This Week In UCLA Football
Sept. 6, 2004
UCLA GOES ON THE ROAD -- BRUINS AT ILLINOIS
KEY DATES TO REMEMBER --
Mon., Sept. 6 - Coach Dorrell Media Briefing (1:30 p.m.)
Tue., Sept. 7 - Coach Dorrell on Pac-10 Teleconference (10:30
a.m.); Last day to interview Bruin quarterbacks
Wed., Sept. 8 - Last day to interview UCLA players
Sat. Sept. 11 - UCLA at Illinois (9:00 a.m. PDT)
GAME 2 -- UCLA will be on the road for Game No. 2 when itplays at Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 11. The Bruins are 0-1after dropping their opener to Oklahoma State, 31-20. TheFighting Illini are 1-0 following a 52-13 victory over FloridaA&M. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m CDT / 9:00 a.m.PDT and will be televised on a split national basis by ABCSports (Terry Gannon, Jamal Anderson and Mark Morgan).XTRA Sports 690/1150 and the Bruin Radio Network broadcastsall of the Bruin games with Chris Roberts and MattStevens in the booth. Wayne Cook will work the sidelines.The game can also be heard nationally on Sirius SatelliteRadio.
DID YOU KNOW? --
Craig Bragg has moved into second on UCLA's career recep-tionlist with 161. He needs just 19 to move to the top of thelist. Already the only player to record two seasons of at least50 receptions, Bragg will become the first Bruin ever torecord three straight 1,000-plus all-purpose yardage seasonsshould he reach that level in 2004. Bragg had 1,388 yardslast season and 1,194 yards in 2002.
At the end of his first two seasons of play, linebacker SpencerHavner had totaled 178 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and sixinterceptions to rank with some of UCLA's best ever players.
Spencer Havner's 16 tackles against Oklahoma State were themost by a Bruin since Robert Thomas made 18 at Washing-tonState in 2001.
Justin Medlock's 52-yard field goal against Oklahoma State isthe longest by a Bruin since 1997 and tied for fourth-long-estin school history.
The 443 yards of total offense UCLA gained against OklahomaState was higher than it gained in any game last year. Thelast time the Bruins had as many yards was at Arizona in2002 (also 443).
Maurice Drew's all-purpose yardage total of 1,219 in 2003was the most ever by a Bruin true freshman.
Marcedes Lewis' 30 catches in 2003 ranked among the best bya UCLA tight end since 1980. Only Mike Seidman, 41 in2002, Charles Arbuckle, 33 in 1989 and Paul Bergmann, 44in 1983 and 41 in 1982, have caught more balls in a seasonthan Lewis.
The 2004 season is UCLA's 23rd in the Rose Bowl. Since mov-ingto Pasadena for the 1982 season, the Bruins are 90-41-2on the home field.
UCLA owns a 29-11 (.725) record in regular-season gamesplayed in the Rose Bowl since a loss to Tennessee in the homeopener in 1997.
UCLA is the only school to produce five quarterbacks -- TroyAikman, Steve Bono, Billy Kilmer, Tom Ramsey, JaySchroeder -- 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 ofeight Bruins being inducted into the UCLA Hall of Famethis Fall. Also in the class are Henry Bibby-basketball, SteveLewis-track, Sigi Schmid-soccer, Fred Slaughter-basketballand Natalie Williams-volleyball / basketball. The inducteeswill be honored at halftime of the Arizona game on Octo-ber9.
This season marks the 50th anniversary of the Bruins' 1954National Championship won under coach Red Sanders.
UCLA compiled a perfect 9-0 record that season, includinga 12-7 win over defending national champion Maryland inthe Coliseum. The Bruins did not play in the Rose Bowlgame following that magical season because of the 'no re-peat'rule. The team was voted No. 1 on the United PressInternational Poll and shared the national championshipwith Rose Bowl winner Ohio State, the Associated Presschampion. The 1954 team led the nation in scoring offense(40.8) and scoring defense (4.4). The team still holds theschool records for fewest rushing yards allowed (659), totaldefense (1,708) and scoring defense (40). Its 40.8 scoring mark ranks second in school history. Jack Ellena, JimSalsbury, Bob Davenport and Primo Villanueva all earnedfirst-team All-America honors that season. Members of thenational championship team will be honored during theweekend of the Homecoming game against Stanford on Oc-tober30.
