Game Notes: Bruins Host No.9 Cal at the Rose Bowl on Saturday

Oct. 15, 2007

UCLA (4-2, 3-0) vs No. 9/10 California (5-1, 2-1)

** Bruins have won last three series games at Rose Bowl **
** UCLA has won 12 of last 14 home games **

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GAME #7 - UCLA (4-2, 3-0 in Pac-10 play, one-half game behind Arizona State for first place) returns to the Rose Bowl this Saturday afternoon when it hosts California (5-1, 2-1) in the Rose Bowl. Cal is ranked ninth (tied) on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 10 by AP. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. PDT and the game will be televised by ABC with Dan Fouts, Tim Brant and Todd Harris calling the action. AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin Radio Network (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook) broadcasts all of the Bruin games. Sirius satellite radio will air the game (channel 114) nationally, as will Sports USA Radio with Tom Dillon, John Robinson and Mike Martinez.

SERIES WITH CALIFORNIA - The Bruins lead the series with the Golden Bears, which dates back to 1933, by a 48-28-1 count. UCLA has won the last three meetings in the series played in the Rose Bowl as the teams have split the last six meetings overall with the home team emerging victorious.

Last season, the Bruins dropped a 38-24 decision at Berkeley despite a career-best 329 passing yards by quarterback Patrick Cowan and 136 yards rushing by Chris Markey. The Bruins outgained the 10th-ranked Bears 516 to 433 in total offense. On special teams, the Bruins missed a pair of field goals and allowed a punt return for a touchdown. That return gave Cal a 28-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Cal extended its advantage to 35-10 early in the fourth quarter and two fourth quarter Bruin touchdown drives were not enough to overcome the deficit.

In the last matchup played in the Rose Bowl, the 2005 Bruins rallied for a 47-40 win over the 10th-ranked Golden Bears. Tailback Maurice Drew tied his own school record with five touchdowns. The last two came in the final 1:35 of the contest and lifted the Bruins to the victory. After Drew returned his third punt of the season for a score to make it 28-27 Bruins with 7:33 to play in the third quarter, Cal answered with 16 straight points and led 40-28 early in the fourth quarter. UCLA then rattled off three straight touchdown drives in the final 7:30 of the ball game to secure the win.

HONORARY CAPTAIN - Former Bruin standout running back Kevin Nelson (1980-83) will serve as the honorary captain for the California game. Nelson led UCLA in rushing in the 1981(883 yards) and 1983 (898 yards) seasons. He had a career-best 186 yards, the most ever by a true freshman Bruin running back, in a 1980 win over Arizona State. Nelson totaled nine career 100-yard rushing games (tied for eighth on the all-time list) in all. He still ranks eighth on the school career rushing list with a total of 2,583 yards. Nelson played in a pair of Rose Bowl games, rushing for 48 yards in a 1983 win over Michigan and for 69 yards in a 1984 victory over Illinois. He was selected first-team All-Pac-10 following the 1983 season.

2007 SEASON SCHEDULE - There are six home games and six road matchups on the 2007 schedule. The Bruins play back-to-back home games on two occasions --- Oct. 6 vs. Notre Dame and (bye week in between) Oct. 20 vs. California (homecoming); and Nov. 10 vs. Arizona State and Nov. 24, following a bye week, vs. Oregon. UCLA will play back-to-back road contests once this season, on Oct. 27 at Washington State and on Nov. 3 at Arizona. The Bruins posted a 6-5 record against teams it played in the 2006 season and will meet again in 2007.

The Bruins will square off against five opponents who won at least 10 games in the 2006 season (BYU 11-2, USC 11-2, Notre Dame 10-3, California 10-3, Oregon State 10-4). Overall, UCLA will meet 10 opponents which won at least six contests last season (above teams, plus Utah 8-5, Arizona State 7-6, Oregon 7-6, Arizona 6-6, Washington State 6-6). Three opponents earned at least a share of a conference title (BYU - Mountain West champion; USC and California were co-champions of the Pac-10).

The combined 2006 records of the teams that UCLA will play this season are 92-61 (.601). The teams UCLA will meet on the road this season posted a record of 42-34 (.553) last year. The combined record of the teams that the Bruins will host in the Rose Bowl this season was 50-27 (.649).

The combined record of the three nonconference opponents UCLA will meet in 2007 was 29-10 (.744) last season (BYU 11-2, Notre Dame 10-3, Utah 8-5).

LAST GAME -- UCLA was not able to overcome the loss of quarterback Ben Olson and seven turnovers, losing to Notre Dame, 20-6, at the Rose Bowl on October 6.

UCLA took a 3-0 lead with 3:06 remaining in the first quarter when Kai Forbath kicked a 29-yard field goal. On UCLA's next possession, Olson injured his left knee and fumbled. He did not return. The Fighting Irish recovered at the Bruin one-yard line but the defense made them settle for a 26-yard field goal.

With McLeod Bethel-Thompson, a walkon redshirt freshman, at quarterback, UCLA took a 6-3 halftime lead on Forbath's 49-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

With 6:24 remaining in the third quarter, Notre Dame tied the score at 6-6 on a 48-yard field goal. Later in the quarter, Notre Dame intercepted a pass deep in UCLA territory and combined with a Bruin penalty on the return, set up on the UCLA two-yard line. On third down, Notre Dame scored from the one-yard line to take a 13-6 lead. On the ensuing UCLA possession, Bethel-Thompson fumbled when sacked and Notre Dame's Maurice Crum returned it 34 yards for a touchdown and a 20-6 lead.

Neither team scored in the final 15 minutes, although UCLA had a 68-yard touchdown pass/run negated by a penalty and also reached the Notre Dame nine-yard line before a fourth-and-goal pass was intercepted.Defensively, UCLA allowed just 140 yards of total offense (94 passing and 46 rushing) on 66 plays. It allowed one touchdown drive of two yards and field goal drives of minus-seven and 29 yards. Notre Dame converted just three of 17 third-down conversion attempts.

Trey Brown led the Bruins with a career-high 10 tackles while safeties Chris Horton and Dennis Keyes added eight and seven tackles, respectively. Bruce Davis made three sacks.Offensively, UCLA accounted for 282 yards - 193 passing and 89 rushing. Olson completed four of 10 passes for 54 yards prior to his injury while Bethel-Thompson completed 12 of 28 for 139 yards and four interceptions. Brandon Breazell and Joe Cowan each made five receptions for 69 yards.

Kahlil Bell led all Bruin rushers with 64 yards on 18 carries.

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