No. 15/17 Bruins Travel to No. 25 Alabama For 2001 Season-Opener

Aug. 27, 2001

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SEASON OPENER -- UCLA opens the 2001 season this Saturday, Sept. 1 when it travels to Tuscaloosa to face the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m CT. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN with Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried in the booth and Adrian Karsten on the sidelines.The Bruins were ranked 15th on the USA Today/ESPN pre-season coaches poll and 17th on the Associated Press poll, while Alabama was ranked 25th by each poll.Fox Sports Radio AM 1150 and the Bruin Radio Network broadcasts all games except when there is a conflict with a Los Angeles Dodger baseball game. The Alabama contest will be broadcast on XTRA Sports 690 and the Bruin Radio Network with Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens in the booth and John Ireland on the sidelines.This begins UCLA's 83rd season of football. The Bruins own a 53-24-5 record in season openers, including wins in the last three. UCLA handed Alabama a 35-24 loss in last year's opener which was played in the Rose Bowl. UCLA is 3-2 in season openers under head coach Bob Toledo.

THEN AND NOW -- The Bruins finished the 2000 season with a 6-6 mark after a 21-20 loss to Wisconsin in the Sun Bowl. It marked the third time in the last four seasons, the Bruins had ended the season in a bowl game (1997 - Cotton, 1998 - Rose, 2000 - Sun).UCLA returns 17 starters from last season -- seven on offense and eight on defense, plus its punter and kicker. In addition, All-America candidate Kenyon Coleman returns at defensive end after he was forced to sit out the last nine games of 2000 following knee surgery to repair an injury suffered in the Michigan game.

PRE-SEASON HONORS -- Senior tailback DeShaun Foster is on the list of pre-seasoncandidates for the Doak Walker Award. Senior free safety Marques Anderson and junior cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. are both listed on the pre-season Jim Thorpe Award list. There are six defensive backs from the Pac-10 on the list, including the two Bruins. Chris Griffith is a pre-season nominee for the Lou Groza award. Linebacker Robert Thomas is on the Butkus pre-season watch list. Defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman and Thomas are on the Rotary Lombardi Award list.

DID YOU KNOW? -- UCLA has won 10 of its last 14 games versus ranked opponents dating back to a 1997 win at #11 Texas and has posted a 19-4 record in regular season games played in the Rose Bowl since that win over the Longhorns.

In the last 19 seasons (1982-2000), only six schools (Florida State-14, Nebraska-13, Florida-12, Miami-11, Michigan-10, Tennessee-8) in the entire country have been ranked in the AP Top 10 more often than UCLA with seven appearances.No other Pac-10 school has more than five.

In the last four seasons (1997-2000), UCLA is the only Pacific-10 Conference school to be ranked twice in the final Associated Press Top 10 -- fifth in 1997 and eighth in 1998.

UCLA's nine bowl wins in the last 19 years rank No. 1 (tied) in the Pac-10. Only six schools in the nation (Florida State-15, Penn State-11, Tennessee-11, Michigan-11, Miami-10 and Alabama-10) have won more bowl games in that span.

During the last 19 seasons, UCLA has been ranked in the final Associated Press Top 25 on 11 occasions. No other school in the conference has been ranked more than nine times.

The September 1 opener at Alabama will be the second-earliest ever for a Bruin football team. UCLA opened the 1997 season on August 30 at Washington State and tied for the Pac-10 title despite a three-point loss in that contest.

The game at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 1 will mark the first time a Bruin football team has ever played in the state of Alabama and the first time it has ever played on that date.

The Bruins have opened the season with two straight road games eight different times since the 1960 campaign, posting a 10-4-2 record in those games. They won both games in three of the seasons and played in a bowl game to end six of the eight seasons (1961 - '62 Rose Bowl, 1965 - '66 Rose Bowl, 1970 - no bowl, 1974 - no bowl, 1978 - Fiesta Bowl, 1981 - Bluebonnet Bowl, 1985 - '86 Rose Bowl, 1986 - Freedom Bowl).

