Bruins Head To Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl

Dec. 11, 2002

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UCLA, winner of three of its last five games and 7-5 overall and 4-4 in Pac-10 play (tied for fourth place), will play New Mexico, 7-6 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West Conference, on Dec. 25 in Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.

Kickoff has been set for 1:30 p.m. (PT).

The game will be nationally televised by ESPN with MarkJones, Mike Gottfried and Bob Davie in the booth and HollyRowe on the sidelines.

Fox Sports Radio AM 1150 and the Bruin Radio Networkbroadcasts all games. Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens willcall the action and John Ireland will work the sidelines.

BOWLING - The Bruins have qualified to play in a bowl infive of the last six seasons.This will be UCLA's 15th bowltrip in the last 22 years. UCLA is 9-4 in its last 13 bowlgame appearances. UCLA's nine bowl wins in the last 20years rank No. 1 in the Pac-10. Only Florida State, Tennessee,Penn State, Alabama, Miami and Michigan have wonmore bowl games in that span.

UCLA's BOWL RECORD - UCLA enters the SEGA SportsLas Vegas Bowl with an overall record of 11-11-1 in bowlgames. UCLA, the first school in NCAA history to win abowl game in seven consecutive seasons (1982-88), hasnever played in the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE - Here is UCLA's tentative practiceschedule, as of Dec.10. The Bruins will arrive in LasVegas on Dec. 21. Players will be available for interviews followingpractice through Dec. 23.

Los Angeles
Sat., Dec. 14 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 16 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Tues., Dec. 17 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Wed., Dec. 18 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Thu., Dec. 19 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Fri., Dec. 20 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Las Vegas
Sat., Dec. 21 No Practice
Sun., Dec. 22 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 23 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 24 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

SERIES RECORD - UCLA and New Mexico have never met on the football field.

INTERIM BRUIN HEAD COACH ED KEZIRIAN - EdKezirian, who is in his 21st year as a member of the Bruinprogram and his 10th in his current capacity as an AssistantDirector of Academic Services, will serve as interimhead coach for the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.

In his current position, he is responsible for implementingacademic services for football team members and trackingthe academic progress of the student-athletes. In addition,he is also responsible for interacting with other departmentswithin the athletic administration in the area of studentservices for the football team.

He previously served as a member of the Bruin football coachingstaff for 11 seasons (1982-1992) under then head coachTerry Donahue. During his first seven seasons, he tutoredthe tackles and tight ends and then in 1989, he worked withthe centers and guards. In his last three seasons, he was incharge of the entire offensive line.

Throughout his coaching career, Kezirian worked with manytop Bruin linemen, including future professional performersIrv Eatman, Duval Love, Robert Cox, David Richards,Frank Cornish, Vaughn Parker, Craig Novitsky, MikeFlanagan and Jonathan Ogden.

Kezirian's expertise as a standout Bruin lineman in the early70's continued in his years as a coach. In 1973, he startedon an offensive line for coach Pepper Rodgers that openedholes for a powerful Wishbone-T attack that set single-seasonrecords for rushing yardage (4,403), total offense pergame (470.6), average yards rushing (400.3) per game,points in a season (470) and a single-game rushing best of621 yards versus Stanford.

LAST GAME - UCLA held a 14-7 lead in the first quarter,but Washington State returned with 24 consecutive pointsto defeat the Bruins, 48-27 at the Rose Bowl.

After receiving the opening kickoff, the Cougars scored ontheir second play from scrimmage to go up 7-0 with only37 seconds expired. UCLA failed to move the ball on itsnext possession and punted after three plays. However, BenEmanuel II intercepted a Jason Gesser pass on the nextCougar possession and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown.Still tied at 7-7, quarterback Drew Olson pitched toJon Dubravac, who threw a 55-yard pass to Manuel Whiteto put the Bruins ahead 14-7 with 7:33 remaining in thefirst quarter. The Cougars responded to tie the game at 14-14 heading into the second quarter.

Washington State scored on three of its next four possessionsin the second quarter, to build a 31-14 lead with 48 secondsleft in the first half. On the first play of the final UCLApossession of the half, Olson found Junior Taylor for a 39-yard touchdown pass to send the Bruins into the lockerroom trailing, 31-21.

In the third quarter, the Cougars struck first on a John Tippinsrun with 7:27 remaining in the period. UCLA matched theWashington State touchdown when Olson connected withtight end Mike Seidman for a 27-yard strike at the 3:37 mark.The Bruins entered the final quarter trailing 38-27, but itwould prove to be the closest that they would come. TheCougars scored ten unanswered points in the fourth quarter,including a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown,to take home a 48-27 victory.

Offensively, UCLA gained 307 total yards, including 254 inthe air. The Bruins only rushed for 79 yards and were ledby Manuel White with 48 yards on eight carries. Tyler Ebellpicked up ten yards on nine attempts.

Olson, a true freshman, completed 13 of 27 passes for 163yards, but threw two interceptions. Matt Moore completedfour of eight passes for 36 yards. Dubravac's 55-yard touchdownpass to White was the third of his career, - all thisseason (one vs. Colorado, one vs. Oregon).

Taylor (four for 86 yards) and Seidman (four for 68 yards)led the receivers. Seidman's 16-yard catch in the first quartergave him the single season yardage record for UCLAtight ends, with 631 yards.

Defensively, UCLA allowed 541 yards -- 321 in the air and220 on the ground. Emanuel's two interceptions broughthis total to four on the year, tied for the team lead withRicky Manning. His interception return for a touchdownwas the Bruins' fourth this season, the most by UCLA since1987.

ALL-PAC-10 CONFERENCE HONORS - Four Bruin seniorswere named to the first-team All-Pacific-10 conferenceteam: tight end Mike Seidman, offensive tackle MikeSaffer, cornerback Ricky Manning and punter Nate Fikse.Manning was selected by the coaches for the third straightyear. It was the second time for Fikse.

Five Bruins were named to the second-team all-conferenceunit - freshman running back Tyler Ebell, sophomore offensiveguard Eyoseph Efseaff, senior offensive tackle BryceBohlander, junior defensive lineman Dave Ball and seniorlinebacker Marcus Reese. Five more Bruins were named tothe honorable mention all-conference squad - sophomorereceiver Craig Bragg, junior linebacker Brandon Chillar,senior defensive tackle Steve Morgan, junior receiver TabPerry and sophomore offensive guard Steven Vieira.

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