior EYOSEPH EFSEAFF, who had started 36 of his 37 previous career games as an offensive lineman, joined the mix along the defensive front in the Illinois game. He had missed significant practice time due to a groin injury and switched over the defensive side of the ball during the Oklahoma State practice week. In his debut, he made three tackles (two solos) off the bench.
Redshirt freshmen NOAH SUTHERLAND (one solo), NIKOLA DRAGOVIC (one assist) and WILLIAM SNEAD (three tackles, on solo) all played in the opener. All three played at Illinois with Dragovic recording one assist.
LINEBACKER -- Redshirt Junior WESLEY WALKER and redshirt freshman AARON WHITTINGTON battled for the starting spot at outside linebacker during the Fall. Walker started against Oklahoma State and made eight tackles (four assists) while Whittington made one tackle off the bench.
Against Illinois, both started and played well. Walker moved inside and made five tackles (three solos), including a six-yard sack. He currently ranks third on the team with 13 tackles. He made 15 tackles last season and had one start against Illinois in 2003.
Whittington made his first career start against Illinois and recorded eight tackles (four solos) and two quarterback hurries.
Junior college transfer DANNY NELSON (Arizona Western College) opened at an inside linebacker position against Oklahoma State when Justin London was not available. Nelson made seven tackles (three solos) against the Cowboys and split a sack with end Justin Hickman. He saw limited action at Illinois and made two solo tackles.
Senior BENJAMIN LORIER made one tackle off the bench against both Oklahoma State and Illinois and blocked a punt against the Illini.
DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD -- Redshirt junior MARCUS CASSEL earned the starting nod in the opener against Oklahoma State. Cassel, a steady contributor on special teams the last two seasons, made five tackles (three assists) against the Cowboys. At Illinois, he recovered two fumbles in the first half, broke up one pass and made four tackles (one solo). His two fumble recoveries are tied for the Pac-10 lead (1.0 per game).Redshirt sophomore ERIC McNEAL (one tackle) and redshirt freshmen CHRIS HORTON (two tackles) and DENNIS KEYES all played in the opener against Oklahoma State on defense or special teams.
Against Illinois, Horton came off the bench to make seven tackles (four solos) and made a fourth-quarter interception that led to UCLA's final touchdown on the ensuing play. Keyes made five tackles off the bench. McNeal made his first career start in place of Jarrad Page at strong safety and responded with three stops. Redshirt sophomore JEBIAUS BROWN and redshirt freshman TREY BROWN each made one tackle at Illinois.
#87 WR CRAIG BRAGG -- All-America candidate Craig Bragg enjoyed a second consecutive standout season in 2003. A big-play performer (11 touchdowns of at least 40 yards during his career), the fifth-year senior figures to own virtually all of UCLA's career receiving records by the end of his senior season. He is the only player in school history to make at least 50 receptions in two different seasons and could become the only player to lead the team in receiving in four consecutive seasons.
Bragg enters the Washington contest with a streak of 38 consecutive games in which he has caught a pass and a string of 33 games in which he has made at least two receptions. He needs just 16 receptions and 499 receiving yards to rank No. 1 on both career charts. His 164 career catches now rank second on UCLA's career list, having passed Danny Farmer versus Oklahoma State. His 2,522 receiving yards rank third on the career list, just 26 behind No. 2 Kevin Jordan (he passed J.J. Stokes at Illinois. He has 20 touchdowns (17 receiving, two rushing and one punt return), including 11 (nine receptions, one run and one punt return) of at least 40 yards.
His 2,522 career receiving yards and his 72 career punt returns rank fourth among all active Division IA players. His 164 receptions rank seventh and his 3,603 all-purpose yards rank ninthBragg has a career touchdown average of 39.8 yards (37.8 on receptions) and has accounted for at least 100 receiving yards in seven games in his career, a total bettered by just four players at UCLA. He also ranks third on UCLA's career punt return list with 72.