Four Bruins on the 2001 roster are the sons of former Bruin football players -- TE Blane Kezirian (dad, Ed played offensive line in 1972-73 for coach Pepper Rodgers and posted a 17-5 record), DB/ Holder Garrett Lepisto (dad, Vic played defensive end in 1964-66-67 for coaches Bill Barnes and Tommy Prothro), FB Matt Stanley (dad, Steve played fullback in 1965-67 and was a member of the 1966 Rose Bowl team), QB John Sciarra (dad, John played 1972-75 and quarterbacked the Bruins to a win over No. 1 Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl game).

No Pac-10 team returns more defensive starters than UCLA with eight (Washington State and California also return eight). In addition, the Bruins welcome back Kenyon Coleman, who missed most of the 2000 season due to injury. UCLA will seek to replace lost starters at linebacker (Tony White), safety (Jason Zdenek) and cornerback (Jason Bell).

Cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. played this past summer for the Minnesota Twins' minor league team at Elizabethton, TN in the Appalachian League (rookie level). Manning, an outfielder, hit .253 in 22 games with a .364 on base percentage and four stolen bases. He played on the same team as the nation's number one selection in this past summer's Major League Baseball draft, Joe Mauer.

Three true freshmen (LB Brandon Chillar, WR Tab Perry and DB Keith Short) made their varsity debut in last year's opener against Alabama. Six redshirt freshmen (DL Rodney Leisle, DL Dave Ball, DL Mat Ball, DB Kevin Brant, OL Shane Lehmann, LB Dennis Link) also debuted against the Tide. Leisle made his first career start in the game.

SERIES NOTES -- The series is even at 1-1. This is UCLA's first game ever in the state of Alabama.In last year's meeting, UCLA defeated then No. 3-ranked Alabama, 35-24, at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins, playing without starting quarterback Cory Paus (separated shoulder on UCLA's first offensive play), twice came from behind to rally for the win. The last time UCLA had defeated a team ranked as high was on Nov. 10, 1990, when it upended No. 2 Washington in Seattle, 25-22.The Bruin defense limited Alabama to just 10 points and 265 yards (the Crimson Tide's other points came on a punt return and an interception return) on 60 snaps.On offense, the Bruins ran 87 plays from scrimmage and controlled the ball for over 37 minutes of clock time. Tailback DeShaun Foster tied the school record with 42 carries on the day. He finished with a career-best 187 yards and scored three touchdowns. Ryan McCann came off the bench to complete 14 of 24 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. The scoring toss came after Alabama had returned an interception for a touchdown to take a 24-21 third quarter lead. McCann hit Freddie Mitchell with a 46-yard strike to give the Bruins the lead for good. A Foster scoring run accounted for the final points in the game about five minutes later.The Crimson Tide won the first meeting in the series by a 36-6 count in the 1976 Liberty Bowl game (December 20, 1976) played in 28 degree temperatures in Memphis, TN before a record crowd of 52,737. The game marked the first time the Bruins had participated in a bowl game other than the Rose Bowl.

BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO -- The Bruin head coach owns a record of 35-23 (24-16 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .603 during his first five years on the job. Toledo guided the Bruins to a 20-game winning streak (starting on Sept 13, 1997 vs. Texas and snapped versus Miami on Dec. 5, 1998) which was the longest in school history and twice the length of the previous streak (10, set in 1946 and tied in 1954-55). His teams have won two Pac-10 titles (1997 and 1998) and have played in bowl games in three of the last four seasons.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 total 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. UCLA is 23-6 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 games. When ranked, the Bruins sport a 24-7 record under Toledo.Under Toledo, UCLA is 11-9 versus ranked teams. It has won four of the last six (in 1999 versus Washington and in 2000 against Alabama, Michigan and Arizona) and is 10-4 in the last 14 games against Top 25 teams. The Bruins were 3-2 last year versus the Top 25, 2-1 versus the Top 10.

