UCLA Set For Third Bowl In Four Years
Dec. 6, 2000
The UCLA Bruins, 6-5 overall and 3-5 (tied for fifth place) in Pacific-10 Conference play will play in the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 29 in El Paso, TX. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. MST/11:15 a.m. PST. The game will be broadcast nationally by CBS-TV with Verne Lundquist and Todd Blackledge in the booth and Jill Arrington and Dean Blevins on the sidelines.
XTRA Sports 1150 and the Bruin Radio Network will also broadcast the game throughout Southern California and parts of three other states. Chris Roberts and Billy Ray Smith will call the action from the booth with Matt Stevens working the sidelines. CBS Radio will originate a national radio broadcast.
For the third time in the last four years, the Bruins will finish the season by playing in a bowl game. In 1997, the Bruins played in the Cotton Bowl and following the 1998 season, they played in the Rose Bowl. This year, the Bruins will play in the Wells Fargo Sun Bowl.
This will be UCLA's 14th bowl trip in the last 20 years.
UCLA is 9-3 in its last 12 bowl games. The nine wins in the last 17 years rank first in the Pac-10. Only five schools in the nation have won more bowl games during that span.
UCLA'S BOWL RECORD
UCLA enters the 2000 Wells Fargo Sun Bowl with a record of 11-10-1 in bowl games. UCLA, the first school in NCAA history to win a bowl game in seven consecutive seasons (1982-88), is 1-0 in the Sun Bowl, having defeated Illinois, 6-3, in the 1991 Hancock Bowl.
The 2000 senior class at Wisconsin will be looking to become the winningest in school history with a victory at the Sun Bowl. The 1999 class won 37 games to set the record and the 2000 class owns a current mark of 37-12 heading into the bowl game.
Head coach Barry Alvarez is in his 11th season at Wisconsin and owns a record of 78-48-4. His Badgers have won at least a share of three Big Ten titles and his three Rose Bowl wins tie him with Woody Hayes for the most by a league coach. Alvarez' 5-1 bowl record is tied for third-best in college history (minimum six games), and he is currently the only coach in history to win two Bowl championship (BCS) games.
Three of the four Badger losses have been by six points or less. Wisconsin played in an NCAA record three overtime contests this season. Versus common opponents this season, Wisconsin beat Oregon, 27-23, in Madison and UCLA lost at Oregon, 29-10. Michigan beat the Badgers in Ann Arbor by a 13-10 count. UCLA topped Michgan, 23-20, in Los Angeles.
Cornerback Jamar Fletcher has ranked among the nation's top six in interceptions in each of his three seasons at Wisconsin. He is the all-time leader in Big Ten conference history with 439 interception return yards. His 20 career interceptions are the fourth-most in conference history. He has never allowed a touchdown in man coverage.
Wide receiver Chris Chambers ranks second (Al Toon, 1982-84, 131) on the all-time school list with 122 catches. He has had three 100-yard receiving games this season, with a best of 191 yards on 11 catches versus Iowa.
Running back Michael Bennett, who ranks fourth in the NCAA with a 145.3 average, has rushed for over 100 yards in eight games this season. Bennett, the Big Ten 100 meters champion last spring, had a best game this season of 293 (on 48 carries) yards versus Northwestern.
Quarterback Brooks Bollinger, the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in last summer's MLB draft.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO
The Bruin head coach owns a record of 35-22 (24-16 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .614 during his almost five years on the job. The 20-game winning streak snapped versus Miami on Dec. 5, 1998 was the longest in school history, twice as long as the previous streak (10, set in 1946 and tied in 1954-55).
Toledo is only the second coach in school history to win 10 regular-season games (Bert LaBrucherie in 1946) and only the second coach in school history to win 10 games in back-to-back seasons (Terry Donahue in 1987-88).
Under Toledo, UCLA is 27-8 when it scores at least 30 points and 13-1 when it scores at least 40. It is 8-14 when it scores 29 or fewer points. The Bruins are 28-4 when leading entering the fourth quarter, 2-1 when tied entering the final quarter and have won five times when trailing after three periods. UCLA is 23-5 when leading at the half and has won eight times after trailing at the half and four when tied at the half. The Bruins are 3-1 in overtime contests, 0-1 this season.
Under Toledo, UCLA is 11-9 versus ranked teams. It has won four of the last six (last year versus Washington and this year against Alabama, Michigan and Arizona) and is 10-4 in the last 14 games against Top 25 teams. The Bruins are 3-2 this year versus the Top 25, 2-1 versus the Top 10.
