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No. 21 Bruins Host Nevada in Season Opener

Aug 26, 2013
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    Los Angeles - The No. 21 UCLA football team opens up the 2013 season at the Rose Bowl this Saturday, hosting Nevada at 7:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on the Pac-12 Networks. Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth and Jill Savage will be calling the action in Pasadena. The Bruin IMG Radio Network (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook) will air the contest on AM1150 (normally AM570 Fox Sports LA but moved due to a Dodger game).  The game will also be aired on SIRIUS (Ch. 137), XM (Ch. 196).

    This will be UCLA’s first season-opener at home in the Rose Bowl since the 2009 season (vs. San Diego State). The Bruins won last year’s first game of the season at Rice by a score of 49-24. UCLA has captured wins in the last three season-opening contests played at home (2009 - SDSU, 2008 - Tennessee, 2006 - Utah). Second-year head coach Jim Mora, who led the Bruins to the Pac-12 South Division Championship and matched the school record for wins by a first-year coach welcomes back 12 (5 defensive, 6 offensive, 1 specialist) returning starters. The coaching staff was kept virtually intact, with Taylor Mazzone moving up to quarterbacks coach from the graduate assistant post he held in 2012.

    This will be the first meeting between the Bruins and the Wolfpack on the gridiron. Nevada produced a 7-6 record in 2012 which included a season-opening win at Cal (31-24) and a season-ending loss versus Arizona (49-48) in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Brian Polian is in his first season as head coach after serving as an assistant at Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford and Texas A&M. The Wolfpack ranked 18th in the nation in scoring last season (37.8 ppg-UCLA 31st at 34.4), eighth in total offense (514.85 yds/g-UCLA 24th at 466.5) and seventh in the nation in rushing (271.0 yds/g-UCLA 37th at 190.8).

    The Bruins play at Nebraska in game two, on Sept. 14, and then return home to meet New Mexico State on Sept. 21. Four of the nine conference games will be contested in the Rose Bowl this season. The Pac-12 slate opens with a Thursday night encounter at Utah.

    *6 Offensive Starters - -(WR Shaq Evans, QB Brett Hundley, OG Xavier Su’a-Filo, C Jake Brendel, OT Simon Goines, OT Torian White)
    *5 Defensive Starters -- (DL Cassius Marsh, DL Seali’i Epenesa, LB Anthony Barr, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Jordan Zumwalt)
    * 1 Specialist - (PK Ka’imi Fairbairn)
    * 5 of Top 7 Rushers from 2012 --#2 QB Brett Hundley-355 yds, #3 RB Damien Thigpen-262 yds, #5 RB Jordon James-214, #6 RB Steven Manfro-70 yds, #7 RB Melvin Emesibe-40 yds
    * Top Passer from 2012 -- #1 Brett Hundley-3,740 yds and 29 tds
    * Top Receiver from 2012 Plus -- #1 WR Shaquelle Evans-60 catches and #5t RB Steven Manfro-28, #5t RB Jordon James-28, #7 WR Devin Fuller-20, #8t WR Jordan Payton-18, #8t RB Damien Thigpen-18
    * 3 of Top 4 tacklers from 2012 -- #1 LB Eric Kendricks 150, #2 LB Anthony Barr 83, #4 LB Jordan Zumwalt 71
    * 2 of Top 3 sack leaders from 2012 -- #1 LB Anthony Barr 13.5, #2 DL Cassius Marsh 8.0
    * 2 of Top 3 tackles for loss leaders from 2012 -- #1 LB Anthony Barr 21.5, #3 DL Cassius Marsh 10.5