NEW COACHES AND ASSIGNMENTS -- UCLA has two new coaches on this year's staff and several others have different assignments than a year ago.Phil Snow is in his first season as defensive coordinator and coach of the safeties. He spent the last nine seasons at Arizona State, the last seven as defensive coordinator.R. Todd Littlejohn is in his first season as coach of the cornerbacks after spending the 2000 season at San Jose State and the 1998 and 1999 seasons at Utah State.Kelly Skipper, now in his fourth season as running backs coach, is UCLA's new offensive coordinator. He will work with head coach Bob Toledo to develop the weekly game plan.John Pearce is in his first season as quarterback coach and third overall, having tutored the defensive ends the past two years.Don Johnson, in his second season on the staff, is now coaching the entire defensive line after working with the interior line this past year.

FOUR NEW STARTERS -- Four Bruins are expected to make their first career starts versus Alabama -- redshirt freshman Eyoseph Efseaff at left guard, redshiert sophomore Shane Lehmann at left guard, sophomore Tab Perry at flanker and freshman Matt Ware at cornerback. In addition, redshirt sophomore Mat Ball, who started several games at defensive end a year ago, will make his first start at strongside linebacker.


KENYON COLEMAN -- Senior defensive left end Kenyon Coleman, a Lombardi Award candidate, started the first three games of last season before suffering a knee injury (torn cartilage in his left knee) in the Michigan game and undergoing season-ending surgery. One of the leaders of the defense, he enjoyed his best season in 1999 when he was one of just four Bruins to start all 11 games. He made 50 tackles, including nine at USC and seven at Stanford. Coleman ranked second on the squad with 3.5 sacks that season and had nine tackles for loss. He also broke up eight passes.

ROBERT THOMAS -- The senior middle linebacker, a Butkus and Lombardi Award candidate, is the anchor of the defensive unit. Last season, he was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award which honors the nation's top linebacker. A starter the past two seasons, Thomas is known for his quick strike ability and sideline-to-sideline coverage. On the year, Thomas led the team with 88 tackles, 10 more than No. 2 Ryan Nece, despite being hampered by a stress reaction in his left foot. He was tied for second on the squad with nine tackles for loss and led the Bruins and the Pac-10 with six fumbles forced. His regular-season average of 7.3 tackles per game ranked 11th in the Pac-10.Thomas moved into the starting lineup in 1999 at middle linebacker. He made a team-high 14 tackles against Fresno State, the most by a Bruin since Brian Willmer made 15 versus Arizona on Nov. 16, 1996. On the year, Thomas ranked second on the squad with his 68 tackles despite missing three games (the season's first two and the Arizona contest). He also had four tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks.

RYAN NECE -- Ryan, now a senior, ranked second on the team last season with 78 tackles. He started all 12 games at weak side linebacker and has a team-high 30 career starts entering the season, including a streak of 21 straight (tied for team-high). Nece played with an injured shoulder for most of the season and missed Spring practice following surgery on both shoulders. He was a 1998 first-team Freshman All-American and was credited with 85 tackles and six sacks. He ranked third on the team in tackles in 1999 with 65.

MARQUES ANDERSON -- A candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, senior free safety Marques Anderson is one of the nation's top big-play defenders. In his 10 regular-season games, he was involved in seven turnovers to tie for No. 1 in the nation with a 0.7 turnovers per- game average. On the year, Anderson fininshed third on the team in tackles with 73 and led the squad with 11 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries. He shifted to free safety in the Spring after starting at strong safety all of last season.

RICKY MANNING-- True junior corner Ricky Manning Jr., one of two Bruins on the Jim Thorpe Award pre-season candidate list, earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors last season in the vote of league coaches. He has started in each of the last 21 games (tied for longest starting streak on the team) after making his first career start against Fresno State in 1999. Last season, he ranked fifth on the team with 65 tackles. His four interceptions led the team, as did his 14 pass defenses, and he also led the team in punt returns. As a freshman in 1999, he led the Bruins with 10 tackles for loss and ranked fourth on the team with 53 tackles.

