Pre-Season Football Notes

July 28, 2008

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There are seven home games and five road matchups on the 2008 schedule. UCLA will play three straight at home this season (Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 4) and open the year with four of its first five games in the Rose Bowl. It plays back-to-back road contests once this season, on Nov. 15 and Nov. 28 (with a bye week in between). A year ago, the Bruins posted a 6-5 record against the teams it played in the 2007 season and will meet again in 2008.

The 2008 schedule features eight teams that played in bowl games this past season and compiled a record of 7-1. UCLA's three non-conference opponents - Fresno State (9-4), Tennessee (10-4) and BYU (11-2) all won bowl games and finished with a composite record of 30-10 (.750).

Overall, the record of UCLA's 2008 opponents was 94-60 (.610). Seven of those schools (USC 11-2, BYU 11-2, Arizona State 10-3, Tennessee 10-4, Oregon 9-4, Oregon State 9-4 and Fresno State 9-4) won at least nine games. An eighth won seven games and two more won five each. The home opponents posted a 53-36 (.596) record in 2007, while the road opponents were 41-24 (.631) last season.

Six teams on next year's schedule finished in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll - No. 3 USC, No. 12 Tennessee, No. 14 BYU, No. 16 Arizona State, No. 23 Oregon and No. 25 Oregon State. Overall, UCLA will meet four teams which earned at least a share of the regular season conference title (Tennessee - SEC East, BYU - Mountain West, Arizona State and USC were co-champions of the Pac-10). Eight of the 12 opponents played in bowl games following the 2007 campaign (Tennessee defeated Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl; BYU defeated UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl; Fresno State defeated Georgia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl; Oregon bested South Florida in the Sun Bowl; Cal topped Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl; Oregon State beat Maryland in the Emerald Bowl; Arizona State lost to Texas in the Holiday Bowl; USC outscored Illinois in the Rose Bowl).

Tennessee returns to the Bruin schedule for the first time since a 1997 meeting in the Rose Bowl. Fresno State will meet UCLA in the regular season for the first time since 2000. The Bruins battled the Bulldogs in the 2003 Silicon Valley Classic in their last matchup.

WHO's BACK - UCLA returns:

    *Five Offensive Starters (OG / now center Micah Reed, TE Logan Paulsen, QB Ben Olson, FB Trevor Theriot, OT Micah Kia)
    *Five Defensive Starters (DE Tom Blake, DT Brian Price, LB Kyle Bosworth, LB Reggie Carter, CB Alterraun Verner)
    *Four of Its Top Five Rushers from 2007 (#1 Kahlil Bell-795 yds.; #3 Chane Moline-196; #4 Craig Sheppard-133; #5 Osaar Rasshan-109)
    *Top Passer (#1 Ben Olson-1,040 yds. and 7 tds)
    *Five of Its Top Seven Receivers (#3 Dominique Johnson-25 catches; #4 Terrence Austin-17; #5 Kahlil Bell-13; #6 Logan Paulsen- 12; #7 Marcus Everett-10)
    *Five of ITs Top Seven Receiving Yardage Leaders (#3 Dominique Johnson-322 yards; #4 Terrence Austin-248; #5 Logan Paulsen-144; #6 Marcus Everett-134; #7 Kahlil Bell-93)
    *Top Two Total Offense Leaders (#1 Ben Olson-940 yards; #2 Kahlil Bell-795 yards)
    *Two of Its Top Five Tacklers (#4 Alterraun Verner-75 tackles; #5 Kyle Bosworth-74)
    *Three of Its Top Seven Tackles for Loss Leaders (#3 Reggie Carter-12.0; #4 Korey Bosworth-8.5; #T5 Brian Price-7.0)
    *Top Three Scorers (#1 Kai Forbath-105 points; #2 Kahlil Bell-30; #3(tied) Dominique Johnson-24)
    *Top Punt Returner (Terrence Austin- 31 returns for 311 yards, 10.0 avg.)
    *Top Field Goal Kicker (Kai Forbath- 25/30 field goals made)
    *Leading Punter (Aaron Perez-91 kicks for 42.3 avg.)