The Bruins have won the last three regular season matchupsagainst Big 10 Conference opponents -- Illinois - 2003, OhioState - 2001, Michigan - 2000.
The following players have changed numbers from those listedin 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 line-manBruce Davis, now #44; defensive lineman Kevin Brown,now #75.
The following players have changed numbers from those listedin this year's media guide --- wide receiver Brandon Breazell,now # 1; safety Dennis Keyes, now #11; defensive backRodney Van, now #12; wide receiver Michael Norris, now#22; defensive back Trey Brown, now #23; linebacker MarkMangelsdorf, 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 morebowl games in that span.
During the last 22 years, UCLA has been ranked in the finalAssociated Press Top 25 on 11 occasions the most of anyPac-10 school (Washington and USC are second with 10).
In the last 22 seasons (1982-2003), UCLA has more Top 10rankings (seven) than any other Pac-10 school. In fact, onlyseven schools (Florida State, Nebraska, Florida, Miami,Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma) have been ranked in theAP Top 10 more often than UCLA during this period.
Starting Streaks -- Steven Vieira has started the last 30 straightgames along the offensive line at either guard or tackle.Eyoseph Efseaff had started 25 straight games at left guardbefore being sidelined against Oklahoma State last week dueto a strained groin. Ed Blanton has started the last 14 gamesat tackle. Matt Clark has started the last 12 straight gamesat cornerback. Spencer Havner has started 12 straight gamesat linebacker. Jarrad Page has started the last eight games atsafety.
Two Bruins on the 2004 roster are the sons of former Bruinfootball players -- DB Trey Brown (dad, Theotis, played run-ningback from 1976-78 and rushed for 2,914 yards to rankNo. 7 all-time at school); DL Bruce Davis (dad, Bruce, playedoffensive line from 1975-78 and went on to a long NFL ca-reer,winning two Super Bowl titles).
UCLA played five true freshmen, including returners Mil'VonJames, Maurice Drew, Joe Cowan and Kevin Brown, in 2003.A school record 10 true freshmen played in 2002. In thisyear's season opener against Oklahoma State, the Bruinsplayed nine true freshmen.
Six Bruins made their first career starts in the opener againstOklahoma State -- junior Robert Cleary at weak guard;sophomore Justin Hickman and redshirt freshman BruceDavis at defensive end; sophomore Robert Garcia at defen-sivetackle, sophomore Danny Nelson at linebacker and jun-ior
Marcus Cassel at cornerback. In addition, sophomoreKevin Brown made his first start on defense (tackle) afterstarting three times at offensive guard in 2003.
Nine true freshmen made their debut against the Cowboys --OL Brian Abraham; WR Brandon Breazell; DE BrighamHarwell; LB Fred Holmes; OL Chris Joseph; DT KennethLombard; WR Michael Norris; OL Shannon Tevaga; and CBRodney Van.
Ten redshirt freshmen saw their first career action in the season-opener -- CB Trey Brown; DL Bruce Davis; DL NikolaDragovic; DB Chris Horton; DB Dennis Keyes; DBOlukayode Oredugba; FB Michael Pitre; DL William Snead;DL Noah Sutherland; and LB Aaron Whittington. Three jun-iorcollege transfers also saw their first action in the Okla-homaState game -- DL Justin Hickman; DL Kyle Morgan;and LB Danny Nelson.
SERIES NOTES -- The series with Illinois is tied at 5-5 afterthe Bruins captured last season's contest by a 6-3 score inthe home opener played at the Rose Bowl. The victory wasthe third straight win in the series for UCLA, the first forcoach Karl Dorrell and the 500th in school history. This willbe UCLA's first appearance in Champaign since the 1964season, a 26-7 loss to the Illini.
In last year's game, the Bruin defense forced four turnovers,three interceptions and one special team fumble. Illinois hadjust two scrimmage plays longer than 16 yards and pen-etratedthe UCLA 40-yard line just twice.
The Bruins took a 3-0 lead with 2:52 remaining in the firstquarter on a 28-yard Justin Medlock field goal. In the sec-ondquarter, Tim Warfield's recovery of a fumbled punt putthe Bruins in position for a 48-yard field goal by Medlock.The Illini drew within three points with 4:15 remaining inthe third quarter on a 29-yard field goal.