In the opener against Oklahoma State, he made four receptions for 87 yards, all in the first half. Three of his four catches resulted in first downs (his fourth was a 13-yard gain on which he fumbled so no first down is credited) and he had receptions of 38 and 33 yards in the second quarter, the former setting up UCLA's field goal on the final play of the half. He also returned three punts for 47 yards, including one for 33 yards in the fourth quarter.
At Illinois, his diving catch in the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown gave the Bruins a 7-0 lead on their first offensive possession. He also made a 14-yard scoring grab with 3:58 left in the second quarter to give UCLA a 21-7 halftime lead. His third reception also produced a first down, making him three for three in that category.
On the year, he leads the team with seven receptions for 160 yards (22.9 average), two touchdowns and six first downs.
He ranks third in the Pac-10 and 19th in the NCAA in punt returns (11.8), seventh in the Pac-10 in receiving yards (80.0) and 14th in all-purpose yards (104.5).
In 2003, Bragg saw action in all 13 games with 11 starts. With 73 receptions, he became the first Bruin to register at least 50 catches in two different seasons (55 in 2002). He became the sixth Bruin to break the 1,000-yard plateau with his total of 1,065 receiving yards. He ranked sixth in the Pac-10 with his average of 5.62 receptions per game, seventh in receiving yards per game (81.92), seventh in all-purpose yards (106.77) and eighth in punt returns (7.95 yards). His total of 73 catches ranked third on the all-time UCLA list and his 1,065 receiving yards ranked fifth. He also set a school record for punt returns in a season with 38.
In 2002, he led the Pac-10 in punt returns and grabbed a school sophomore record 55 passes for 889 yards. No Bruin had ever entered their junior season with more career receptions (84) and career receiving yards (1,297) than Bragg. His nine touchdowns in 2002 averaged 43.6 yards per play (74-punt return, 41, 33, 5, 37, 53, 71, 46 and 33 yards). He ranked ninth in the Pac-10 in receiving yards and 10th in receptions. He also led the league in punt return average (16.0).
He enjoyed one of the finest afternoon's in UCLA history against Oregon in 2002 when he caught nine passes (tied for eighth on school list) for 230 yards (No. 2 on school list) with three touchdowns. Bragg was named the Most Valuable Player in the Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl after catching four passes for 38 yards and returning a punt 74 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
In 2001, he led the team with 29 catches, averaging 14.1 yards per catch, and was the team's No. 4 rusher with 100 yards (12.5 average) and two touchdowns. He also averaged 8.4 yards on 14 punt returns and 18.6 yards on 10 kickoff returns.
#14 QB DREW OLSON -- In the opener against Oklahoma State, the true junior completed 16 of 36 passes for 252 yards, just 14 shy of his career best. He completed passes to six different receivers, including seven to wide receivers, seven to running backs and two to tight ends. He also had two fourth-quarter interceptions, both on tipped passes. His 57-yard pass play to Maurice Drew in the fourth quarter was the longest of his career.
He enjoyed an outstanding afternoon at Illinois. He recorded a career best with three touchdown passes (41 and 14 yards to Craig Bragg and 15 yards to Marcedes Lewis). On the day, he completed 14 of 21 passes for 208 yards with one interception (tipped pass). He led UCLA on scoring drives of 96 and 65 yards on its first two possessions to build a first-quarter lead of 14-0. He also had a career-long 29-yard run and finished with 29 net yards.
On the season, he has completed 30 of 57 passes (52.6) for 460 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in passing (230.0 yards), fifth in total offense (244.5 yards) and eighth in passing efficiency (127.26 rating).
He now has 256 completions in his 23-game career (16 starts). That total ranks No. 8 in UCLA history (he passed 1967 Heisman Trophy winner Gary Beban against Illinois). In addition, he is just the ninth player in school history to record at least 3,000 career passing yards (3,229).
Olson began the 2003 season as the No. 2 quarterback, but found himself thrust to the forefront for the second straight year because of injury. He replaced an injured Matt Moore in the first half of the opener at Colorado and went on to appear in 12 games and start nine times.
Olson ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in passing yards per game (172.2), ninth in total offense (157.2) and 10th in passing efficiency rating (111.27). His 173 completions ranked 12th on UCLA's single-season list. He became the 14th Bruin overall and just the fourth sophomore to pass for more than 2,000 yards in a season (2,067).