    No. 1 - Kickoff Returns, 25.2 yds. per return
    No. 1 - Opponent 4th Down Conversion, 29.4%
    No. 1 - PAT Kicking, 1,000%
    No. 2 - Scoring Defense, 22.3 points
    No. 2 - Punting, 37.7 net yards per punt
    No. 2 - Opponent Third Down Conversion, 29%
    No. 3 - Rushing Defense, 109.2 yards per game
    No. 3 - Total Defense, 343.2 per game
    No. 3 - Sacks By, 39
    No. 3 - Red Zone Defense, 76.3%
    No. 3 - Field Goals, 83.3%
    No. 4 - Pass Defense, 234.1 yards per game
    No. 4 - Pass Defense Efficiency, 115.0
    No. 5 - Red Zone Offense, 81%
    No. 5 - Punt Return Avg., 8.6 yards per return

UCLA opens its 90th season of football with a Labor Day evening game against Tennessee in the Rose Bowl. Kickoff on Monday, Sept. 1 is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN. AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin ISP Radio Network will radio broadcast the contest.

The Bruins have opened the 1996 (L, 20-35 in Knoxville), 1994 (W, 25-23 in Rose Bowl), 1989 (L, 6-24 in Rose Bowl), 1974 (17-17 in Knoxville), 1967 (W, 20-16 in Los Angeles) seasons against the Volunteers. Rick Neuheisel will become the third Bruin head coach to open his UCLA coaching career against Tennessee. Bob Toledo coached his first game at UT in 1996 (35-20 loss). Dick Vermeil took the field for his first Bruin game at Tennessee in 1974 (17-17 tie).

Tennessee leads the series with UCLA by a count of 7-4-2 and captured the last meeting, 30-24, in a 1997 game played at the Rose Bowl.

The Bruins are 58-26-5 overall in season-opening games. UCLA won 45-17 at Stanford in last year's opener for its third straight season-opening win (2005, won 44-21 at San Diego State; 2006, won 31-10 over Utah in Rose Bowl).

UCLA finished the 2007 season with a 6-7 record. The Bruins placed tied for fourth in the Pac-10 Conference with a record of 5-4 and went on to participate in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Bruins welcomed six new assistant coaches to the staff of first-year head coach Rick Neuheisel.

Norm Chow is the new Bruin offensive coordinator. He came to UCLA from the staff of the Tennessee Titans of the NFL where he served as offensive coordinator for the past three seasons. Before joining the Titans in 2005, Chow spent 32 seasons at the college level, working on staffs which won three national titles (BYU-1984, USC-2003, 2004), tutoring three Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks (Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart), participated in 27 bowl games, and three times being named the Assistant Coach of the Year. He has worked with several of the NCAA's top career passing efficiency leaders and mentored six first-round NFL draft picks (Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Philip Rivers, Palmer, Leinart).

Frank Gansz, Jr. will tutor the Bruin special teams units. He spent the last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and the previous five with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has also coached with the Oakland Raiders in 1998 and 1999 and spent the 1993-97 seasons at the University of Houston.Tim Hauck is the Bruin safeties coach. He spent the last four seasons coaching the secondary on the staff of the University of Montana. Hauck played 13 seasons in the NFL, before retiring in 2002.

Reggie Moore, a former Bruin (1987-90), is the receivers coach. Moore worked the last four years as the wide receivers coach at North Dakota State University. He still ranks among the top 20 all-time at UCLA in receiving and caught many of his pass receptions from two of the top quarterbacks in Bruin history, Troy Aikman and Tommy Maddox.

Wayne Moses will work with the Bruin running backs. He returns to Westwood where he was the Bruin running backs coach in 1990-95. Moses spent the last two seasons as the running backs coach for the St. Louis Rams. Prior to joining the Rams, he spent 28 years in the collegiate ranks, including stints at five Pac-10 conference schools.