UCLA's next two possessions took more than nine minutesoff the clock, but did not result in points. Illinois took overon its final possession of the game at the 3:02 mark. Thevisitors drove from their own 15-yard line to the Bruin 21,but John Glockman's 43-yard field goal attempt sailed wideleft with 27 seconds to play.
Running back Manuel White rushed for a career-best (at thetime) 102 yards in the game. Drew Olson, making his firststart of the season, completed 11 of 31 passes for 94 yards.The Bruins have faced the Illini in two Rose Bowl games. Bruincoach Karl Dorrell played in the 1984 Rose Bowl game andcaught a pair of touchdown passes against the fourth-ranked Illini. For the game, Dorrell totaled fivecatches for 61 yards and ran one reverse for 23 yards as UCLA captured a 45-9 victory.
Fourth-ranked Illinois bested the Bruins 45-14 in the 1947 RoseBowl game. UCLA's Al Hoisch returned a kickoff 103 yardsin the contest, establishing a Rose Bowl record.
LAST WEEK -- UCLA built a 14-7 lead in the first quarterbut couldn't contain the Oklahoma State running game enroute to a 31-20 loss to the Cowboys at the Rose Bowl.The Bruins moved the ball well on offense, accounting its high-estyardage total since 2002 -- 443 yards -- but also had fourturnovers, two in the red zone.
Running back Manuel White, playing his first game since Oct.23 of last year, ran for a career-high 145 yards and two touch-downs(60 and four yards) and made four receptions for 40yards. Running back Maurice Drew rushed for 44 yards andmade three receptions for 92 yards.
Quarterback Drew Olson completed 16 of 36 passes for 252yards and two interceptions, both of which were tippedpasses in the fourth quarter, one in the red zone. He com-pletedseven passes to wide receivers, seven to runningbacks and two to tight ends. Flanker Craig Bragg led thereceivers with four receptions for 87 yards, including re-ceptionsof 38 and 33 yards, and returned three punts for47 yards. White had 185 all-purpose yards while Drewand Bragg each had 136 all-purpose yards.
The rebuilt offensive line of tackles Paul Mociler and EdBlanton, guards Steven Vieira and Robert Cleary and cen-terMike McCloskey helped the Bruins average 5.8 yardson the ground (191 yards) and did not allow a sack.
Defensively, linebacker Spencer Havner made a career-high16 tackles, the most by a Bruin since Robert Thomas made18 at Washington State in 2001. Safeties Ben Emanuel (10 )and Jarrad Page (nine) combined for 19 tackles and line-backerWesley Walker added eight. UCLA yielded 426 yardson the ground, including 261 by Vernand Morency, thethird-highest total ever against the Bruins. OSU completedjust two of eight passes for only 23 yards.
Justin Medlock's third-quarter 52-yard field goal was thelongest of his career and tied for fourth longest in schoolhistory. The last time a Bruin kicked a longer field goalwas in 1997, when Chris Sailer kicked a school-record 56-yarder against Oregon.
OSU scored first, capitalizing on a Bruin fumble to drive 63yards on six plays. UCLA quickly rallied, tying the game onWhite's 60-yard touchdown, the longest run of his career.The Bruins took the lead on White's four-yard touchdownplunge that followed passes of 18 and 22 yards to White andDrew. However, the Bruins couldn't stop the ground gamein the second quarter when the Cowboys scored three touch-downs,one following a Bruin fumble in the red zone.
Medlock connected on a 21-yard field goal on the final playof the halfto make the score 28-17.
In the second half, the Bruin defense held the Cowboys tojust three points but UCLA couldn't get closer than eightdespite reaching the Cowboy 12-yard line with just underseven minutes left in the game. On the day, UCLA con-verted seven of 15 third-down conversions while holdingOSU to three of 12.
BRUIN HEAD COACH KARL DORRELL -- Former Bruinwide receiver Karl Dorrell is in his second season as the 15thhead coach in UCLA history. He returned to Westwood,where he played on teams that won five consecutive bowlgames, after serving as an assistant coach at both the colle-giateand professional levels. The Bruins qualified for theirsixth bowl game in the past seven seasons in Dorrell's firstseason at the helm.