LINEBACKERS--True junior outside linebacker Marcus Reese, who has been a major contributor off the bench the last two seasons, will contend for playing time at both middle and weakside linebacker. A tremendous athlete, Reese came off the bench to appear in all 12 games last season and finished with 34 tackles, ninth-best on the team.Redshirt sophomore Mat Ball, who started four games at defensive end a year ago, was switched to strongside linebacker during Fall camp due to his size and strength and will start against Alabama. He made 14 tackles and one interception in 2000. .True sophomore Brandon Chillar will battle Ball for playing time at the strong side position. Chillar, who was bothered by a hamstring problem during Fall camp, saw action in all 12 games last season as a backup linebacker and special teams performer.

DEFENSIVE LINE--Junior Rusty Williams had a 22-game starting streak at defensive end stopped at the Sun Bowl. He sat out that contest after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair an injury which limited his performance, but not his effort. He missed Spring practice and reported to Fall camp ready for action. Williams will see action behind sophomore Dave Ball, who started three games at end and saw action in all 12 games in 2000. Because of a strong Fall camp, he will open against Alabama at the end position opposite Kenyon Coleman.Senior Ken Kocher, redshirt sophomore Rodney Leisle and senior Anthony Fletcher will compete throughout the year for playing time at the two tackle positions. Kocher and Leisle will start against Alabama. Leisle started all 12 games in 2000 and ranked first among the linemen with 36 tackles. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and was named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News. Fletcher ranked second among the linemen with 28 tackles and was a starter in seven games. Kocher battled through a series of nagging injuries to see action in nine games. He has a size, strength and quickness combination which will make it hard to keep him off the field.


DESHAUN FOSTER -- The Heisman and Doak Walker Award candidate enters his senior season having already scored 31 touchdowns and totaling 188 points. He has rushed for 2,085 yards to rank among UCLA's all-time leaders.

Foster was selected first-team All-Pac-10 by the league's coaches despite missing one game and most of a second with a broken bone in his right hand. He led the Bruins with 1,037 yards on the ground and 13 touchdowns (one receiving) and rushed for at least 100 yards four times. His 1,000-yard season is the 15th in UCLA history and he ranks 13th on the single-season list. His 269 carries rank third on that single-season list.During the regular season, Foster ranked 36th in the nation and fourth in the Pac-10 in rushing (93.0), fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (7.2 points) and fourth in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards (107.2).In the season opener against Alabama, he enjoyed one of the greatest games in UCLA history while carrying the football 42 times to tie the school record set by Karim Abdul-Jabbar in 1995. He was at his best in the fourth quarter as UCLA was protecting its 35-24 lead, carrying the ball on 12 of the team's 16 offensive plays (excluding a final kneel by the quarterback) for 59 yards and three key first downs.On the afternoon, Foster rushed for a career-high 187 yards and three touchdowns (his previous high was 118 yards at Arizona in 1998). His total was the highest since the 1997 Bruin opener when Skip Hicks rushed for 190 at Washington State.Foster carried the ball 21 times for 93 yards in the first half and 21 times for 94 yards in the second half. He had five double-digit runs and produced 12 first downs.

As a sophomore, Foster led the Bruins in rushing five times in 1999. However, he carried just five times in the month of October due to a sprained right ankle incurred at Stanford. On the year, he finished as the team's second-leading rusher (375 yards) and led the squad with six touchdowns. He also placed fourth on the squad with 17 receptions.In 1998, Foster wrote his name into Bruin lore by scoring all four touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving) in UCLA's 34-17 victory over USC. He became the first true freshman in school history to score four TDs in one game and tied the school record. Foster ranked second on the team with 12 touchdowns (10 rushing and two passes), a school record for true freshmen. His rushing total of 673 yards ranks as the most ever by a Bruin freshman.

Despite missing three full games, and virtually all of a fourth, Paus passed for 2,154 yards and 17 touchdowns (fifth on the all-time single-season school list). His regular season pass efficiency rating of 145.8 would have led the Pac-10 if he had appeared in enough games, as would his 250.9 passing yards per game figure. Cory has moved into the top 10 all-time at UCLA in career passing (8th), career completions (9th) and career touchdown passes (T-8th) after playing in just 18 games, including two contests in which he was injured and managed to throw just five total passes before leaving the field.