    ***UCLA is 61-28-5 in season-opening games in 94 seasons of play
    ***Senior LB Anthony Barr has the most sacks of any returning player in the country (13.5)
    ***Junior LB Eric Kendricks’ 150 tackles were the most by a Bruin since 1978 (Jerry Robinson 168 in 1978)
    **Sophomore QB Brett Hundley established several school records during the course of the season --- single-season total offense: Hundley 4,095 – old record 3,652 by Cade McNown in 1998; single-season passing yardage: Hundley 3,740 – old record 3,470 by Cade McNown in 1998; single-season completions: Hundley 318 – old record 242 by Drew Olson in 2005
    **Only one head coach won as many games in his first season at UCLA as Jim Mora (9) – Terry Donahue, 1976
    **Hundley’s 29 touchdown passes rank 2nd on school season list behind Drew Olson, 34 in 2005
    **UCLA played 26 freshmen in 2012 -- 12 true freshmen and 14 redshirt freshmen.
    **UCLA started at least four freshmen on offense in all but the Holiday Bowl game and as many as seven against Utah.
    **UCLA has won 16 of its last 21 games when winning the turnover battle (.762) and dropped 31 of its last 45 games (.311) when losing or tying the turnover ratio (UCLA was 5-2 last year when winning and 0-3 when losing the turnover battle)
    **The Bruins won as many as four road games in a season for the first time since 2002, when it won five in 2012
    **UCLA has won 12 of its last 13 games when it limits the opponent to less than 100 rushing yards (3-0 in 2012)
    **The Arizona game was the 18th straight game UCLA has won when holding the opponent to less than 20 points
    **Hundley is the first UCLA quarterback to ever throw for at least 300 yards in three straight games (305 Nebraska/320 Houston/372 Oregon St.). He is the third to total at least four, 300-yard games in a season.
    Most 300-yd passing games in a season -- Cade McNown 6 -1998, Tom Ramsey 4 -1982, Hundley 4 - 2012
    Most Career 300-yd passing games -- McNown11, Cory Paus 7, Hundley 4, Drew Olson 4, Tommy Maddox 4, Troy Aikman 4, Tom Ramsey 4
    **UCLA has won 12 of its last 13 games when it limits the opponent to less than 100 rushing yards (3-0 in 2012)
    **The Arizona game was the 18th straight game UCLA has won when holding the opponent to less than 20 points **UCLA had not gained at least 500 yards of total offense in a three-game stretch during a season, prior to the 2012 season (complete records date back to 1965 season) ...Years in which UCLA has had at least three games, with at least 500-yards of total offense -- 2012 (4-Rice=646/Nebraska=653/Houston=567/Arizona=611); 2005 (3); 1998 (5); 1996 (3); 1991 (4); 1987 (3); 1986 (4); 1976 (5); 1973 (5) (dating back to 1965)
    **UCLA has won more than 9 games in a season 7 times in its history (10-each in 1946, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1997, 1998, 2005)
    **At Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game (284 yds) was the seventh 200-yard rushing game of the season for UCLA... The Bruins had six such contests in 2011 ...UCLA opened 2012 with a 247-yard total vs. Houston, a 344-yard total vs. Nebraska and a 343-yard sum at Rice ... The Bruins had won 24 straight games in which they rushed for at least 250 yards until the loss at Stanford (81-4-1 all-time).
    **Four UCLA players enter 2012 with at least 20 career starts - Su’a-Filo-27, Marsh-26, Barr-25(14 on def.), Evans-20

    THIS AND THAT ABOUT THE BRUINS:Linebacker Eric Kendricks(#6) is the son of former Bruin, Marv Kendricks, who led UCLA in rushing in 1970 and 1971; Eric’s brother, Mychal, is a former linebacker at Cal who is now in the NFL ... OT Xavier Su’a-Filo (#56) spent the 2010 and 2011 on an LDS mission in Alabama and Forida during which time he learned the Spanish language ... LB Anthony Barr’s(#11) dad, Tony Brooks, was a fourth-round pick of the Eagles in the 1992 draft after playing at Notre Dame ... Reserve fullback Luke Gane(#49) underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in high school to help overcome a rare blood disorder (aplastic anemia) ... Y receiver Darius Bell’s(#3) brother Kahlil, a former Bruin running back, played in the NFL in 2012 with the Chicago Bears and NY Jets ... Redshirt freshman linebacker Aaron Porter’s (#42) mom, Sandy, played in the Softball World Series for Long Beach State and is in the 49ers’ Hall of Fame ... Running back Jordon James (#6) has a black belt in Taekwondo ... Running back Malcolm Jones’(#28) brother, Marshall, played defensive back at USC ... Defensive back Brandon Sermons’(#25) brother, Rodney, played for USC (‘94-97) ... Brett Hundley’s(#17) dad, Brett, Sr., lettered at running back at the University of Arizona ... Most of the Bruin coaching staff has a direct coaching tie to the NFL - head coach Jim Mora - 25 seasons with San Diego 1985-91, New Orleans 1992-96, San Francisco 1997-2003, Atlanta 2004-06, Seattle 2007-09; receivers coach Eric Yarber - 5 seasons with Tampa Bay 2010-11, San Francisco 2003-04, Seattle 1998; Defensive Coord. Lou Spanos - 17 seasons with Washington 2010-11, Pittsburgh 1995-2009; Special teams and Linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich - 2 seasons with Seattle 2010-11; Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone - 3 seasons with NY Jets 2006-08 ... Coaches who played in the NFL include Yarber, Ulbrich, running backs coach Steve Broussard, offensive line coach Adrian Klemm ... Other players with NFL ties include sophomore Ishmael Adams (#24) (dad, Stefon, was selected in third round of 1985 draft); redshirt freshman Paul Perkins’ (#24)dad played football at Arizona State and with Tampa Bay and Indianapolis and his uncle, Don Perkins played with the Dallas Cowboys; redshirt sophomore linebacker Aaron Wallace’s (#51) dad played at Texas A&M and for eight seasons with the Raiders; redshirt freshman quarterback Jerry Neuheisel’s (#11)dad played with Tampa Bay and San Diego and was the head coach at UCLA (2008-11); freshman Scott Quessenberry’s (#52) brother, David, was selected in sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft by Houston after playing at San Jose State.

