UCLA Football Notes - Bruins Return to the Road Saturday to Face Utah
Sept. 10, 2007
#11 UCLA (2-0) AT UTAH (0-2)
KICKOFF - 2:O0 PM PDT
TV - VERSUS
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
**Bruin play at Utah for first time since 1974 **
**UCLA leads all-time series 8-0 **
GAME #3 - UCLA (2-0, 1-0 in Pac-10 play), ranked #11 on the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN coaches' polls, returns to the road for a Sept. 15 date at the University of Utah from the Mountain West Conference. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. PDT (3:00 p.m. MDT) and the game will be televised by Versus with Joe Beninati, Glenn Parker and Tim Neverett calling the action. AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin Radio Network (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook) will broadcast all of the Bruin games. Sirius satellite radio will air the game on channel 122.
SERIES WITH UTAH - The Bruins lead the overall series, which dates back to 1933, by a 8-0 count. UCLA handed Utah a 31-10 setback in the 2006 season-opener in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins have not played at Utah since winning a 27-14 decision in the 1974 season.
Quarterback Ben Olson made his first career start as a Bruin in last season's win over the Utes. He threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns in the contest while completing 25 of 33 pass attempts. Cornerback Alterraun Verner sparked the Bruins when he picked off a Tommy Grady pass in the second quarter and ran it back 34 yards for a score to lift UCLA to a 14-7 lead. Utah closed to 14-10 at the half on a late field goal, but the Bruins scored 17 unanswered second half points on the way to the 31-10 win. Defensively, the Bruins held Utah without a first down on their 11 third down attempts and forced three turnovers.
The2006 game was the first between the teams since Coach Dick Vermeil's Bruin squad posted a 27-14 win in Salt Lake City in 1974. John Sciarra quaterbacked UCLA to the victory. Running back Russel Charles netted 112 yards on the ground, including a seven-yard scoring run. Wendell Tyler added 81 rushing yards. The Bruin defense intercepted three passes and recovered one fumble on the day.
UCLA IN THE POLLS IN 2007 - Pre-Season: USA Today 17, AP 14; Sept. 3: USA Today 14, AP 13; Sept. 10: USA Today 11, AP 11.
2007 SEASON SCHEDULE - There are six home games and six road matchups on the 2007 schedule. The Bruins play back-to-back home games on two occasions --- Oct. 6 vs. Notre Dame and (bye week in between) Oct. 20 vs. California (homecoming); and Nov. 10 vs. Arizona State and Nov. 24, following a bye week, vs. Oregon. UCLA will play back-to-back road contests once this season, on Oct. 27 at Washington State and on Nov. 3 at Arizona. The Bruins posted a 6-5 record against teams it played in the 2006 season and will meet again in 2007.
The Bruins will square off against five opponents who won at least 10 games in the 2006 season (BYU 11-2, USC 11-2, Notre Dame 10-3, California 10-3, Oregon State 10-4). Overall, UCLA will meet 10 opponents which won at least six contests last season (above teams, plus Utah 8-5, Arizona State 7-6, Oregon 7-6, Arizona 6-6, Washington State 6-6). Three opponents earned at least a share of a conference title (BYU - Mountain West champion; USC and California were co-champions of the Pac-10).
The combined 2006 records of the teams that UCLA will play this season are 92-61 (.601). The teams UCLA will meet on the road this season posted a record of 42-34 (.553) last year. The combined record of the teams that the Bruins will host in the Rose Bowl this season was 50-27 (.649).
The combined record of the three nonconference opponents UCLA will meet in 2007 was 29-10 (.744) last season (BYU 11-2, Notre Dame 10-3, Utah 8-5).
Notre Dame makes just its second visit ever to the Rose Bowl this season on Oct. 6. The Irish last played in Pasadena in the Jan. 1, 1925 Rose Bowl game. Notre Dame's victory over Stanford that day earned the Irish and coach Knute Rockne the school's first-ever national championship. The Bruins will battle the Beavers in Corvallis for the first time since a 2002 contest
LAST GAME -- UCLA built a 20-0 lead in the second quarter, saw BYU draw to within three points in the third quarter, and scored the game-clinching touchdown with 1:12 remaining in the game to defeat BYU 27-17 and snap the Cougars' 11-game winning streak.
UCLA was leading 3-0 when cornerback Trey Brown stepped in front of the intended receiver, picked off a pass and returned it 56 yards for a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter. Early in the second period, UCLA took over on the BYU 47-yard line. Four Kahlil Bell runs later, the score was 17-0 with Bell scoring from the four-yard line. Later in the quarter, Kai Forbath converted a 40-yard field goal for a 20-0 lead and the score was 20-3 at halftime.