Paus started seven games in 1999 after beginning the season as the No. 2 signal caller. He made the first start of his career against Fresno State on Sept. 18. His 332 passing yards versus Oregon tied Tommy Maddox (1990 vs. Oregon) for the No. 3 effort among Bruin freshmen. Only Maddox (409 vs. USC and 353 at Michigan) ever threw for more yards as a freshman.

BRIAN POLI-DIXON -- This senior figues to take his place among the Bruin Elite which includes Sean LaChapelle, J.J. Stokes, Kevin Jordan, Jim McElroy, Danny Farmer and Freddie Mitchell, all of whom have enjoyed success in the last decade.In 2000, the Biletnikoff Award candidate became just the second receiver (joining Kevin Jordan, '92-95) in school history to catch at least 44 passes twice in a career. He also became the second player in school history to record at least 712 receiving yards in two seasons, joining J.J. Stokes. His 165-yard game against Washington ranks as the 11th-best single-game performance ever at UCLA. Poli-Dixon has scored 18 career touchdowns and enters the upcoming season ranked among the school's all-time leaders in career receptions (8th) and receiving yards (11th).On the year, Poli-Dixon ranked second on the squad with 53 receptions, 750 yards and five receiving touchdowns. During the regular season, he ranked fifth in the Pac-10 with his averages of 4.60 receptions and 70.0 yards.In the season-opener against Alabama, he made one reception -- a 31-yard TD catch. However, he suffered cramps in both hamstrings on a long pass in the third quarter and did not return.

EXPERIENCE AT FULLBACK and TIGHT ENDS -- Senior fullbacks Ed Ieremia-Stansbury (six starts) and Matt Stanley (two) shared the starting assignment last season. Ieremia-Stansbury caught 10 passes last year for three touchdowns. Stanley, who started the Alabama and Michgan games, saw limited action after dislocating his shoulder in the game against the Wolverines.Senior Bryan Fletcher and junior Mike Seidman provide a one-two punch at tight end capable of rivaling any school in the country. Fletcher made 10 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns last season. Seidman caught six passes and scored one touchdown. Each player saw action in all 12 games. Seidman underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee to repair cartilage damage on August 10th but returned to practice on August 24,

OFFENSIVE LINE -- Three veterans, each set to begin his third season as a starter, return to the unit. Senior Troy Danoff (21 starts over last two seasons) started the first nine games of 1999 at center and all 12 games there last season. Junior Bryce Bohlander (14 straight starts), who started the final two games of 1999, started all 12 at left tackle last season. Junior Mike Saffer (19 career starts) started all 12 games at right tackle after starting seven times at right guard in 1999. Redshirt sophomore Shane Lehmann has won the starting job at right guard while redshirt freshman Eyoseff Efseaff emerged from Fall camp as the No. 1 left guard. Three redshirt sophomores -- left tackle/guard Paul Mociler, right tackle/guard Steven Vieira and center John Ream -- are the top reserves.

JUST FOR KICKS -- Redshirt junior Chris Griffith, a candidate for the Lou Groza Award and a former walk-on, handled the place kicking chores in 1999 and earned a scholarship for the 2000 season. A second-team All-Pac-10 team selection last year, Griffith ranks among the all-time leaders at UCLA in career field goals.

True junior punter Nate Fikse also earned second-team all-conference honors a season ago after averaging 43.3 yards per kick. He had 19 kicks of at least 50 yards and 17 of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. His regular-season average of 43.3 ranked first in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation and he averaged at least 45.0 yards in five games with a high of 48.1 yards against Michigan.His total of 3,246 yards on his 75 punts set a new school record, breaking the mark of 3,130, set by Matt McFarland in 1978. Fikse's career average of 42.68 would rank No. 2 on UCLA's all-time list, trailing only Kirk Wilson's record of 44.60 and just ahead of No. 3 Zenon Andrusyshyn (42.63).

WIDE RECEIVER -- True sophomore Tab Perry, redshirt sophomore Ryan Smith, redshirt freshman Craig Bragg and seniors Cody Joyce and Devon Reese have emerged from Fall camp as the receivers who will join senior Brian Poli-Dixon in the rotation. A year ago, Perry made six catches and excelled as a kickoff returner, setting school records with 29 returns for 598 yards. Smith, Joyce and Reese saw action on special teams. Bragg, who could also contribute as a return man, will see his first action this Fall.