He began the 2002 season behind four-year starter Cory Paus. Olson ended the year by starting in the final five games after Paus suffered a season-ending ankle injury against California. Olson was also injured in that game and sat out the next contest against Stanford before returning to start the final five games of the season.
Olson made his first career start at Washington and became the first Bruin true freshman since Tom Ramsey in 1979 to win his initial road start. He completed 13 of 27 passes for 189 yards and did not commit a turnover. He also became just the third UCLA true freshman quarterback to start the game against USC, joining Tom Ramsey and Cade McNown.
MORE QUARTERBACK -- Junior transfer DAVID KORAL gained valuable experience during Fall camp, becoming more familiar with the offensive scheme. He entered UCLA in January of 2004 following a transfer from Santa Monica College and participated in Spring Practice. He completed 55% of his passes for 2,202 yards and had 18 touchdowns and six interceptions last season at SMC. Third-year sophomore walk-on BRIAN CALLAHAN possesses an excellent knowledge of the offense and is also competing for playing time behind Olson.
#29 RB MANUEL WHITE -- One of two season captains elected by his teammates, White is a big back who has the speed to play tailback, the strength to play fullback and the receiving skills to contribute at either position.
He enjoyed a career game in the opener against Oklahoma State. He rushed for a career-high 145 yards on 20 carries and scored both Bruin touchdowns. His first, on which he broke several tackles and crossed the field from left to right for a 60-yard score, the longest run of his career, tied the game at 7-7. The second, a four-yard blast through the left side, gave UCLA a 14-7 lead. He also made four receptions for 40 yards, giving him 185 all-purpose yards on the afternoon. His previous career-high in rushing (102) was against Illinois in 2003.
At Illinois, White rushed for 97 yards on 20 carries, and his one-yard touchdown on UCLA's opening possession of the second half gave the Bruins a 28-7 lead. He gained 64 of his yards (12 carries) in the final half. He also made two receptions for 16 yards.
White leads the team in rushing with 242 yards (121.0 per game) and is averaging 6.1 yards per attempt. He is also tied for second with six receptions. He ranks 16th in the NCAA and second in the Pac-10 in rushing (121.0) and fifth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally in all-purpose yards (149.0).A year ago, White missed the final five games of the season due to a fractured right scapula suffered in the first half of the Arizona State contest. The Bruins did not win a game the rest of the season without him in the backfield.
White rushed for a career-high (at the time) 102 yards on 18 carries in the win over Illinois. In the fourth quarter, he carried on nine of UCLA's 16 scrimmage plays for 40 yards, including each of the first seven plays of UCLA's final nine-play possession. At Oklahoma, White led the Bruins in rushing with 66 yards on 19 carries, including an 11-yard scoring run.
Against Washington, he led the team in rushing for the fourth straight game when he rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown. His 56-yard run in the fourth quarter was UCLA's longest offensive play from scrimmage in 2003.On the year, White ranked third on the team with 379 yards (3.9 average) despite not carrying the ball in the opener and missing the final five games of the season.
For his career, White has rushed for a total of 1,292 yards and 14 touchdowns.
#21 RB MAURICE DREW -- A powerful back with a breakaway burst of speed, Drew rushed for 44 yards on 12 carries against Oklahoma State. He also made three receptions for 92 yards, including a 57-yard catch-and-run that gave the Bruins a first down at the 12-yard line with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest. On the afternoon, he had 136 all-purpose yards.
At Illinois, Drew showed his speed and strength, rushing for 142 yards and one touchdown on 21 attempts. On UCLA's second possession, he broke a couple of tackles and ran away from the defense for a 47-yard touchdown, the second longest scoring run of his career. The 142 rushing yards also ranks second in his career. He had four runs of at least 10 yards. Drew also returned one kickoff for 25 yards and added one reception for nine yards to total 176 all-purpose yards.
On the year, he leads the team in all-purpose yards (156.0) and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 and 23rd in the NCAA in that category. He is the Bruins' No. 2 rusher (186 yards/93.0 average) and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 while averaging 5.6 yards per attempt.