MITCHELL RANKS IN NCAA
Junior flanker Freddie Mitchell ranks second in the NCAA in receiving yards per game with his average of 119.45 per contest. His average of 19.32 yards per catch ranks No. 2 nationally among players in the NCAA Top 35 in receptions per game. His seasonal total of 1,314 receiving yards is a new school record and ranks No. 2 in the NCAA.
Junior flanker Freddie Mitchell has been named first-team All-America by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and The Sporting News. He has also been named to Football News' second team.
Mitchell has been named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation's top receiver. The winner will be announced on December 7 during the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Orlando, FL.
Offensive guard Brian Polak has been named to The Sporting News All-America second team.
Junior linebacker Robert Thomas was one of 11 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, presented to the nation's top linebacker. Punter Nate Fikse was on the `Watch List' for the Ray Guy Award, presented to the nation's top punter.
Wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, tailback DeShaun Foster and cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. have been selected first-team All-Pac-10 by vote of the league's coaches. Linebacker Robert Thomas, punter Nate Fikse and place kicker Chris Griffith were second-team selections. Safety Marques Anderson, offensive guard Oscar Cabrera, defensive tackle Rodney Leisle and wide receiver Brian Poli-Dixon earned honorable mention.
The Bruins set an all-time home attendance record this season. The seven home games were watched by 470,961 fans, breaking the old record of 442,850, set in 1988 (seven games). The Bruins' average of 67,280 ranks third in history behind 1998's 73,709 and 1947's 69,812.
Another crosstown classic came down to the final seconds with a 36-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining in the contest giving USC a 38-35 victory over the Bruins.
The Bruins had tied the game with 1:05 remaining when Cory Paus, facing fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line, scored on an option run to the left. The run culminated a 75-yard drive after USC had taken its first lead of the game with 3:58 remaining. The key play was a 51-yard reception by Freddie Mitchell despite double coverage.
UCLA scored first for the only time this season to take an early lead. On USC's first offensive play from its three-yard line, the Trojans fumbled and Marques Anderson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Later in the first quarter, the Bruins took a 14-7 lead when Paus acted like he was changing a call at the line, the ball was snapped directly to Mitchell and the Bruin flanker hit Brian Poli-Dixon with a perfect strike for a 45-yard touchdown. It was the second TD pass for Mitchell this year and the fourth of his career.
With 2:01 remaining in the first half, the Bruins took a 21-14 lead when Paus threw the first of his two touchdown passes, hitting Ed Ieremia-Stansbury for a four-yard score. However, USC drove right down the field and tied the game with 0:24 remaining when Carson Palmer hit Kareem Kelly with a 39-yard pass.
UCLA took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 64 yards in 6:27, taking a 28-21 lead when Paus and Mitchell hooked up on a four-yard pass. That drive was kept alive by a 13-yard run from field goal formation by receiver Drew Bennett. USC rallied right back on the ensuing possession, driving 71 yards in 5:37 and tying the game on a 12-yard TD pass by Palmer.
Neither team scored again until 3:58 remained when Pamler hit Steve Stevenson for a 57-yard touchdown and a 35-28 lead, setting the stage for UCLA's game-tying drive that culminated in Paus' one-yard touchdown.
On the afternoon, Paus completed 13 of 22 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns and scored a third on his one-yard run. He became only the third sophomore in school history to pass for over 2,000 yards in one season, joining Tommy Maddox (1991) and Cade McNown (1996).
Freddie Mitchell made four receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown and set a new school record with 1,314 receiving yards (Danny Farmer set the record of 1,274 in 1998). He also threw a 45-yard touchdown pass, his second of the year, to Brian Poli-Dixon, who had two catches for 53 yards.
The Bruins gained 328 yards on the afternoon, 257 in the air but just 71 on the ground.
Defensively, UCLA allowed 557 yards -- 350 in the air and 207 on the ground. Ricky Manning, Jr. led the team with 11 tackles, including one-half sack and three passes defensed. Jason Zdenek added nine tackles and Marques Anderson contributed eight tackles, including 1.5 for losses, and recovered a fumble on USC's first offensive play for a touchdown. Tony White (one forced fumble and one tackle for loss) and Marcus Reese each made seven tackles.
Each team had just four possessions in the second half (excluding the final six seconds). UCLA scored two touchdowns while USC tallied two touchdowns and the game-winning field goal. On the afternoon, UCLA's offense ran just 51 plays while USC ran 82 offensive plays.
DID YOU KNOW?
UCLA has scored at least 27 points in each of its last seven games.
