1-0 Bruins Host Rice On Sept. 9
Sept. 4, 2006
VS. RICE -- For the second straight season, the Bruins willhost Conference USA opponent Rice. The Bruins lead theseries, 3-0, after winning last year's matchup 63-21 in theRose Bowl. The Bruins scored on their first seven possessionsof last year's contest and enjoyed a 49-14 halftimeadvantage. Junior Taylor caught a pair of touchdown passesfrom Drew Olson in the contest (39 and 10 yards). Olsonthrew for 296 yards and three scores overall. Maurice Drewran 11 times for 95 yards and scored two touchdowns, oneon the ground and one on a 66-yard punt return.
THE 25TH YEAR -- The 2006 season marks the 25th yearthat the Rose Bowl has served as the home of the Bruins.UCLA moved from the L.A. Coliseum in the summer of 1982and went 6-0-1 in that first year, capping the season with avictory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl game.The season-opening win against Utah was UCLA's 100th atthe Rose Bowl. The Bruins own a record of 100-43-2 sincemoving to Pasadena, including a 3-2 record in Rose Bowlgames. UCLA is 15-4 under head coach Karl Dorrell, includinga current streak of seven straight wins.
HONORARY TEAM CAPTAIN -- Former UCLA standout JimBrown who played guard on the 1954 and 1955 teams willserve as an honorary captain for the Rice game. The 1954Bruin team was voted National Champion by the UnitedPress International. The `54 team set numerous schoolrecords, including points in a season (367), points in a game(72) and touchdowns in a season (55). It led the nation inscoring (40.8 avg.) and scoring defense (4.4). Jim earnedfirst-team All-America honors following the 1955 seasonwhen the Bruins played in the Rose Bowl. He teammedwith Hardiman Cureton to form one of the nation's top guardtandems. UCLA went 18-2 in Brown's two seasons.
LAST GAME -- UCLA opened the 2006 season with a 31-10victory over Emerald Bowl champion Utah, which had wonits last four games against Pac-10 schools.
The Bruin offense produced 425 yards, led by quarterbackBen Olson. Making his first start as a Bruin and his firststart anywhere since 2001, when he was a high schoolsenior, Olson showed the poise of a veteran. He completed25 of 33 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Hecompleted his first nine passes and his first eight were toeight different receivers. His 318 yards were the most by aUCLA quarterback making his first start since TommyMaddox threw for 353 at Michigan in 1990 and third-higheston the first start list (Steve Bono threw for 399 versusBYU in 1983 but UCLA lost both of those games).
Ten different Bruins made receptions, led by tight end LoganPaulsen's five for 90 yards. Matt Willis made four receptionsfor 40 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown, and bothBrandon Breazell (49 yards) and Chris Markey (45 yards)made three receptions. Marcus Everett and Ryan Moyamade the other touchdown receptions.
UCLA added 107 yards on the ground, led by Kahlil Bell (34)and Markey (32). UCLA did not commit a turnover and didnot allow a quarterback sack.
Defensively, UCLA allowed just 287 yards, 79 in the secondhalf when it outscored Utah 17-0. The yardage total wasthe lowest by an opponent in a season opener since 2003,when Colorado had 245 yards and the point total was thelowest in a season opener since 1999 (Boise State - 7).UCLA held Utah to zero for 11 on third-down conversionsand the point total was Utah's lowest since 2003.
UCLA played nickel and dime packages extensively againstthe Utes' spread offense and allowed just 175 yards passingand 112 yards rushing. The rushing total was the lowestby a Bruin opponent since Wyoming had just 76 in the2004 Las Vegas Bowl.
Dennis Keyes led the Bruins with seven tackles (one for loss)and two pass breakups while Chris Horton added five solotackles. Rodney Van and Aaron Whittington (two for losses)had four tackles each. Kevin Brown (two for losses) andNikola Dragovic, both returning from season-ending injuriesa year ago, had three tackles each.
True freshman Alterraun Verner returned an interception for atouchdown and recovered a fumble and Trey Brown madethe fourth interception of his career.UCLA took the opening kickoff and moved right down thefield, scoring a touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Olsonto Ryan Moya to cap a 79-yard drive. On it's next drive,UCLA drove from it's own three-yard line to the Ute 20 beforea dropped pass and a penalty resulted in a missedfield goal.
Tied at 7-7 with 2:16 to go in the first half, Verner intercepteda pass and returned it 34 yards for the go-ahead score.UCLA led 14-10 at halftime and outscored Utah 17-0 in thesecond half, highlighted by the defense holding the Utes tojust 79 yards and Olson firing touchdown passes of 19 yardsto Willis and nine yards to Everett.
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