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Football Set to Host Hawai'i in Season Opener Saturday

Aug 24, 2021
UCLA football opens the 2021 season Saturday. (Photo: Don Liebig, UCLA Photography)

Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl
Time: 12:30 p.m. PT
Television (ESPN): Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Kirk Morrison (analyst), Dawn Davenport (sideline reporter)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from Learfield): AM 570 - 
Josh Lewin (play-by-play),Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (sideline reporter);
Sirius Ch. 206/XM Ch. 197/Internet 959
National Radio (Westwood One): Paul Burmeister, Ryan Leaf

UCLA's 2021 schedule will feature seven home games on Speiker Field at the Rose Bowl, including the first three contests of the season. The Bruins open against Hawai'i on August 28 in a 12:30 p.m. contest to be aired by ESPN. The Bruin IMG Radio Network will broadcast the contest, which will also be covered by Westwood One and over SiriusXM and the Varsity App.

The Hawai'i battle will be the Bruins' earliest seasonopener ever. UCLA has played five previous games in the month of August (Aug. 29, 2019 - UCLA 14, at Cincinnati 24; Aug. 30, 2014 - UCLA 28, at Virginia 20; Aug. 31, 2013 - UCLA 58, Nevada 20; Aug. 30, 2012 - UCLA 49, at Rice 24; Aug. 30, 1997 - UCLA 34, at Washington State 37). The Bruins are 65-32-5 all time in season openers. It will be the first home season opener for UCLA since the 2018 season (a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati). UCLA posted its last non-conference win over the Rainbow Warriors in 2017 in the Rose Bowl. It has dropped the last eight encounters with non-league opponents.

In UCLA's last meeting with the Rainbow Warriors, Josh Rosen was 22 of 25 for 329 yards passing and found Darren Andrews for three of his career-high five touchdown passes as the Bruins defeated Hawai'i 56-23 at the Rose Bowl in 2017. Theo Howard and Caleb Wilson each caught a touchdown pass. Demetric Felton and Bolu Olorunfunmi both added one-yard touchdown runs in the victory.

2020 SUPERLATIVES — UCLA led the Pac-12 in points scored in 2020 (248) ... Dorian Thompson-Robinson became the first Bruin to throw for 300 yards and rush for at least 100 yards in the same game (at Colorado) ... UCLA's per-rush average of 5.1 yards was the highest since it racked up a 5.4 average in the 1976 season ... Dorian Thompson-Robinson's .833 completion percentage (30-36) against USC was the highest mark by a UCLA QB with at least 30 passing attempts in a game ... Kyle Philips led UCLA in receptions for the second straight season (38) and became the 27th Bruin to reach the 100-catch milestone for a career in 2020 ... UCLA's defense led the Pac-12 with an opponent rushing average per attempt of 3.6 yards per rush ... Thompson-Robinson finished with a pass-efficiency rating of 156.29, which is the best by a Bruin starting QB since 2005 (Drew Olson - 161.6) ... UCLA's 2020 average of 230.6 rushing yards per game (12th in the NCAA) marks just the fourth time since 1990 that the Bruins have surpassed the 200 yards rushing per game average -- 2014 - 209.5, 1995 - 212.5 and 1991 -200.1 ... UCLA led the Pac-12 and was eighth nationally in sacks per game (3.29).

• In its four 2020 losses, UCLA committed 12 of its 13 turnovers on the season. It turned the ball over four times at Colorado, four times at Oregon, three times vs. USC and once vs. Stanford. Under Coach Kelly, UCLA is +15 turnovers in wins and -27 in losses ... UCLA committed just one miscue in its win against California and went without a turnover in decisions over both Arizona and Arizona State.
• Dorian Thompson-Robinson (5,067 yards) needs 231 passing yards to move past Troy Aikman (5,298) and into seventh on the all-time school list ... With three more TD passes, Thompson-Robinson (40) will move past Aikman (41) and Cory Paus (42) into sixth on the all-time school list.
• Defensive Improvement -- Rushing yards per game allowed in 2017: 287.4 / 2018: 199.4 / 2019: 145.5 / 2020: 135.7; average yards per rush allowed in 2017: 5.8 / 2018: 4.6 / 2019: 4.3 / 2020: 3.6; average yards allowed per play in 2017: 6.3 / 2018: 6.0 / 2019: 6.7 / 2020: 5.4.
• Ten different players caught UCLA's Pac-12-leading total of 18 touchdown passes in 2020: Greg Dulcich (5), Demetric Felton, Jr. (3), Chase Cota (2) and Kyle Philips (2) were the receivers with more than one scoring reception in 2020.
• Caleb Johnson ranked 27th in the NCAA in sacks per game (0.79) in 2020 ... Johnson paced the Bruins in sacks with 5.5 (most by a Bruin LB since Aaron Wallace had 7.0 in 2015) and was second in tackles for loss with 7.0 ... He led UCLA with a career-high 10 tackles at Arizona State, 2.5 for loss.
• Kyle Philips led the Bruins in receptions again in 2020 (38) and became the 27th UCLA receiver to reach the 100-catch match (104) for a career ... In 2019, he topped UCLA in receptions (60), which was the most ever in a single season by a Bruin freshman/redshirt freshman ... He was first redshirt freshman to lead team since Craig Bragg in 2001.
• UCLA's average rushing offense per game of 230.6 yards per game rated 12th in the NCAA and second in the Pac-12 ... The Bruins surpassed the 200 yards rushing per game average milestone for a season for the fourth time since 1990 -- 2014 - 209.5, 1995 - 212.5 and 1991 - 200.1.
• Mitchell Agude led the team with 9.0 tackles for loss in 2020 and was the only Bruin to have at least 0.5 TFL in each of the seven games ... His 1.3 TFL-per-game mark was 43rd best nationally ... He registered a season-high 3.5 TFLs vs. Oregon ... Agude was also credited with a forced fumble which was returned for a TD at Oregon and two forced fumbles vs. Arizona ... He rated 10th nationally in forced fumbles (0.43 per game).
• Tight end Greg Dulcich averaged 19.88 yards per catch (13th in NCAA) and 73.9 receiving yards per game ... Both marks rated as second best among the nation's tight ends in 2020 ... His 100-yard receiving game at Colorado marked the seventh straight season in which a Bruin TE has gone over the century mark in at least one game in a season (Devin Asiasi in 2019, Caleb Wilson in 2018 and 2017, Nate Iese in 2016, Thomas Duarte in 2015 and 2014) ... He added 167 receiving yards vs. USC.
• Stephan Blaylock finished second on the Bruins in tackles in 2020 (42) ... He picked off his first career pass vs. Arizona and added a second vs. USC ... He matched his career best with 11 stops at Colorado.
• Brittain Brown's 6.6 yards per rush average was the best by a Bruin back with at least 80 carries since 1988 (Shawn Wills also 6.6 - 94 attempts for 622 yards) ... Brown recorded a career-best 219 yards rushing on 29 carries against Stanford ... He scored on a 15-yard run vs. USC ... He made his first-career start at Arizona State and ran for 94 yards on seven carries; He also caught two passes for 36 yards ... He found the end zone in three straight games earlier in 2020 -- 16-yard pass play vs. Arizona, two-yard rush at Oregon and a 31-yard run against California.