Of the Bruins' five losses, one has been by three points, another by six points, a third by seven and a fourth in triple overtime.
The Bruins snapped an eight-game road losing streak with the win at Arizona. UCLA's last win on the road had been at Washington in the ninth game of the 1998 season (Nov. 14) by a 36-24 score. At the time, the game in Seattle marked the ninth straight road win for the Bruins.
UCLA had failed to score first in all 10 games this year prior to getting on the scoreboard first against USC. In the 10 games in which it trailed in the first quarter, it rallied to win six times. In a seventh game, UCLA rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to force the game to overtime only to lose in the third overtime.
In the win over Stanford, senior tackle Kory Lombard made his first career start, becoming the ninth defensive lineman to start a game this season. He recorded three tackles.
Eight different Bruins have attempted at least one pass this season and seven have completed at least one attempt. Four different Bruins have thrown touchdown passes.
UCLA is 18-4 under head coach Bob Toledo when a Bruin rushes for at least 100 yards and 17-18 when no Bruin cracks the 100-yard barrier.
Sixteen of UCLA's 41 offensive touchdown drives have covered at least 80 yards, including one versus USC, one at Washington, two against Stanford, three against Oregon State, one versus California, two versus Arizona State, three against Michigan, two versus Alabama and one against Fresno State. Twelve of the 41 touchdown drives have utilized at least 10 plays and 10 have consumed at least four minutes, including the first drive of the year that burned 9:06 off the clock.
Washington was the eighth UCLA opponent to date which played in a bowl game last season. In all, eight of the 11 teams on the 2000 slate played in a bowl.
Wide receiver Jon Dubravac made the first start of his career against Fresno State. Two Bruins -- defensive tackle Rodney Leisle and free safety Jason Zdenek -- made their first starts against Alabama. Sean Phillips made his first career start at Oregon and Audie Attar made his first start against Arizona State. Akil Harris and Mat Ball each made their starting debuts in the Oregon State contest. Dave Ball made his first start in the road win at Arizona and Kory Lombard made his initial start against Stanford.
UCLA's winning percentage of .652 is the third-highest in the Pac-10 over the last three-plus years. UCLA has won 30 games in those three-plus seasons and only Oregon (33-14) and Washington (31-16) have won more games in that span.
The Bruins have now rebounded from their last four losing campaigns by advancing to a bowl game in the following season -- 1990 5-6 (9-3 and Hancock Bowl in 1991), 1994 5-6 (7-5 and Aloha Bowl in 1995), 1996 5-6 (10-2 and Cotton Bowl in 1997), 1999 4-7 (6-5).
The Bruins have four sets of brothers on this year's team -- twins Dave and Mat Ball, twins Josh and Micah Webb, Ken and Matt Kocher and Jason and Eric Zdenek. In addition Michael Coleman, brother of Kenyon, and Tim Vanis, brother of Mike, are managers on the team.
Starting cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. played this past summer for the Minnesota Twins Rookie League team in Ft. Myers, FL. Manning, an outfielder, hit .275 in 26 games with a .427 on base percentage and six stolen bases.
In the regular-season finale versus USC, the Bruins scored all three times they reached the Red Zone (two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown) for 21 points. Against Washington, UCLA reached the Red Zone five times and scored four times (two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns) for 28 points. Against Stanford, UCLA moved inside the 20-yard line five times and scored twice (one rushing touchdown and one field goal) for nine points. The other drives ended with an interception, a fumble and the clock. At Arizona, UCLA advanced to the Zone on five occasions and scored each time (two rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown and two field goals) for 27 points. Against Oregon State, UCLA visited the Red Zone four times and scored on all four occasions (two rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown and one field goal) for 24 points. In the triple overtime game at California, UCLA reached the Red Zone six times and scored five times (three passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one field goal) for 31 points. In the win over Arizona State, UCLA reached the Red Zone three times and scored twice (one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown). Against Oregon, UCLA did not reach the Red Zone. In the victory over Michigan, UCLA entered the Red Zone four times and scored on all four occasions (two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one field goal) for 23 points. Against Fresno State, the Bruins reached the Red Zone four times and scored on three occasions (one rushing touchdown, one passing touchdown and one field goal) for a total of 17 points. In the opener against Alabama, the Bruins entered the Red Zone five times and scored three touchdowns (all rushing) for a total of 21 points.
On the year, UCLA has been in the Red Zone 44 times and has scored 35 times (15 rushing touchdowns, 13 passing touchdowns and seven field goals) for 215 points. The other possessions have resulted in two fumbles, three interceptions, one missed field goal, two on downs and one with the game ending.