RUNNING BACK -- Sophomore Akil Harris and redshirt freshman Manuel White have each demonstrated that they will contribute to the running game this season. In 2000, Harris ran for 100 yards versus Arizona State after DeShaun Foster went down with an injury. On just the second carry of his career, he went around right end for a 23-yard touchdown. White, who will be seeing his first varsity action, is a big, tough back with speed who is hard to tackle. He also catches the ball very well out of the backfield.

QUARTERBACK -- Senior Scott McEwan and junior Ryan McCann will compete for playing time behind Paus. McEwan appeared in two games last season and did a solid job against both Fresno State and Wisconsin.McCann came off the bench to rally the Bruins to a win over Alabama. He started the wins over Fresno State and Michigan and the game at Oregon. Once Paus returned to the lineup, he did not see further action and underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder prior to the end of the year. He missed all of Spring Practice and was limited to one practice per day during Fall camp.

STARTING ASSIGNMENTS (2000 starts / career starts) -- Offense -- WR: Brian Poli-Dixon (10/20), Jon Dubravac (3/3), OL: Troy Danoff (12/21), Mike Saffer (12/19), Bryce Bohlander (12/14), TE: Bryan Fletcher (1/4), QB: Cory Paus (9/16), Ryan McCann (3/4), RB: DeShaun Foster (10/15), Akil Harris (1/1), Ed Ieremia-Stansbury (6/8, two at LB), Matt Stanley (2/3), PK: Chris Griffith (12/22).Defense -- DL: Kenyon Coleman (3/23), Ken Kocher (1/11), Rusty Williams (11/22), Anthony Fletcher (7/11), Stephen Sua (0/1), Rodney Leisle (12/12), Sean Phillips (3/3), Dave Ball (3/3), Steve Morgan (1/1), Asi Faoa (0/1 at LB), LB: Ryan Nece (12/30), Robert Thomas (12/20), Mat Ball (4/4 at DE), Audie Attar (1/1 at DB), DB: Jason Stephens (1/8), Joe Hunter (0/4), Ricky Manning Jr. (12/21), Marques Anderson (11/22), P: Nate Fikse (12/23).

RED ZONE -- Last year, UCLA was in the Red Zone 47 times and scored 38 times (16 rushing touchdowns, 13 passing touchdowns and nine field goals) for 227 points. The other possessions resulted in two fumbles, three interceptions, one missed field goal, two on downs and one with the game ending.Bruin opponents entered the Red Zone 45 times and scored on 38 occasions (13 passing touchdowns, 17 rushing touchdowns and eight field goals) for 232 points. The other possessions ended on a fumble, an interception, three missed field goals and twice on downs.

TURNOVERS -- For the year, UCLA recovered 30 turnovers (17 fumbles, 13 interceptions) and scored 69 points (nine touchdowns and two field goals). The Bruins turned the ball over 23 times (11 fumbles and 12 interceptions) and they were converted into 59 points (eight touchdowns, including three on interception returns, and one field goal).

THIS AND THAT -- Offensive lineman Mike Saffer's dad, Don, played on the 1967 UCLA national championship basketball team for coach John Wooden ... Tight end Bryan Fletcher's brother, Terrell, plays for the San Diego Chargers ... Several Bruins have fathers who played in the NFL -- Ryan Nece's dad, Ronnie Lott, was one of the top safeties in NFL history with the 49ers, Jibril Raymo's dad, Halim Muhammad, played with the Raiders, John Sciarra's dad, John, played for the Eagles ... Some have dads who played at colleges other than UCLA -- Kevin Brant's dad, Tim, played at Maryland, Ryan McCann's dad, John, played at Arizona, Ryan Nece's dad, Ronnie Lott, played at USC, Ryan Wikert's dad, James, played at Northern Arizona ... Robert Thomas' dad, Stan, played major league baseball ... Defensive lineman Rodney Leisle's high school team went 0-10 his senior season ... UCLA is home to the only three-time consensus All-Americans in Pac-10 history -- linebacker Jerry Robinson (1976-78) and safety Kenny Easley (1978-80) ... UCLA is the school that produced the only player to participate in six Super Bowls (Mike Lodish), the only quarterback to win three Super Bowls in four years (Troy Aikman) and the only man to play on three straight Super Bowl champions (Ken Norton) ... After winning four NCAA titles during the past school year, UCLA still ranks No. 1 with a total of 86 NCAA team championships... UCLA will begin its 20th season of playing home games in the Rose Bowl with the contest on Sept. 15 against Arizona State.

