Bruins Open Up 2009 Season With Aztecs

Aug. 31, 2009

GAME 1 - UCLA will play host to San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 5 in the Rose Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 4:45 p.m. The game will be televised locally on FS West with Bill Macdonald and James Washington calling the action and Brooke Olzendam on the sidelines. FS West will air pre- and post-game shows from the Rose Bowl (Sean Franham and Danny Farmer). The UCLA /ISP Sports Radio Network (KLAC 570 AM, the Los Angeles flagship station) will broadcast the contest with Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook mikeside. That radio feed will also be carried live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Channel 122 on Sirius and 106 on XM). In addition, ISP produces a Spanish-language broadcast of all UCLA home games which can be heard on the Bruins website at with Armando Aguayo and Mario Amaya.

HONORARY GAME CAPTAIN - The honorary captain for the 2009 season-opener is Tim Wrightman, a tight end on the 1978-81 teams. Wrightman was named a consensus All-American following the 1981 season and finished his career as the No. 2 receiver in UCLA history with 73 catches. He was also selected to the 1981 football Academic All-America squad. Wrightman was a third-round pick of the Chicago Bears and was a member of the 1986 Bears Super Bowl team. Tim was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

2009 BRUIN SEASON SCHEDULE BEGINS WITH SAN DIEGO STATE - There are six home games, including the Sept. 5 season-opener against San Diego State, and six road matchups on the 2009 Bruin schedule. Overall, the record of UCLA's 2009 opponents was 72-78 (.480). Four of those schools (USC 12-1, Oregon State 9-4, Cal 9-4, Oregon 10-3) won at least nine games. A fifth team won eight games (Arizona 8-5) and four more won five games each (Stanford, Arizona State, Tennessee, Kansas State). The home opponents for 2009 posted a 31-43 (.419) record in 2008, while the road opponents compiled a 41-35 (.540) mark last season.

Four teams on the 2009 schedule have been voted into the pre-season USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll --- USC at No. 4, Cal at No. 12, Oregon at No. 14, Oregon State at No. 25 --- and two others received votes (Arizona, Tennessee). UCLA also received votes (14) and was 38th on the poll.

Five of the 12 opponents played in bowl games following the 2008 campaign and each came away a winner (Oregon defeated Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl; California defeated Miami in the Emerald Bowl; Arizona defeated BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl; Oregon State bested Pitt in the Sun Bowl; USC topped Penn State in the Rose Bowl). The Bruins will meet four of those bowl-winning teams in a row during the month of October. Oregon (Oct. 10) and California (Oct. 17) come to the Rose Bowl and the Bruins play at Arizona (Oct. 24) and Oregon State (Oct. 31).

San Diego State returns to the Bruin schedule for the first time since a 2005 meeting in San Diego. The Aztecs last played in the Rose Bowl in the 2004 campaign. Kansas State will meet UCLA for the first time. The Bruins return to Tennessee for the first time since a 1996 encounter in Knoxville.

SEASON OPENER - UCLA opens its 91st season of football against San Diego State.The Bruins are 59-26-5 overall in season-opening games. UCLA has begun its last four seasons with a win. It knocked off Tennessee in overtime last season by a score of 27-24. (2007, won 45-17 at Stanford; 2006, won 31-10 over Utah in Rose Bowl; 2005, won 44-21 at San Diego State). The last season-opening loss was in 2004 to Oklahoma State (20-31) in a game played in Pasadena.

UCLA leads the series with San Diego State by a count of 20-0-1 and captured the last meeting, 44-21, in a 2005 game played in San Diego. Maurice Drew scored three touchdowns and compiled 186 yards of total offense in that contest. Tight end Marcedes Lewis caught six passes for 131 yards and linebacker Spencer Havner recorded 13 tackles. The Bruins last played host to the Aztecs in the 2004 season and came away with a 33-10 win. Drew rushed for 161 yards in that contest and racked up 222 all-purpose yards. Havner led the Bruin defense with 14 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.

In the modern era, UCLA has opened the season against San Diego State in the 2005, 1988, 1987 and 1984 seasons. The combined season record of the Bruin teams during those years was 39-9. In 2005, UCLA finished 10-2 overall and third in the Pac-10; and went on to win the Sun Bowl. In 1988, UCLA bested the Aztecs 59-6, finished 10-2 overall and second in the Pac-10 and won the Cotton Bowl. In 1987, the Bruins won 47-14 over SDSU and again finished 10-2, tied for first in the Pac-10; and won the Aloha Bowl. In 1984, UCLA finished 9-3 overall and bested SDSU 18-15. The Bruins won the Fiesta Bowl following that season after tying for third in the conference.

San Diego State went 2-10 last season and tied for eighth in the Mountain West Conference with a 1-7 mark. The Aztecs have brought in a new coach, Brady Hoke, who led Ball State to a 12-1 record in 2008. There are several coaches on Hoke's staff who have ties to UCLA. Offensive coordinator Al Borges served in the same capacity at UCLA from 1996-2000; defensive coordinator Rocky Long held that title at UCLA from 1996-97; cornerbacks coach Tony White was a Bruin linebacker from 1997-2000 and a graduate assistant in football operations in 2007; Director of Operations Bob Lopez held that title at UCLA from 2003-07.

WHO's BACK - UCLA returns:

  • 10 Offensive Starters (OG Nick Ekbatani-12 starts, FB Chane Moline-8, QB Kevin Craft-12, WR Taylor Embree-8, WR Terrence Austin-7, TE Cory Harkey-7, OT Jeff Baca-8, OG Darius Savage-7, C Jake Dean-7, OL Micah Kia-7); 2007 starters-TE Logan Paulsen and FB Trevor Theriot)
  • Seven Defensive Starters (LB Reggie Carter-12, DT Brian Price-12, DE Korey Bosworth-12, CB Alterraun Verner-12, FS Rahim Moore-12, LB Steve Sloan-9, DE Reggie Stokes-5; 2007 starter LB Kyle Bosworth)
  • Three of the Top Four Rushers from 2008 (#2 Derrick Coleman-284 yds.; #3 Chane Moline-118; #4 Terrence Austin-90)
  • Top Passer (#1 Kevin Craft-2,341 yds. and 7 tds)
  • Top Three Receivers (#1 Terrence Austin-53 catches; #2 Taylor Embree-40; #3 Ryan Moya-38)
  • Three of the Top Four Receiving Yardage Leaders (#1 Taylor Embree-531 yards; #2 Terrence Austin-460; #4 Ryan Moya-364)
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