Bob Palcic is the UCLA offensive line coach. Palcic also is returning to Westwood. He served as the Bruin offensive line coach in 1993 on a team which went on to play in the 1994 Rose Bowl. Palcic spent the last two seasons coaching at the University of Wisconsin after 12 years in the NFL (New Orleans, Browns, Lions, Falcons).

Mike Linn, a former Bruin offensive lineman (1990-91), returned to Westwood as the head athletic performance coach in February of 2008. Mike had previously worked in the Bruin weight room from 1992 to 2002, serving as the head of the UCLA program from 1999-2002.

Practices will be held on campus at Spaulding Field. The Bruins will practice once daily from August 5-9 as part of the standard NCAA acclimatization process. The first practice in pads will be on Saturday, August 9. Two-a-day practices will commence on Sunday, August 10. NCAA rules instituted in 2003 prohibit two practices on back-to-back days. On Saturday, August 16, the Bruins will hold a major scrimmage at Drake Stadium beginning at approximately 5 p.m. with an autograph session to follow. Practices held from August 5 - August 20 will be open to the public.

    Tuesday, Aug. 5 - 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Wednesday, Aug. 6 - 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Thursday, Aug. 7 - 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Friday, Aug. 8 - 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Saturday, Aug. 9 - 4:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. (first day in full pads)
    Sunday, Aug. 10 - 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. / 5:15 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
    Monday, Aug. 11 - 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Tuesday, Aug. 12 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. / 5:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, Aug. 13 - 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Thursday, Aug. 14 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. / 5:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Friday, Aug. 15 - 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, Aug, 16 - 5:00 p.m. (scrimmage)
    Sunday, Aug. 17 - no practice
    Monday, Aug. 18 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. / 5:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    Tuesday, Aug. 19 - 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, Aug. 20 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. / 5:15-7:30 p.m.

The Bruins have qualified to play in a bowl game in 10 of the last 11 seasons (not in 1999). UCLA played in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2007 which marked its sixth straight bowl appearance (only USC among the Pac-10 schools has a streak as long).


LB Reggie Carter
Chuck Bednarik Award (National Defensive Player of the Year) Watch ListBronko Nagurski Award (National Defensive Player of the Year) Watch ListLott Trophy (National Defensive Player of the Year Award) Watch List

CB Alterraun Verner
Lott Trophy (National Defensive Player of the Year Award) Watch List

DT Brigham Harwell
Outland Trophy (Nation's Top Interior Defensive Lineman) Watch List

QB Ben Olson
Johnny Unitas Senior Quarterback Watch List

Here are the pre-season rankings for UCLA and individual Bruin player honors:

UCLA team rankings:

National - Lindy's No. 29; Athlon No.37;
Pac-10 - Athlon No. 4; Sporting News No. 4; Lindy's No. 5


PK Kai Forbath

    All-America Third Team - Sporting News
    All-America Fourth Team - Phil Steele
    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Lindy's, Phil Steele
    Third-team All-Pac-10 - Athlon

P Aaron Perez

    All-America Fourth Team - Phil Steele
    All-America Honorable Mention - Sporting News
    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Lindy's, Phil Steele

QB Ben Olson

    All-America Honorable Mention - Sporting News

DT Brigham Harwell

    First-team All-Pac-10 - Lindy's
    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele, Athlon

LB Reggie Carter

    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele

CB Alterraun Verner

    First-team All-Pac-10 - Athlon
    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele

WR/PR Terrence Austin

    All-America Honorable Mention - Sporting News
    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele, Athlon

TB Kahlil Bell

    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Lindy's

TE Logan Paulsen

    All-America Honorable Mention - Sporting News
    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Athlon
    Third-team All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele

DT Brian Price

    Second-team All-Pac-10 - Lindy's
    Third-team All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele, Athlon

TB Raymond Carter

    Third-team All-Pac-10 - Athlon

OT Micah Kia

    Honorable mention All-Pac-10 - Phil Steele

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