The Cougars scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half, the second set up by an interception, to close to within 20-17. Early in the fourth quarter, BYU reached the Bruin 13-yard line but Bruce Davis forced a fumble and Tom Blake recovered it to halt that threat.
With 4:53 remaining in the game, UCLA took possession on the BYU 45-yard line and took 3:40 off the clock while driving for the clinching touchdown, a three-yard run by Chris Markey, with 1:12 left. BYU could get no closer than its own 45-yard line on its final possession.
Defensively, UCLA held the Cougars to 44 net yards on 25 rushing attempts but BYU did throw for 391 yards. Dennis Keyes led the Bruins with 10 tackles while Bruce Davis added seven, including two sacks and a forced fumble, and Christian Taylor made six stops. Trey Brown made five tackles, returned an interception 56 yards for a score, recovered a fumble and broke up five passes. Chris Horton also made five tackles and forced a fumble.
Offensively, UCLA was held to just 236 yards, 126 passing and 110 rushing. Ben Olson completed 13 of 28 passes for 126 yards, with Marcus Everett making five catches (66 yards) and Brandon Breazell four (35 yards). Kahlil Bell led the ground game with 79 yards and one score and Chris Markey added 50 yards and the clinching touchdown.
UCLA PLAYER / COACH NOTES - Redshirt senior Bruce Davis is the nation's leading returning sack specialist, based on his sacks in the 2006 season. Davis ranked fourth (tied) in the NCAA and tied for first in the Pac-10 in sacks (12.5 - 0.96 average) and 18th nationally and second in the Pac-10 in tackles for losses (1.35 average). In 2006, he was named first-team All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com and SI.com. On the year, Davis made 47 tackles, seventh (tied) on the squad. He also ranked tied for first on the team with 12.5 sacks and second on the team behind Justin Hickman with 17.5 tackles for loss.
He made two tackles and recovered a fumble versus Stanford. Against BYU, he had two sacks, including one on which he caused a fumble, and made seven tackles, tying his career high. He now has 19.0 career sacks to rank 10th (tied) in school history.
Senior running back Chris Markey ranks eighth in UCLA history in career all-purpose yardage with 3,577 yards and 12th in career rushing with 2,139 yards. In 2006, he became the third Bruin and first since 1962 to lead the team in both rushing (1,107 yards) and receiving (35 receptions). He is just the 11th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season (it has been done a total of 18 times).
Against Stanford, he rushed for 71 yards and had one reception for two yards. He added 50 yards and the game-clinching touchdown versus BYU.
Redshirt senior safety Chris Horton was the Bruins' leading tackler in 2006 with 95 and was second on the team with three interceptions. He led the team (or tied for the lead) in tackles in four of the last six games, including a career-high 12 stops versus Arizona State (Nov. 18) to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors.He made six stops versus Stanford and added five and a forced fumble against BYU .
True junior tailback Kahlil Bell rushed for 195 yards in the opener versus Stanford. That is the highest total by a Bruin in an opener and the most in any game since Chris Markey ran for 208 against Rice in 2006. He added a team-high 79 yards versus BYU and leads the Pac-10 with an average of 137.0
True senior Shannon Tevaga is considered one of the top offensive guards in the West. He has started 33 straight games, the longest streak on the team. Redshirt senior cornerback Trey Brown is the defensive player with the most consecutive starts (32). Others with starting streaks of note include OL Noah Sutherland (17), OL Chris Joseph (15), RB Chris Markey (15), TE Logan Paulsen (11) on offense; on defense: DB Chris Horton (17), DL Bruce Davis (15), DB Dennis Keyes (15), DL Kevin Brown (14), DL Brigham Harwell (13), LB Reggie Carter (9), LB Christian Taylor (9).
Redshirt senior wide receiver Joe Cowan is one of just four players to have multiple career touchdown receptions of at least 77 yards. Danny Farmer had three and J.J. Stokes and Freddie Mitchell also had two.
Bruin head coach Karl Dorrell helped guide the Bruin team to the seventh 10-win season in school history in 2005. Dorrell has been a part of three of the seven record-tying seasons. In 1982, he was a freshman wide receiver on a Bruin team that went 10-1-1 and handed Michigan a 24-14 loss in the Rose Bowl. In 1988, Dorrell served as a graduate assistant coach on the Bruin squad that went 10-2 and bested Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.