In 2003, Drew led the team in rushing (582 yards) and also excelled as a kick returner (two kickoff returns for touchdown). He was named first-team Freshman All-Pac-10 as a kick returner by The Sporting News.
Drew ranked second in the Pac-10 and 14th nationally in kickoff return average (26.65) and 12th in the conference in rushing (44.77). He returned kickoffs for scores against Oklahoma (91 yards) and USC (99 yards).
Drew's 83-yard touchdown run from scrimmage against Arizona State was the longest of the season in the conference. His total of 176 yards rushing (18 carries) for the game against the Sun Devils ranked as the second-best total ever by a UCLA true freshman. Drew made the first start of his career at Washington State and rushed for 80 yards. He also started in the bowl game against Fresno State and led the team with 65 yards rushing.
MORE RUNNING BACK -- Junior JASON HARRISON, redshirt freshman DERRICK WILLIAMS and true freshman CHRIS MARKEY each had their moments to impress the coaches in the pre-season.
Harrison missed the entire 2003 season after injuring a knee in the 2002 regular-season finale against Washington State. Williams has run hard this Fall and has a chance to work his way into the regular rotation and also help on kickoff returns. Markey, who totaled 2,837 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns last season as a prep senior, played one series against Illinois and had five net yards on two attempts.TIGHT END -- True junior MARCEDES LEWIS enters the season on the 'Watch List' for the John Mackey Award, presented annually to the nation's best tight end. In the opener against Oklahoma State, Lewis made two receptions for 23 yards. Both of his catches came on third down and both moved the chains, one on UCLA's first touchdown drive and one on the field goal drive at the end of the half.
At Illinois, he led the team with four receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown. He made a 23-yard catch and run on UCLA's first play from scrimmage and a 16-yard reception on UCLA's first series of the second half, both drives that ended in touchdowns. He also made a 15-yard scoring catch in the fourth quarter on which his second effort moved the ball into the end zone. On the day, he produced three first downs.
On the year, he is tied for second with six receptions and has produced five first downs to go with his touchdown.
The lone returner at tight end, Lewis finished the 2003 season with 30 receptions for 377 yards (12.6 average) and three touchdowns. Those 30 catches rank fifth among Bruin tight ends since 1980. He ranked second on the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions and tied for second in average per reception (five or more catches).
Lewis led all Bruin receivers with six receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown in the 2003 season-opener against Colorado. His 13-yard scoring reception gave the Bruins a 14-10 lead in the third quarter. Lewis came off the bench and led all Bruin receivers with four catches for 67 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown grab, against California. All four of his receptions produced first downs, two on third-down situations. At USC, he started in a two-tight end formation and made one reception, a 17-yard touchdown. He made two receptions for 13 yards in the Silicon Valley Football Classic against Fresno State.
Junior KEITH CARTER participated in Fall camp on a limited basis. He saw action against Oklahoma State on five snaps, his first action since the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl. He saw more extensive action at Illinois, especially in double-tight end formations. Carter, who was expected to compete for a starting spot in 2003, suffered a fractured and dislocated right hip in a motorcycle accident on April 3, 2003. He sat out the 2003 football season after undergoing a series of surgical procedures.
Carter appeared in nine games as a redshirt freshman in 2002 and made three starts at tight end. He totaled five catches and also saw duty as a H-back and on special teams.
Redshirt sophomore J.J. HAIR, who played versus Oklahoma State, and junior college transfer MATT RANEY add depth at the position.
WIDE RECEIVERS -- Senior TAB PERRY returned to practice with the team on August 18 after being academically ineligible for the 2003 season. He was readmitted to UCLA on August 17 and began practicing with the team on the next day. On Sept. 3, the afternoon before the opener against Oklahoma State, the NCAA granted UCLA's request for a progress-towards-degree waiver for Perry, allowing him to compete this season.He made one reception for no yards against Oklahoma State and returned one kickoff for 32 yards in his first action since the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl. At Illinois, he made one catch for 10 yards.
