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Football Hosts South Alabama Saturday in Non-Conference Finale

Sep 13, 2022
The Bruins celebrate the first touchdown of Hudson Habermehl's career. (Photo: Don Liebig)

Rose Bowl Stadium
Kickoff Time: 11:01 a.m. PT
Television: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Matt Stevens (analyst), Wayne Cook (sideline)
SiriusXM: Ch. 119/Ch. 203 SXM App: Ch. 963

UCLA's season-opening homestand concludes Saturday, as the Bruins host South Alabama in a non-conference battle on Spieker Field at Rose Bowl Stadium, to be televised by Pac-12 Network. The Bruin IMG Radio Network will broadcast the contest, which will also be aired over SiriusXM and the Varsity App. UCLA will open its conference schedule next week, on Sept. 24 (11 a.m. PT), at Colorado before returning to Pasadena, Calif. for Pac-12 home games against Washington, on Sept. 30, and Utah, on Oct. 8.

This will be the second time the UCLA football program has lined up against a program from the Sun Belt Conference. The Bruins bested Louisiana-Monroe at the Rose Bowl in 1996. The University of South Alabama is a public research university in Mobile, Ala. that was established in 1963. It joined the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

UCLA followed up its 45-17 win against Bowling Green in the 2022 season opener with a 45-7 victory over Alabama State in Game 2. The Bruins moved out to a 31-7 halftime advantage against the Hornets. Hudson Habermehl, T.J. Harden and Christian Grubb each recorded his first career touchdown in the win. It marked the fifth straight game in which UCLA had scored at least 40 points. In the season-opening contest versus BGSU, the Bruins generated over 600 yards of offense for the third time during head coach Chip Kelly's four-plus years at the helm. The defense allowed 162 yards to the Falcons, including just 37 on the ground. Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more while racking up 385 yards of total offense. Zach Charbonnet added 111 rushing yards for his eighth 100-yard game as a Bruin.

Fifth-year head coach Chip Kelly was named UCLA's head football coach Nov. 25, 2017. Kelly owns a collegiate record of 66-32 compiled in four-plus seasons at UCLA and four more as head coach at University of Oregon (2009-2012). During that span in Eugene, Ore., his Duck teams captured first or a share of first in the North Division of the conference — including three straight outright championships from 2009-2011 — and made four appearances in BCS bowl games. Kelly guided Oregon to the national championship game (2010), two Rose Bowls (after 2011, 2009 seasons) and the Fiesta Bowl after the 2012 season. He was named the 2009 and 2010 Pac-12 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 and 2010 Associated Press Coach of the Year.

UCLA has added six new assistant coaches to Kelly's staff for 2022: Tim Drevno (offensive line), Jeff Faris (tight end), Chad Kauha'aha'a (defensive line), Ikaika Malloe (outside linebackers, special teams coordinator), Bill McGovern (defensive coordinator) and Ken Norton Jr. (inside linebackers). Transfers who have joined the 2022 team include: WR Jake Bobo (Duke), WR Ryan Cragun (Pennsylvania), DB Jaylin Davies (Oregon), OL Liam Douglass (USC), DB Azizi Hearn (Wyoming), QB Sean Holland (Fordham), OL Jaylan Jeffers (Oregon), LB Laiatu Latu (Washington), WR Titus Mokiao-Atimalala (UCF), LB Darius Muasau (Hawai'i), DL Gabriel Murphy (North Texas), DL Grayson Murphy (North Texas), OL Raiqwon O'Neal (Rutgers), DL Gary Smith III (Duke) and DL Jacob Sykes (Harvard).