    12 true freshmen -- CB Ishmael Adams, WR Jordan Payton, F Kenneth Walker, OT Simon Goines, CB Fabian Moreau, DB Randall Goforth, PK Ka’imi Fairbairn, DL Ellis McCarthy, DB Marcus Rios, Y Ian Taubler, LB Kenny Orjioke, F Devin Fuller -- saw action in 2012. In addition, 14 redshirt freshmen took the field for the first time in 2012 -- C Jake Brendel, WR Roosevelt Davis, RB Melvin Emesibe, QB Brett Hundley, WR Devin Lucien, RB Steven Manfro, OL Kevin McReynolds, OL Will Oliver, WR Tyler Scott, WR Logan Sweet, DL Brandon Tuliaupupu, LB Aaron Wallace, OL Torian White, OL Ben Wysocki. A school-record 17 true freshmen played for the Bruins in 1977. In recent years, nine played in 2005, eight in 2006, two in 2007 and 11 in 2008. UCLA played 10 freshmen in 2009 and again in 2010. One first-year player saw action in 2011.

    10 players who began the summer on NFL rosters (bold below and Aaron Hester-CB, Jeff Baca-OG)
    *Leading rusher -- RB Johnathan Franklin (1,734 yards)
    *#2-3-4 receivers --Y Joseph Fauria (46 catches - 637 yds - 12 tds), RB Franklin (33 catches - 323 yds - 2 tds), WR Jerry Johnson (31 catches - 428 yds - 1 td)
    *Punter -- Jeff Locke (43.3 yd avg. and 34 punts inside the 20 yd. line) -- long-snapper Kevin McDermott
    *Interception return leaders -- S Andrew Abbott (4) -- CB Sheldon Price (4)
    *All-Purpose Yardage leader -- Franklin (2,062 yds)
    *#3-5-6-7 tacklers -- S Tevin McDonald (79), DL Datone Jones (62), S Andrew Abbott (58), LB Damien Holmes (53)

    Redshirt junior offensive guard Xavier Su’a-Filo tops four Bruin players with at least 20 career starts. Su’a-Filo has started all 27 games in his career. The defensive player with the most starts is senior end Cassius Marsh (26). The returning player with the longest starting streak is redshirt junior linebacker Eric Kendricks (17). Eight other players are tied for second with 14 straight starts.

    Senior LB Anthony Barr, Junior OL Xavier Su’a-Filo, redshirt junior LB Eric Kendricks, redshirt junior LB Ryan Hofmeister, redshirt sophomore center Jake Brendel, redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley.

    The combined record of UCLA’s 2013 opponents was 81-73 (.526). Three opponents on the schedule won double-digit games last season (Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford). Seven opponents advanced to bowl games a year ago (Nevada-lost in New Mexico Bowl, Nebraska-lost in Capital One Bowl, Stanford-won Rose Bowl, Oregon-won Fiesta Bowl, Arizona-won New Mexico Bowl, Arizona State-won Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, USC-lost Sun Bowl).

    UCLA will play this season at Utah on a Thursday night and at home versus Washington on a Friday night. Last season, UCLA opened the season with a win at Rice on a Thursday evening. In 2011, it played at Arizona on a Thursday evening. In the 2010 season, the Bruins played three non-Saturday games - Oct. 21 at Oregon (Th.), Nov. 18 at Washington (Th.) and (Fri.) Nov. 26 at Arizona State. Prior to 2010, the last time the Bruins played a regular-season non-Saturday game was Friday, Nov. 28, 2008 at Arizona State, dropping a 34-9 decision. The Bruins also played a Monday night game that year, defeating Tennessee, 27-24 in overtime on Labor Day night (Aug. 30). Before 2008, UCLA had not played on a week night since Thurs., Sept. 30, 1993, a 52-13 victory at San Diego State. The Bruins also played at San Diego State on Thurs., Sept. 26, 1991 (won, 37-12). The most recent regular season home game played on a Friday was against Arizona on Oct. 27, 1978.