Perry has 64 career catches (23rd on the all-time school list) for 1,182 yards (17th on the school list) and three touchdowns. He ranks second in career kickoff returns (57) and kickoff return yardage (1,294) and needs just nine returns and 122 yards to tie those school records. He also holds the single-season school record in both categories.
True junior JUNIOR TAYLOR started the opener against Oklahoma State at split end but did not make a reception. At Illinois, he made two catches for 34 yards, producing first downs with both receptions. His 24-yard second-quarter catch was immediately followed by Craig Bragg's second touchdown catch that gave UCLA a 21-7 lead.
In 2003, Taylor ranked fourth on the squad with his 24 receptions and third with his 302 yards. He had a breakthrough evening against San Diego State, recording career highs in receptions (seven) and yards (110). He also scored UCLA's first touchdown on a 41-yard reception.
True sophomore JOE COWAN caught two passes for 10 yards in the opener and did not make a reception at Illinois. In 2003, he made seven receptions, including one for a touchdown versus USC.
OFFENSIVE LINE -- In two games, the line has helped the Bruins average 232.0 yards on the ground and 462.0 yards overall. It has also protected quarterback Drew Olson extremely well, not allowing a sack in either contest.
Senior STEVEN VIEIRA has been in the starting lineup in 33 of the past 34 games. He is at a different position along the line for the third straight season and played the entire opener against Oklahoma State at strong guard.
In 2003, he was a starting tackle, having switched to that position in the Spring of 2003. Prior to that, he started 18 of the previous 19 games at right guard during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He originally began his Bruin career at tackle and shifted to guard prior to the 2001 season.
Against Oklahoma State, redshirt junior MIKE McCLOSKEY returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the fifth game of the 2003 season. He originally won the center job in a competition during 2002 Fall camp. He then started all 13 games and earned second-team Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. McCloskey started the first five games of last season before suffering a fractured ankle in the Washington game which sidelined him for the remainder of the year.
Senior PAUL MOCILER started 10 games at right guard in 2003 and performed well at center after moving there in Spring 2004. During the off-season, he moved to strong tackle, won the job in Fall camp and played the entire opener versus Oklahoma State. Mociler made his first career start in the 2002 opener against Colorado State and made appearances in seven games that season.
Redshirt junior ED BLANTON is in his second season as a starter. He played the entire contest against Oklahoma State at weak tackle. He emerged from 2003 Spring drills as the starter at the right tackle position and started all 13 games a year ago. He has now started 15 straight contests. He made one start in the 2002 season against San Diego State, playing the entire contest in place of injured tackle Mike Saffer, and made appearances in four games overall.
Redshirt junior ROBERT CLEARY made his first career start at weak guard against Oklahoma State and played the entire contest. He took advantage of Efseaff's injury during Fall camp and earned the starting position. He also started at Illinois.
Redshirt sophomore ROBERT CHAI started eight games at the center position a year ago after McCloskey went down with a season-ending ankle injury. He did not play in the opener but alternated with Cleary at the weak guard slot at Illinois.
Three true freshmen -- BRIAN ABRAHAM (tackle), CHRIS JOSEPH (tackle) and SHANNON TEVAGA (guard) -- have each looked impressive in Fall camp and are listed No. 2 on the depth chart at their respective positions. While they did not see action on offense, all three played on the PAT-field goal team against both Oklahoma State and Illinois.
KICKERS -- One of the premier punters in the nation, senior CHRIS KLUWE has been named to the pre-season `Watch List' for the Ray Guy Award. In 2003, he averaged 42.9 yards (3,908) on 91 punts with 19 placed inside the 20-yard line in his first season as a starter. He set new school records for punting yardage and kicks, breaking Nate Fikse's mark of 3,246 yards (in 2000) and Matt McFarland's mark of 80 punts (1978). He ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 26th in the NCAA in punting average.
He earned the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week honors last season against Arizona when he twice pinned the Wildcats deep in their own territory at crucial times during the Bruin victory. In the Silicon Valley Classic against Fresno State, he was selected the Special Teams Player of the Game after averaging 44.3 yards on nine kicks with a long of 60. He placed three inside the 20.