Dorrell came to UCLA after working the previous three sea-sonsfor Mike Shanahan's Denver Broncos as an assistantcoach in charge of wide receivers. Prior to his arrival in Den-ver,Dorrell coached 12 years on the collegiate level, includ-ingseven seasons as an offensive coordinator.
During his career as a collegiate player and coach, Dorrell hasparticipated in 13 bowl games, including three Rose Bowls,two Fiesta Bowls and two Cotton Bowls. He played on teamsthat won three Pacific-10 titles and defeated USC four timesin five seasons. His 108 receptions still rank in the all-timeschool career Top 10 (tied for 10th) and his receiving yardstotal of 1,517 yards ranks No. 13.
Dorrell's previous collegiate coaching experience includes sixseasons at Colorado, two years at Northern Arizona, andone year each at UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and Cen-tralFlorida. He earned his bachelor's degree from UCLAfollowing the 1986 season and began his coaching career inthe 1988 season as a graduate assistant.
He became receivers coach at Central Florida the next seasonand moved on to Northern Arizona for the 1990 and 1991seasons as offensive coordinator and receivers coach. He thenembarked on the first of two stints at Colorado. Dorrellserved as receivers coach in the 1992-93 seasons. During thattenure, receivers Charles Johnson and Michael Westbrook,became just the fourth pair of wideouts on the same teamin NCAA history to accumulate more than 1,000 yards inthe same season.
Dorrell returned to the Pac-10 for the 1994 season as receiverscoach at Arizona State before going back to Colorado forthe 1995-98 campaigns as offensive coordinator and receiv-erscoach. The Buffaloes won three bowl games in that four-yearspan and were victorious in 33 of 47 games. He spentthe 1999 season at Washington, serving as offensive coordi-natorand wide receivers coach.
The former Bruin then moved to the professional ranks andserved as receiving coach with the Broncos from 2000 untilthe time he took the UCLA job on December 18, 2003. Inhis first season in Denver, Bronco receiver Rod Smith earneda spot in the Pro Bowl after shattering the team record with1,602 receiving yards and fellow wideout Ed McCaffreycaught a then-franchise record 101 passes. In 2001, Smithset a new team mark with 113 catches.
COACHING MOVES -- The Bruins have added three newoffensive coaches to the staff for the 2004 season. Tom Cable,former head coach at Idaho, will serve as the offensive coor-dinatorand offensive line coach. Cable has been an assistant coach at Colorado (offensive coordinator), California, UNLV and Cal State Fullerton.
Dino Babers will mentor the Bruin wide receivers. He comesto UCLA after serving as an assistant coach at Pittsburghlast season and in previous seasons at Texas A&M, Arizona(offensive coordinator), San Diego State, Purdue, NorthernArizona, UNLV and Eastern Illinois.
Jim Svoboda will serve as quarterbacks coach. He comes toUCLA after serving as offensive coordinator at NorthwestMissouri State University where his units led the nation (Div.II) in scoring in 1998 and 2000. Svoboda had previouslyserved as head coach at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
In conjunction with the new hires, Assistant Head Coach JonEmbree will now coach the tight end position. Last season,he was the wide receivers coach. Defensive line coach DonJohnson will now also serve as recruiting coordinator. Inaddition, outside linebacker / nickel back coach BrianSchneider will take charge of all of the Bruin special teamsunits.
#24 FS BEN EMANUEL -- This fifth-year senior made 10tackles, including four solos and six assists, in the 2004season opener against Oklahoma State. He has started28 of the last 31 Bruin games, six at strong safety and 22at free safety.
Emanuel finished fourth on the team in tackles last seasonwith 80. He made a career-high 12 stops in the season-openerat Colorado. Emanuel recorded 10 tackles in theIllinois contest. He tied for the team lead with 10 stops atArizona. Ben made five tackles, recovered two fumbles,forced one fumble and made an interception in the gameat Washington State.
Emanuel moved to free safety after starting the first threegames of 2002 at strong safety and had 58 tackles for theseason. He picked off two passes each in games againstOklahoma State and Washington State. He also returned afumbled extra point attempt for two points against Colo-radoState.