UCLA In the MagazinesNational Rankings: No. 6 by, No. 8 by Lindy's, No. 9 by Blue Ribbon, No. 10 by Athlon, No. 14 by Phil Steele, No. 15 by USA Today/ESPN and Preview Sports, No. 16 by, No. 17 by Football News, No. 18 by Street and Smith's, No. 19 by the Football Writers Assn. of America, No. 23 by Sports Illustrated, No. 32 by The Sporting News.Pac-10 Rankings: No. 1 by Lindy's, Preview Sports, Phil Steele and Collegesportsnews.comPlayer Honors: At least one pre-season publication has tabbed the following players for first-team All-Pac-10 honors -- RB DeShaun Foster, LB Robert Thomas, FS Marques Anderson, WR Brian Poli-Dixon, DL Kenyon Coleman, DB Ricky Manning, Jr., P Nate Fikse, OL Mike Saffer, OL Bryce Bohlander

NCAA GRADUATION RATES -- In the 2000 NCAA Graduation Report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen earned their 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 mark to 76.5%. In the 2000 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen 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).Among the 48 schools that participated in a bowl game following the 2000 season, UCLA ranked fifth with its four-year (1990-91 through 1993-94) graduation rate of 63% and seventh (tied) with its 1993-94 graduation rate of 71%.

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.

UCLA ON THE RADIO -- The 2001 season is UCLA fifth on Fox Sports Radio AM 1150. The Los Angeles all-sports station broadcasts the Bruins' games, including a two-hour pre-game show and a one-hour post-game show. Due to conflicts with Dodger games, the Alabama game will be aired on XTRA 690 AM and the Kansas and Ohio State games will be aired on KLAC 570 AM.Chris Roberts, a four-time Golden Mike Award winner, is in his 10th season as the voice of the Bruins. Former Bruin quarterback Matt Stevens is in his fifth year on the broadcast team and his first as the analyst in the booth. John Ireland, who is a sportscaster for KCAL-TV, is in his first season as the sideline reporter.Stations on the Bruin radio network include: KDFO 800AM (Bakersfield), KCBL 1340AM (Fresno), KAVL 610AM (Lancaster), KSDO 1130AM (San Diego, CA), KSHP 1400AM (Las Vegas, NV), KAOI 1110AM (Maui), KPTT 630AM (Reno, NV), KBET 850AM (Thousand Oaks), KVEN 1450AM (Ventura), KIXW 960AM (Victorville), KVBL 1400AM (Visalia), KDEF 1150 AM (Albuquerque, NM), KEWS 1350 AM (Riverside).In addition, Fox Sports Radio provides ancillary programming during the week, including Bob Toledo interviews during the week of the games.UCLA games are also available via the internet at and Fans can also hear the game for as little as 10 cents per minute by dialing 1-800-846-4700 (ext. 5929) to listen to the broadcast on the telephone.

TELEVISION -- In 2000, 11 of UCLA's 12 games were televised live (four ABC-TV, three on Fox Sports Net West 2, two on the Pac-10's Fox Sports Net package, one on the Pac-10's Fox Syndicated package and one on CBS-TV).Seven of UCLA's 11 games this season have already been selected for live television. The Alabama game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN. ABC will televise the Ohio State, Stanford and Oregon games and may select others later in the year. Fox Sports Net will televise the Kansas, Arizona State and California games and may select other contests.Entering the 2001 season 88 of UCLA's last 94 games have been televised live.The UCLA Sports Magazine show, produced by Fox Sports Net West 2, airs every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m during the season.