In the 2004 opener against Oklahoma State, Kluwe averaged 37.0 yards on four punts and had just one returned for seven yards. Three of his four punts pinned the Cowboys inside their own 20, including the one-, two- and 18-yard lines.
At Illinois, he averaged 33.5 yards on four punts and had three returned for a total of only 15 yards. He had one punt inside the 20-yard line (17). On the year, he is averaging 35.2 yards and has placed four of his eight kicks inside the 20-yard line.
Redshirt sophomore JUSTIN MEDLOCK, listed on the pre-season Lou Groza Award `Watch List,' made his debut as the team's place kicker last season and was named to The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman team. He supplied all the scoring in the win over Illinois, including a 48-yard field goal. Against California, he kicked what proved to be a game-winning 41-yard field goal in the first overtime.
On the year, he was the team's leading scorer with 68 points and his 5.23 average was 11th in the Pac-10. He ranked fourth in field goals per game (1.08) and in field goal percentage (.737).
In the 2004 opener against Oklahoma State, he kicked two field goals and made both PATs for a total of eight points. In the third quarter, he kicked a 52-yard field goal, the longest of his career. It was also tied for the fourth longest in school history and the longest by a Bruin since 1997, when Chris Sailer kicked a school-record 56-yard field goal against Oregon. Against Illinois, he was five of five on PATs but did not attempt a field goal.
STARTING ASSIGNMENTS (2004 starts /career starts) -- Offense -- WR: Craig Bragg (2/31), Junior Taylor (2/7); Tab Perry (0/18); OL: Steven Vieira (2/33), Mike McCloskey (2/20), Ed Blanton (2/16), Paul Mociler (2/13), Robert Cleary (2/2), Robert Chai (0/8); TE: Keith Carter (0/4), Marcedes Lewis (2/11); QB: Drew Olson (2/16); RB: Maurice Drew (2/4), Manuel White (2/17), Pat Norton (0/3); PK:Justin Medlock (2/15).Defense -- DL: Kevin Brown (2/5, 3 at OG), Justin Hickman (2/2), Bruce Davis (2/2), Robert Garcia (1/1), Kenneth Lombard (1/1), Eyoseph Efseaff (0/36 at OG) ; LB: Spencer Havner (2/27), Justin London (0/12), Wesley Walker (2/3), Aaron Whittington (1/1), Danny Nelson (1/1); DB: Ben Emanuel (2/29), Jarrad Page (1/23), Matt Clark (2/14), Marcus Cassel (2/2), Eric McNeal (1/1); P: Chris Kluwe (2/15).
RED ZONE -- In the opener against Oklahoma State, UCLA entered the Red Zone four times and scored twice (one rushing touchdown and one field goal) for 10 points. UCLA also had a fumble and an interception.
Against Illinois, UCLA scored on three of its four trips into the Red Zone with two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown for 21 points. The other trip ended on downs.
Thus far in 2004, the Bruins are five of eight (two passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, one field goal) in the Red Zone for 31 points.
Oklahoma State scored on all four of its trips into the Red Zone with three rushing touchdowns and one field goal for 24 points.
Illinois was three of five in the Red Zone (one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown, one field goal) for 17 points. Its other two trips ended on fourth-down stops by UCLA.
In two games, opponents are seven of nine (four rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown and two field goals) in the Red Zone for 41 points.
Last year, UCLA was 25 of 37 for 140 points (10 touchdown runs, six touchdown passes, nine field goals) in the Red Zone. The other possessions resulted in three missed field goals, two end of games, three fumbles, three interceptions and once on downs.
Last year, opponents converted 30 of 39 attempts for 164 points (10 touchdown runs, seven touchdown passes, 11 field goals).
True junior quarterback Drew Olson has been successful on 35 of 46 Red Zone opportunities during his career. In 2003, Olson was 21 of 30 in the Red Zone (nine touchdown runs, five touchdown passes, seven field goals, three field goal misses, two interceptions, one fumble lost, one on downs and two ends of game).