#9 LB JUSTIN LONDON -- True junior Justin London, onthe pre-season `Watch List' for the Lombardi and Butkusaward, sprained his ankle in practice on August 19 and satout the opener against Oklahoma State. He is expected toreturn to practice this week.
Last season, he started 12 games and ranked second on theteam with 98 tackles. He also ranked second with 8.5 tack-lesfor loss and tied for the team lead with three intercep-tions.
London ranked eighth in the Pac-10 with his averageof 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 theIllinois game. He came off the bench against San Diego Stateand made a team-best 11 tackles. London picked off hissecond pass against Washington. He tied for the team leadwith 10 stops, forced a fumble and picked off another passin the game at Arizona. London matched his career-bestwith 11 tackles, three for losses, against Cal, including atackle for a key nine-yard loss on the Bears' second posses-sionin overtime. London led the Bruins with nine tacklesand forced a fumble at USC, including one tackle for loss.London saw action in 12 games as a true freshman in 2002and made five tackles while playing at linebacker and onspecial teams.
#41 LB SPENCER HAVNER -- Junior inside linebacker SpencerHavner, a two-year starter, is on the pre-season `WatchList' for the Butkus and Lombardi awards. He has also beenselected one of two season captains by a vote of his team-mates.Havner recorded a career-high 16 tackles, including 11 solosand five assists, in the opener against Oklahoma State de-spiteplaying with a bruised shoulder that caused him tomiss time in the second quarter. His 16 stops were the mostby a Bruin since Robert Thomas made 18 at WashingtonState in 2001. Two of his stops were for losses (four yards)and 11 were made in the second half.
In 2003, he ranked third on the squad with 82 tackles, tied forthe team lead with three interceptions and ranked 25th inthe Pac-10 with his average of 6.3 tackles. Havner was se-lectedhonorable mention all-conference.
Havner recorded seven tackles in the Oklahoma game andreturned an interception 72 yards. He recorded seven tack-lesagainst San Diego State with one sack and an intercep-tion.He was credited with eight tackles, an interceptionand a forced fumble at Arizona. He earned Pac-10 SpecialTeams Player of the Week for his performance in the Calgame after he blocked two field goals, one of which wasreturned for a touchdown. Havner made a career-best (atthe time) with 13 tackles at Washington State, includingtwo for losses.
In 2002, he started all 13 games and his 96 tackles ranked sec-ondon the team and as the second-most ever by a Bruinfreshman player (James Washington - 119 in 1984). His av-erageof 7.4 tackles ranked 11th in the conference. His 12tackles for loss were second on the team. He ranked thirdon the team with three interceptions, two of which he re-turnedfor touchdowns to tie an NCAA record for lineback-ers.Havner was selected first-team Freshman All-Americaand Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year by The SportingNews.
#4 SS JARRAD PAGE -- Now in his third year as the starterat strong safety, Page was credited with nine tackles (foursolos) in the season opener against Oklahoma State.The true junior ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 55 in12 games a year ago. He missed the Arizona game due toinjury which snapped a string of 15 straight starting as-signments.Page tied for the team lead with three intercep-tions,returning one for a touchdown (Washington). He wasnamed honorable mention all-conference.
In 2002, Page saw action in all 13 games and started the final10 contests at strong safety to become the first Bruin safetysince Kenny Easley in 1977 to start as many as 10 games asa true freshman. He finished sixth on the team with 43 stopsand 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, in-cludingthree solos, in the opening game against OklahomaState.
Clark started all 12 games in which he played in 2003 and wasseventh on the team with 53 tackles. He made his first ca-reerstart in the 2003 season-opener at Colorado and hadseven tackles.Clark picked off the first pass of his career inthe Oklahoma contest. He made seven tackles againstWashington. Clark made five stops against USC and re-turneda blocked extra point for a defensive two-point score.As a sophomore, he appeared in 11 games and had seven tack-les.He also saw action as a kickoff and punt returner. In2001, he was one of three freshmen to earn playing timeand saw action in 10 games.
#97 DT C.J. NIUSULU -- True junior tackle C.J. Niusulu isthe veteran of the defensive front. He was set to make thefirst start of his career in the season opener against Okla-homaState, but underwent arthroscopic surgery on his leftknee on Sept. 1. He is expected to be out for 3-4 weeks.Niusulu appeared in all 13 games last season and accountedfor 26 tackles, including five tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks.He totaled five tackles at Stanford, including one for loss.Niusulu recorded six stops, including 2.5 for loss, in thegame at Washington State. He had a career-best seven tack-lesagainst Fresno State.
