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No. 13 Football to Host Fresno State Saturday Night

Sep 15, 2021
Greg Dulcich and Brittain Brown celebrate a touchdown (Photo: Don Liebig)

Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl
Time: 7:45 p.m. PT
Television (Pac-12 Network): Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from Learfield): AM 570
Josh Lewin (play-by-play),Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook
(sideline reporter); Sirius Ch. 121 / XM Ch. 197 / SXM App 959

UCLA's season-opening homestand concludes on Saturday, Sept. 18 as the Bruins host Fresno State at Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl for a 7:45 p.m. contest to be televised by the Pac-12 Network. The UCLA Learfield Radio Network will broadcast the contest, which will also be aired over SiriusXM and the Varsity App. The battle with Fresno State will mark the 10th all-time meeting between the schools in football.

UCLA owns a 6-3 advantage in the previous matchups, but the Bulldogs have won the last three encounters, two in the Rose Bowl (2008 and 2018) and one in the Silicon Valley Classic bowl (2003). The last Bruin series win came in 2000.

Fourth-year head coach Chip Kelly was named UCLA's head football coach on Nov. 25, 2017. Kelly owns a collegiate record of 58-28 compiled in three-plus seasons at UCLA and in four seasons as the head coach at the University of Oregon (2009-12). During that span in Eugene, his Duck teams captured first place or a share of first in the North Division of the conference (three outright conference championships 2009-11) and four BCS bowl games. Kelly guided Oregon to appearances in a National Championship Game (2010), two Rose Bowls (after 2011 and 2009 seasons) and the Fiesta Bowl following the 2012 season. Kelly was named the 2009 and 2010 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, 2010 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, 2010 Walter Camp Coach of the Year, 2010 Sporting News Coach of the Year, 2010 AFCA Coach of the Year Award and 2010 Associated Press Coach of the Year. In six of his seven seasons as a collegiate head coach, Kelly has produced a top-15 rated NCAA rushing leader in yards-per-game average -- 2020: Demetric Felton, Jr., 14th; 2018: Joshua Kelley, 9th; 2012: Kenjon Barner, 4th; 2011: LaMichael James, 1st; 2010: LaMichael James, 1st; 2009: LaMichael James, 9th.

UCLA vs. Fresno State — The Bruins dropped the last game in the series, played in 2018 in the Rose Bowl. Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion rushed for four touchdowns and passed for 270 yards to lead Fresno State to a 38-14 win. UCLA trailed 16-14 in the second half before the visiting Bulldogs surged with 22 unanswered points to close out the contest. Then-freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson led the Bruins in both passing (151 yards) and rushing (49 yards). Senior safety Adarius Pickett paced the defense with 13 tackles.

Versus the Mountain West Conference — UCLA holds a 46-9-2 all-time record vs. teams in the current Mountain West Conference -- Air Force (6-4-1), Boise St. (1-0), Colorado St. (2-0),Fresno State (6-3), Hawai'i (4-0), Nevada (1-0), New Mexico (1-0), Wyoming (0-1), UNLV (2-0), Utah State (1-0), San Diego State (21-1-1), San Jose St. (1-0).

• UCLA is ranked No. 13 in both polls this week ... the last time UCLA played a game as a ranked team was Sept. 16, 2017 when it was rated No. 25 in the AP poll and lost at Memphis. The last time it played a game while ranked at No. 13 or higher in the AP poll came on Oct. 3, 2015 when the No. 7 Bruins lost to Arizona State.
• Mitchell Agude has been credited with four forced fumbles in the first two games of 2021 and leads the NCAA with a 2.0 average per game. Linebackers Robert Thomas (2000) and Donnie Edwards (1993) share the UCLA record (dating back to 1975) with six forced fumbles in a season. Elvis Dumervil of Louisville holds the NCAA record (kept since 2000 by NCAA) for a season with 10 in 12 games during the 2005 season. The NCAA record for most in a game is four. In 2020, Agude was credited with the 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) last season.
•Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the NCAA with a 20.53 yard average on each completion ... he is seventh in the nation with an average of 10.83 yards per passing attempt ... DTR ranks 18th in the nation in passing efficiency with a mark of 174.9 ... UCLA has had only two starting QBs register at least a 160.0 pass efficiency mark for a season -- Drew Olson in 2005 (161.6) and Cade McNown in 1997 (168.6).
• On the ground, UCLA has racked up a 454-to-75 rushing yards edge on opponents in 2021 ... the Bruins average 5.0 yards per rush while opponents are at 1.6 ... per game, UCLA is at 227.0; opponents at 37.5 ... UCLA has scored six rushing TDs; opponents have none.
• Fast starts by the Bruins include a 24-3 scoring edge in first-quarter scoring and a 45-13 advantage in first halves of 2021 games.
• Yards-per-reception leaders include Greg Dulcich - 33.0 (four total catches); Zach Charbonnet - 24.5 (two); Kazmeir Allen - 23.0 (four).
• 20+ starts: QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson - 26; S Quentin Lake - 22; S Stephan Blaylock - 21; OT Sean Rhyan - 21.
• Transfers played key roles in the win over LSU -- RB Zach Charbonnet (Michigan) ran for 117 yards on 11 attempts and a TD; RB Brittain Brown (Duke) totaled 96 rushing yards on 17 carries and a TD; LB Caleb Johnson (Fullerton College/Texas) made an interception; LB Mitchell Agude (Riverside CC) had six tackles, including a sack, and forced two fumbles; DB Qwuantrezz Knight (Kent State/Maryland) added five tackles, one for loss; LB Jordan Genmark Heath (Notre Dame) was credited with four stops.
• The Bruins have gone on to play in a bowl game in each of the last 10 seasons in which they have earned wins in the first two games of that season: 2017 (Cactus Bowl - opening wins over Texas A&M/Hawai'i); 2015 (Foster Farms Bowl - Virginia/UNLV); 2014 (Alamo Bowl - Virginia/Memphis); 2013 (Sun Bowl - Nevada/Nebraska); 2012 (Holiday Bowl - Rice/Nebraska); 2009 (Eagle Bank Bowl - San Diego State/Tennessee); 2007 (Las Vegas Bowl - Stanford/BYU); 2006 (Emerald Bowl - Utah/Rice); 2005 (Sun Bowl - San Diego State/Rice); 2002 (Las Vegas Bowl - Colorado State/Oklahoma State).
• UCLA is +17 turnovers in wins and -27 in losses under Coach Kelly... in 2021, UCLA is +2 in turnovers for the season ... 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.