UCLA ON THE WEB -- UCLA releases, player information and results can be found on the school's official website -- For more detailed information on Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award candidate DeShaun Foster, click on the logo on the right side of the front page.

TOLEDO PRESS CONFERENCE -- Bruin head coach Bob Toledo hosts a weekly press conference every Monday, beginning on Monday, August 27. It is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Morgan Center Press Room adjacent to the new Hall of Fame. The opposing coach is usually be available by speaker phone at either 1:15 or 2:30 p.m. A few players are usually available prior to 1:15 p.m.

PAC-10 TELECONFERENCES -- The Pac-10 will hold a weekly teleconference with all 10 head coaches every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., beginning on Sept. 11. Each coach will have a 10-minute window. Bob Toledo will be on the call at 11:30 a.m. Please call the Pac-10 office or a Pac-10 SID to obtain the telephone number.

PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED -- The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed containing interviews with coaches and players and game highlight footage. The half-hour feed airs every Wedensday at 11:30 a.m. PT, beginning on Sept. 5. Coordinates for the feed are Telstar 6, Transponder 9 (C-Band).

News And Notes...

  • The Bruins have won the first game of the season the last sixtimes they have entered the season with a national ranking.UCLA entered the 1999 (17), 1998 (6), 1995 (15), 1994 (14),1992 (16) and 1991 (23) seasons with a national ranking andwon the opener.

  • Starting Streaks -- Cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. and line-backerRyan Nece each enter the 2001 season with a streak of21 straight starting assignments. Next in line are linebackerRobert Thomas and offensive lineman Bryce Bohlander with14 straight nods.

  • Record Watch -- Running Back DeShaun Foster needs 15more yards to enter UCLA's all-time Top 10 for rushing yards.Quarterback Cory Paus' next touchdown pass will move himinto a tie for seventh on the all-time UCLA list. Paus' thirdcompletion of the new season will advance him to eighth onthe all-time completion list. His next 300-yard passing gamewill give him five for his career and second place on the all-timeschool list. Placekicker Chris Griffith's next successful fieldgoal will leave him in sole possession of seventh place on theall-time school list for made field goals. Receiver Brian Poli-Dixon'sfifth catch of the season will move him into seventhplace on the all-time school receptions list. Poli-Dixon needs62 receiving yards to join the school's top 10 list.

  • Opening Vs. the SEC -- The Bruins have opened the seasonwith a game versus an opponent from the Southeastern Con-ferencethree times in the last seven seasons. The Bruins de-featedAlabama at home last season, lost at Tennessee in 1996and defeated Tennessee in the Rose Bowl in 1994.

  • Repeat Starters? -- The following returning players startedvs. Alabama in 2000 ... Defense (8) - Kenyon Coleman-DE,Rodney Leisle-DT, Anthony Fletcher-DT, Rusty Williams-DE,Ryan Nece-LB, Robert Thomas-LB , Ricky Manning, Jr.-DB,Marques Anderson-DB, Offense (7) - Brian Poli-Dixon-WR,Bryce Bohlander-OT, Troy Danoff-C, Mike Saffer-OT, CoryPaus-QB, DeShaun Foster-RB, Matt Stanley-FB

  • Bruins in the NFL -- As of 8/26 the following former UCLAplayers were listed on NFL rosters -- Balt.-Jonathan Ogden,Buffalo-Kris Farris, Chi.- Skip Hicks, Cinn.- Danny Farmer,Cleveland- Jamir Miller, Dallas- Jason Bell, Detroit- TravisKirschke, Green Bay- Mike Flanagan and Tod McBride, Jack-sonville-Carnell Lake, KC-Larry Atkins, Donnie Edwards,Marvcus Patton, Miami- Cade McNown, Minn.- WasswaSerwanga, New England- Sale Isaia and Roman Phifer, Gi-ants-Shaun Williams, Phil.- Freddie Mitchell, Pitts.- TommyMaddox, San Diego- Vaughn Parker, San Fran. - J.J. Stokes,Seattle- Chad Overhauser, Tenn.- Drew Bennett
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