C.J. saw action in five games as a true freshman in 2002. Hejoined the Bruin defensive rotation after Rodney Leislebroke his foot. Niusulu sat out the final three games of theseason after an emergency appendicitis attack the week ofthe USC contest.
#75 KEVIN BROWN -- The true sophomore made his firstcareer start on the defensive line in the opener against Okla-homaState. He was credited with five tackles, includingone for loss, against the Cowboys.
Brown has established himself as one of the two starting de-fensivetackles and has the ability to be an outstanding per-former.In his first year in the program, he saw action onboth sides of the ball. After playing defense for the first sevengames of the 2003 season, Kevin switched to the offensiveline and started three games (ASU, Stanford, USC) at guard.Brown totaled four tackles on the year.
DEFENSIVE LINE -- Junior transfer KYLE MORGAN hadan impressive Spring practice and was contending for astarting slot at defensive end during the pre-season camp.However, he injured his left knee in practice and under-wentarthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus onAugust 16. He came off the bench against Oklahoma Statebut was not credited with any tackles. Morgan played twoseasons at Pearl River (MS) Community College and en-rolledat UCLA in the 2004 winter quarter.
Redshirt freshman BRUCE DAVIS made his first career startin his first college game in the season opener versusOklahoma State. A quick and explosive player, he madethree tackles (two solos) against the Cowboys.
Redshirt sophomore JUSTIN HICKMAN enjoyed a produc-tiveFall camp and started the Oklahoma State game at de-fensiveend. He recorded four tackles (all assists), includ-ing0.5 sacks (he shared a sack with Danny Nelson).Sophomore ROBERT GARCIA started at tackle against Okla-homaState and was credited with three tackles. Truefreshman KENNETH LOMBARD saw extensive actionagainst Oklahoma State off the bench and made onetackle. Redshirt freshmen NOAH SUTHERLAND (onesolo), NIKOLA DRAGOVIC (one assist) and WILLIAMSNEAD (three tackles, on solo) all played in the opener.True freshman BRIGHAM HARWELL, a contender for play-ingtime at a defensive end spot, underwent arthroscopicsurgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on August16. He saw limited action in the opener and was creditedwith two assists.
LINEBACKER -- Redshirt Junior WESLEY WALKER andredshirt freshman AARON WHITTINGTON battled forthe starting spot at outside linebacker during the Fall.Walker started against Oklahoma State and made eighttackles (four assists) while Whittington made one tackleoff the bench. Walker made 15 tackles last season and hadone start against Illinois in 2003.Junior college transfer DANNY NELSON (Arizona WesternCollege) was impressive in Fall camp and opened at an in-sidelinebacker position against Oklahoma State when Jus-tinLondon was not available. Nelson made seven tackles(three solos) against the Cowboys and split a sack with endJustin Hickman.
Senior BENJAMIN LORIER made one tackle off the bench.Senior TIM WARFIELD is out indefinitely with a small frac-turein his left tibia.
DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD -- Redshirt junior MARCUSCASSEL earned the starting nod in the opener against Okla-homaState. He won the job in Fall camp which was openedup by the departure of Matt Ware. Cassel, a steady con-tributoron special teams the last two seasons, made fivetackles (three assists) against the Cowboys.Redshirt sophomore ERIC McNEAL (one tackle) and redshirtfreshmen CHRIS HORTON (two tackles) and DENNISKEYES have all injected themselves into the mix at thesafety positions and all played against the Cowboys on de-fenseor special teams. Redshirt sophomore JEBIAUSBROWN, redshirt freshman TREY BROWN and truesophomore MIL'VON JAMES will also compete for play-ingtime at cornerback and should also see action on spe-cialteams.