Karl Dorrell was named co-Coach of the Year in the Pac-10 for the 2005 season. He was the fourth UCLA coach to receive the honor, joining Bob Toledo (1998), Terry Donahue (1993, 1985) and Dick Vermeil (1975).
Redshirt senior linebacker Christian Taylor made a total of 83 tackles to rank second on the team in 2006 and also ranked third with 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He made eight tackles, including two for loss, in the Emerald Bowl.In the 2007 opener versus Stanford, he made six stops, including one for loss. He added six solo stops versus BYU.
Redshirt senior safety Dennis Keyes was third on the team with 79 tackles in 2006 and tied for the team lead in three of the last six games. He made six tackles in the 2007 opener versus Stanford and led the Bruins with 10 tackles against BYU. He leads the team with 16 tackles and is tied for ninth in the Pac-10.
The interception return for a touchdown against Utah in the 2006 opener by Alterraun Verner was the first by a UCLA true freshman since 1989, when Carlton Gray returned one 65 yards for a score versus Washington. Verner's 89-yard scoring return versus Arizona made him one of just six Bruins, the only freshman, to have two scoring interception returns in the same season.
Karl Dorrell is the first Bruin head coach to lead his team into a bowl game in each of his first four years on the job (2003-Silicon Valley Classic; 2004-Las Vegas Bowl; 2005-Sun Bowl; 2006-Emerald Bowl).
Patrick Cowan's 78-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Breazell in the 2006 Emerald Bowl was UCLA's longest offensive play from scrimmage and UCLA's longest since the 2005 Arizona State game, when Drew Olson and Joe Cowan combined for a 91-yard touchdown.
Patrick Cowan's 329 passing yards at California rank 23rd on UCLA's single-game list and fourth among sophomores. His 351 yards of total offense rank 19th on that single-game list and third among sophomores. Both totals were 2006 season highs for the Bruins.
TEAM NOTES - UCLA is ranked No. 11 this week by both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The last time UCLA was this high on the AP poll was prior to the 2005 USC game. The last time the Bruins were higher on the AP poll, they were No. 7 entering the 2005 Arizona game and were 8-0.
The crowd of 72,986 at the BYU game was the highest for a home opener since the 2001 opener versus Ohio State (73,723). It was also UCLA's best non-conference crowd since that Ohio State game.
UCLA's 624 yards of total offense in the 2007 opener versus Stanford was the 11th highest total in school history. It is the most ever in a Bruin season opener and the most in any game since the 2005 Arizona State game (660 yards).
UCLA's 45 points versus Stanford were the most in a season opener since 1998 when it scored 49 to open the season versus Texas at the Rose Bowl. It is also the most points scored by UCLA in a season opener on the road (UCLA scored 44 at San Diego State in 2005). The last time the Bruins scored more points in a Pac-10 road game was the 1998 Arizona contest (52-28).
UCLA's 338 rushing yards against Stanford were the most by the team since the 2004 Washington contest (424 yards).
UCLA's six touchdown drives vs. Stanford measured 60, 92, 97, 80, 45 and 65 yards. Only one took longer than 2:20. One took 57 second and another just 1:19. The two touchdown drives versus BYU measured 47 (1:41) and 45 (3:40) yards.
Eight of UCLA's 2007 opponents played in a bowl game following the 2006 season. Only Florida had more regular-season opponents earn bowl berths (10).
UCLA ended USC's streak of 63 straight games of scoring 20 or more points on Dec. 2, 2006 when it held the Trojans to nine points in a 13-9 victory.
Stanford converted just four of 18 third-down conversion attempts while BYU was six of 16. In two games, opponents have converted 10 of 34 (29.4%) third down opportunites -- T-25th in the nation. UCLA ranked fifth nationally in third-down conversion defense (28.4%) in 2006, having allowed 13 opponents to convert 50 of 176 third-down opportunities.
UCLA has held its two opponents to 96 net rushing yards on 51 attempts (1.9 average) and ranks 16th in the nation. The Bruins allowed Stanford 52 net yards rushing on 26 attempts (2.0 average) and BYU just 44 net yards on 25 attempts. In 13 games in the 2006 season, UCLA allowed 91.1 yards per game (tied for ninth in the NCAA and tied for first in the Pac-10) and just nine touchdowns on the ground.
UCLA's defense has allowed four touchdowns (all passing) in 2007. In 2006, the defense allowed 27 touchdowns in 13 games (nine rushing, 18 passing). In 2005, UCLA's defense allowed 48 touchdowns (29 rushing and 19 passing).