USC reached the Red Zone six times and scored on four occasions (two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one field goal) for 24 points. Washington scored on all five trips in the Red Zone (three rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns) for 35 points. Stanford entered the Red Zone four times and scored on all four trips (two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns) for 28 points. Arizona scored a couple of rushing touchdowns in three trips inside the Zone for 14 points. The other drive ended in an interception by Ricky Manning. Oregon State scored five times (three passing touchdowns and two field goals) for 27 points on six trips to the end zone. California scored three times (two rushing touchdowns and one field goal) for 18 points on four trips to the Red Zone. ASU scored both times it reached the Red Zone (one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown) for 14 points. Oregon scored on all six of its visits to the Red Zone -- three rushing touchdowns and three field goals -- for 29 points. Michigan reached the Red Zone twice and scored once on a rushing touchdown for seven points. Fresno State reached the Red Zone on three occasions and scored two passing touchdowns for 14 points.
Opponents have now reached the Red Zone 43 times and have scored on 36 occasions (12 passing touchdowns, 16 rushing touchdowns and eight field goals) for 220 points. The other possessions ended on a fumble, an interception, three missed field goals and twice on downs.
In the opener against Alabama, UCLA's defense created three turnovers (two fumbles and one interception) and converted them into seven points. UCLA turned the ball over just once (one interception) and Alabama returned it for a touchdown.
In the Fresno game, UCLA's defense accounted for one turnover, a fumble on the Bulldog's final possession, and the offense did not make a turnover.
Against Michigan, UCLA forced two turnovers. A fumble recovery resulted in a Bruin fumble and the interception allowed UCLA to run out the clock for the victory. The Bruins lost three fumbles (one on special teams) and one was converted into a touchdown while the other two led to punts.
At Oregon, UCLA did not force any turnovers. The Bruins lost two fumbles and one interception and the Ducks converted them into a field goal and a touchdown.
In the win over Arizona State, UCLA recovered four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and scored seven points. ASU recovered four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception) and converted them into seven points.
Against California, UCLA recovered four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception) and converted them into 21 points (three touchdowns). UCLA turned the ball over three times (all interceptions) and the Golden Bears converted them into seven points.
Against Oregon State, the Bruins recovered three turnovers (two fumbles and one interception) and converted them into 10 points (one touchdown and one field goal). UCLA turned the ball over once and the Beavers converted it into seven points (one touchdown).
At Arizona, UCLA picked off four Wildcat passes and converted them into 10 points (touchdown and field goal). UCLA turned the ball over twice by interception and Arizona scored 14 points (two touchdowns).
Against Stanford, UCLA forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and converted them into seven points, returning one interception 56 yards for the score. UCLA turned the ball over three times (two interceptions and one fumble) but the Cardinal did not convert any of the miscues.
UCLA forced two fumbles against Washington but did not turn either into points. The Bruins also turned the ball over twice (one interception and one fumble) but neither was converted into points.
UCLA forced two fumbles against USC and one was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown and seven points. The Bruins did not commit a turnover versus USC.
On the year, UCLA has now recovered 29 turnovers (17 fumbles and 12 interceptions) and scored 69 points (nine touchdowns and two field goals). The Bruins have turned the ball over 22 times (11 fumbles and 11 interceptions) and they have been converted into 59 points (eight touchdowns, including three on interception returns, and one field goal).
AT HOME IN THE ROSE BOWL
The 2000 season was the 19th in which the Bruins called the Rose Bowl home. UCLA has posted a 79-34-2 mark in games played in the Bowl since the initial 1982 season, including a 19-4 mark in its last 23 regular-season games.
NCAA GRADUATION RATES --
In the 2000 NCAA Graduation Report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993-94, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen football student-athletes earned degrees -- 71.4%. In addition, three other freshmen who entered in the Winter or Spring quarters of 1993-94 also earned their degrees, raising the percentage to 76.5% (13 of 17).In the same report, UCLA percentage for the last four football classes surveyed (1990-91 through 1993-94) was 63%, a percentages exceeded only by Stanford (83%) and Arizona (64%) among Pac-10 schools.
Of the 14 players who were seniors on the 1999 squad, 10 have already earned degrees.
UCLA's overall student-athlete graduation rate of 68% for the 1993-94 freshman class ranks second in the Pac-10.
NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS --
Sixteen Bruin football players have earned NCAA postgraduate scholarships, including five -- Danny Farmer in 1999, Shawn Stuart and Chris Sailer in 1998, George Kase in 1995 and Carlton Gray 1992 -- in the last nine seasons.