#87 WR CRAIG BRAGG
-- All-America candidate CraigBragg enjoyed a second consecutive standout season in2003. A big-play performer (10 touchdowns of at least 40yards 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 schoolhistory to make at least 50 receptions in two differentseasons and could become the only player to lead theteam in receiving in four consecutive seasons.Bragg enters the Illinois contest with a streak of 37 con-secutivegames in which he has caught a pass and astring of 32 games in which he has made at least tworeceptions. He needs just 19 receptions and 572 receiv-ingyards to rank No. 1 on both career charts. His 161career catches now rank third on UCLA's career list, hav-ingpassed Danny Farmer versus Oklahoma State. His2,449 receiving yards rank fourth on the career list, just20 behind No. 3 J.J. Stokes and 99 behind No. 2 KevinJordan. He has 18 touchdowns (15 receiving, two rush-ingand one punt return), including 10 (eight receptions,one run and one punt return) of at least 40 yards.Bragg has a career touchdown average of 44.1 yards (42.0 onreceptions) and has accounted for at least 100 receivingyards in seven games in his career, a total bettered by justfour players at UCLA. He also ranks third on UCLA's ca-reerpunt return list with 71.
In the opener against Oklahoma State, he made four recep-tionsfor 87 yards, all in the first half. Three of his fourcatches resulted in first downs (his fourth was a 13-yardgain on which he fumbled so no first down is credited) andhe had receptions of 38 and 33 yards in the second quarter,the former setting up UCLA's field goal on the final play ofthe half. He also returned three punts for 47 yards, includ-ingone for 33 yards in the fourth quarter.
He ranks second in the Pac-10 in punt returns (15.7), T-fifthin all-purpose yards (136.0) and sixth in receiving yardage(87.0).
In 2003, Bragg saw action in all 13 games with 11 starts. With73 receptions, he became the first Bruin to register at least50 catches in two different seasons (55 in 2002). He becamethe sixth Bruin to break the 1,000-yard plateau with his totalof 1,065 receiving yards. He ranked sixth in the Pac-10 withhis average of 5.62 receptions per game, seventh in receiv-ingyards per game (81.92), seventh in all-purpose yards(106.77) and eighth in punt returns (7.95 yards). His totalof 73 catches ranked third on the all-time UCLA list andhis 1,065 receiving yards ranked fifth. He also set a schoolrecord for punt returns in a season with 38.
In 2002, he led the Pac-10 in punt returns and grabbed a schoolsophomore record 55 passes for 889 yards. No Bruin hadever entered their junior season with more career recep-tions(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). Heranked ninth in the Pac-10 in receiving yards and 10th inreceptions. He also led the league in punt return average(16.0).
He enjoyed one of the finest afternoon's in UCLA historyagainst Oregon in 2002 when he caught nine passes (tiedfor eighth on school list) for 230 yards (No. 2 on schoollist) with three touchdowns. Bragg was named the MostValuable Player in the Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl aftercatching four passes for 38 yards and returning a punt74 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
In 2001, he led the team with 29 catches, averaging 14.1yards per catch, and was the team's No. 4 rusher with100 yards (12.5 average) and two touchdowns. He alsoaveraged 8.4 yards on 14 punt returns and 18.6 yards on10 kickoff returns.
#14 QB DREW OLSON
-- In the opener against OklahomaState, the true junior completed 16 of 36 passes for 252yards, just 14 shy of his career best. He completed passes tosix different receivers, including seven to wide receivers,seven to running backs and two to tight ends. He also hadtwo fourth-quarter interceptions, both on tipped passes.His 57-yard pass play to Maurice Drew in the fourth quar-terwas the longest of his career. He ranks second in thePac-10 in total offense (252.0 yards).
He now has 242 completions in his 22-game career (15 starts).That total ranks No. 9 in UCLA history (he passed MattStevens against the Cowboys) and is just one behind 1967Heisman Trophy winner Gary Beban (243). In addition, heis just the ninth player in school history to record at least3,000 career passing yards (3,021).
Olson began the 2003 season as the No. 2 quarterback, butfound himself thrust to the forefront for the second straightyear because of injury. He replaced an injured Matt Moorein the first half of the opener at Colorado and went on toappear 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 passingefficiency rating (111.27). His 173 completions ranked 12thon UCLA's single-season list. He became the 14th Bruinoverall and just the fourth sophomore to pass for more than2,000 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 af-terPaus suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Cali-fornia.Olson was also injured in that game and sat out thenext contest against Stanford before returning to start thefinal five games of the season.
TODAY | 12:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 2:00pm PTLive