Under Karl Dorrell, UCLA's home record is 21-5 (.808). The .808 percentage ranks 19th in Football Bowl Subdivision for home record during the last four-plus years (2003-2007). UCLA's 10-game home winning streak in 2005-06 was its longest since 1997-1999, when it won 13 consecutive home games.
UCLA's 31-0 shutout of Stanford on Sept. 30, 2006 was its first since 2004, when it shut out Stanford, 21-0.
UCLA is 20-2 when it wins the turnover battle under head coach Karl Dorrell, including 2-0 (Stanford, BYU) in 2007. It is 11-19 when it ties or loses the turnover battle.
UCLA is 6-1 all-time in overtime, including a couple of 2005 wins in extra time --- a 30-27 single overtime win at Stanford and a 44-41 single overtime win at Washington State. Head coach Karl Dorrell is 3-0 in overtime, defeating California in 2003 and Washington State and Stanford in 2005.
In the last seven seasons (2000-2006), UCLA has produced seven consensus All-Americans (2000, WR Freddie Mitchell; 2001, LB Robert Thomas; 2003 DE Dave Ball; 2005 TE Marcedes Lewis and KR Maurice Drew; 2006 DE Justin Hickman and PK Justin Medlock). Only one other school (USC) in the Pac-10 has produced more and UCLA's total is two ahead of third-place California. UCLA has produced 16 consensus All-America selections in the last 15 years (1992-2006), just two fewer than USC and eight more than No. 3 Arizona.UCLA was one of eight schools to have two or more consensus All-Americans (Justin Hickman and Justin Medlock) in 2006 and the only school not ranked in the final Top 25. The others schools were: Michigan and Ohio State, three each; California, Tennessee, Texas, USC and West Virginia, two each.
FRESHMEN - One true freshman, long snapper Christian Yount, has played thus far in 2007. Eight true freshmen played for the Bruins in the 2006 season. Seven played in the opener against Utah (DB Alterraun Verner, DB Jeremy McGee, WR Terrence Austin, WR Dominique Johnson, DB Christian Ramirez, RB Chane Moline, OL Micah Kia). DL Jerzy Siewierski made his debut against Stanford.Thirty-five true freshmen have now played for coach Karl Dorrell during his four-plus seasons as head coach. A school-record 12 played for the Bruins in 2004. Nine played in the 2005 season and five saw the field in 2003.
FIRST ACTION - Ten players saw action in their first game in the 2007 season-opener at Stanford (DL Tom Blake, LB Joshua Edwards, PK Kai Forbath, TE Tyler Holland, DB Chris Meadows, WR Osaar Rasshan, LS Christian Yount, DT Darius Savage, DB Matt Culver, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson).
FIRST STARTS - Place kicker Kai Forbath, offensive tackle Micah Kia and tight end Scott Glicksberg made the first starts of their careers in the 2007 opener at Stanford.. Alterraun Verner made his first non-nickel back start versus BYU.
ACADEMICS - Twenty-three members of the 2007 Bruin football squad were listed on the Athletics Director's Honor Roll for the Spring '07 quarter. To qualify, student-athletes had to post at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Nine seniors on this year's team are scheduled to graduate following Fall Quarter - Kevin Brown, Trey Brown, Chris Horton, Michael Pitre, Brian Rubenstein, Matthew Slater, William Snead, Noah Sutherland and Aaron Whittington.
Seventy-three of the 80 freshmen in Dorrell's first four classes (this does not include the 2007 class) are still in school and progressing towards a degree -- 69 are still active players and four others are injured-retired but still in school. Fifteen of the 19 members of Karl Dorrell's first recruiting class (2003) are still in school (one is already playing in the NFL) -- 13 are active players and two others are injured retired).
Eight Bruins were selected to the 2006 Pac-10 All-Academic team. Joseph and Lombard were first-team selections for the second straight year, offensive tackle Aleksey Lanis and fullback/special teams performer Dan Nelson were named to the second team and quarterback Ben Olson, wide receiver Andrew Baumgartner and tight ends Logan Paulsen and Ryan Moya earned honorable mention.
The UCLA football program has produced 16 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners, 15 first-team Academic All-Americans (26 overall), eight National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients, one Rhodes Scholar and three members of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
In 2005, Chris Joseph was selected to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District-8 team. Joseph and Kenneth Lombard were named first-team Pac-10 All-Academic. Offensive guard Bob Cleary and defensive back Michael Norris were named to the second team while receiver Andrew Baumgartner and linebacker Dan Nelson earned honorable mention.