MORE BRUIN NOTES
The triple-overtime contest against California is the longest game in school history. The previous longest game was a two-overtime victory against USC in 1996. UCLA is 3-1 in overtime.
UCLA's 21-point comeback against Arizona State tied the largest in school history. In 1982, the Bruins trailed 21-0 at Michigan before rallying for a 31-27 victory. On Sept. 30, UCLA spotted ASU a 21-0 lead in the second quarter and rallied for a 38-31 victory.
The Bruins defeated then-No. 3 Alabama and No. 3 Michigan in the first three weeks of the 2000 season. UCLA had never defeated two teams ranked No. 3 or higher in the same year prior to this season. The last time the Bruins defeated two Top 10 teams in the same season was 1988 when they bested No. 8 Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Nebraska at home.
The last time a school defeated two teams ranked No. 3 or higher during the regular season was in 1993, when Notre Dame defeated No. 1 Florida State and No. 3 Michigan. In 1998, Texas A&M defeated No. 2 Nebraska during the regular season and No. 2 Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game.
Ten Bruins made their varsity debut in this year's opener against Alabama -- seven redshirt freshmen (starter Rodney Leisle and reserves Dave Ball, Mat Ball, Kevin Brant, Shane Lehmann, Jerry Owens and Dennis Link) and three true freshmen (Brandon Chillar, Tab Perry and Keith Short). Two more redshirt freshmen -- Akil Harris and Ryan Wikert -- made their varsity debut in week two against Fresno State. Ryan Smith, another redshirt freshman, saw his first action in the Oregon State contest.
Seven former Bruin players and three former coaches have been elected to the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, including 2000 inductee Terry Donahue. Three players -- Billy Kilmer, Jerry Robinson, Kenny Easley -- and three coaches -- Donahue, Tommy Prothro and Red Sanders -- have been inducted in the last 11 years.
During the 18 years prior to 2000, UCLA had been ranked in the final Associated Press Top 20 on 11 occasions. No other school in the Pac-10 had been ranked more than eight times and only seven schools in the nation had been ranked more than the Bruins in that span.
UCLA has produced two Outland Trophy winners (Jonathan Ogden - 1995 and Kris Farris - 1998) and three first-team All-America tackles (Ogden, Chad Overhauser in 1997 and Farris) in the last five years.
The 2000 season is UCLA's fourth on XTRA 1150 Sports. The Los Angeles all-sports station broadcasts the Bruins' games, including a two-hour pre-game show and a post-game show.
Chris Roberts, a four-time Golden Mike Award winner, is in his ninth season as the voice of the Bruins. The on-air team also includes former Arkansas All-American and San Diego Charger standout Billy Ray Smith as analyst and former Bruin quarterback Matt Stevens as sideline reporter and pre-game host. Dave Smith handles the pre- and post-game shows.
Stations on the Bruin network included: KSDO 1130AM (San Diego, CA), KNZR 1560AM (Bakersfield,CA), KMET 1490AM (Banning, CA), KCBL 1340AM (Fresno, CA), KJAA 1240AM (Globe, AZ), KGU 760AM (Honolulu, HI), KAVL 610AM (Lancaster/Palmdale, CA), KBAD/KENO 920/1460AM (Las Vegas, NV), KAOI 1110AM (Maui, HI), KIIS 1220AM (Santa Clarita, CA), KBET 850AM (Thousand Oaks/Camarillo, CA), KVEN 1450AM (Ventura/Oxnard, CA), KVBL 1400AM (Visalia, CA).
In addition, XTRA 1150 provides ancillary programming during the week, including Bob Toledo interviews (Tuesdays at 1:15 p.m. and on Thursdays between 3:00-7:00 p.m.).
The USC game was the 10th contest televised live this season -- four on ABC (Alabama, Michigan, Arizona, Washington), two on Fox Sports Net's national cable package (Oregon and Arizona State), one on the Fox Sports syndicated package (Stanford) and three on Fox Sports Net West 2 (Fresno State, Oregon State and USC). The Trojan game was UCLA's 87th live telecast in its last 93 games.
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, produced by Fox Sports Net West 2, airs every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
Ten of UCLA's 11 games in 1999 were telecast live (five on ABC, one on Fox Sports Net, one on Fox's Pac-10 syndicated package and three on Fox Sports Net West 2).
UCLA ON THE WEB --
UCLA releases and results can be found on the school's official website -- www.uclabruins.com.