• The Rose Bowl is celebrating its 100th year of hosting some of the world's major events in 2022.
• UCLA has now won five straight games after its 2022 wins over Alabama State and Bowling Green. UCLA previously earned wins in five straight outings across the 2014 and 2015 seasons. A Bruin team last won more than five straight contests in 2005, when it captured wins in the first eight games of that season.The Bruins closed the 2021 season with victories over Colorado, USC and California while scoring at least 40 points in each contest. UCLA outscored its counterparts by a 93-16 margin in the second halves of those games and has outpointed the Hornets 14-0 and the Falcons 21-0 after the breaks in its first two games of 2022.
• UCLA racked up 220 yards rushing versus Alabama State after producing 269 yards on the ground against BGSU ... it has now rushed for at least 200 yards in each of its last 10 wins, including all eight in 2021. It is 16-4 under head coach Chip Kelly when tallying 200 or more rushing yards in a game.
• UCLA last came away with wins in its three non-conference regular-season contests in the 2015 season after dispatching Virginia, UNLV and BYU.
• Dorian Thompson-Robinson made his 37th career start and moved past Josh Rosen and into third on the all-time school list for total offense after his performance against Alabama State.
• UCLA scored at least 40 points for the fifth straight game in the 45-7 win against Alabama State. No UCLA team has ever recorded a streak of as many as six straight 40-plus-point games. UCLA led the Pac-12 in scoring (36.5 points per game) in 2021 — the sixth-best average in school history.
• Zach Charbonnet ran for 111 yards in the opener to notch his eighth 100-yard game as a Bruin. He was second in the Pac-12 in rushing in 2021 (94.8 yards per game) and led league rushers with seven 100-yard games.
• UCLA is rated fifth in the nation in total offense (555.5 yards per game). The back-to-back 200-plus-yard rushing performances to open 2022 have the Bruins rated 15th in the nation in rushing offense (244.5 ayrds per game). In 2021, UCLA ranked 14th in the NCAA and second in the Pac-12 with a rushing-yards-per-game average of 215.1.

• UCLA has now won five straight games. The Bruins previously earned wins in five straight across the 2014 and 2015 campaigns. The last time it won more than five straight was when it opened the 2005 season with eight straight victories.
• UCLA has now scored 40 or more points in five straight games for the first time since 1998, when it also recorded five.
• UCLA has earned a spot in a bowl game in each of the last 11 seasons in which it has won its first two games of a season: 2021, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2002.
• UCLA outscored Alabama State 14-0 and Bowling Green 21-0 in the second halves of games to begin the 2022 season. In winning its last three contests of the 2021 season, UCLA outscored its opponents 93-16 in the second halves — including shutouts of Colorado (34-0) and California (25-0). It has now outscored the opposition 128-16 in the second halves of its last five games.
• UCLA enters the week first in the Pac-12 in rushing offense (244.5 yards per game) and rushing defense (62.0 yards per game).
• UCLA had 88 players take the field in the game against Alabama State.
• Ten players registered their first starts as Bruins against BGSU: WR Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, WR Jake Bobo, OT Raiqwon O'Neal, DB Devin Kirkwood, LB Grayson Murphy, LB Gabriel Murphy, LB Kain Medrano, DB Azizi Hearn, LB Darius Muasau and DL Jay Toia ... Mokiao-Atimalala, Bobo, O'Neal, Grayson Murphy, Gabriel Murphy, Hearn and Muasau made their UCLA debuts. TE Hudson Habermehl made his first start against Alabama State.
• Seeing their first action as Bruins in the Alabama State contest were QB Chase Artopoeus, K Joseph Firebaugh Jr., LS Beau Gardner, RB Christian Grubb, DL Hayden Harris, OL Jaylan Jeffers, DB D.J. Justice, K Ari Libenson, RB Deshun Murrell, LB Erich Osteen, DL Quintin Somerville, TE Sam Summa and true-freshmen RB Jack Pedersen, WR Braden Pegan, DB Kamari Ramsey, WR Elijah Rodriguez, DB Clint Stephens, DB Croix Stewart, LB Jalen Woods and P Chase Barry. In the opener, versus BGSU, 16 players saw their first action as Bruins off the bench: DL Jacob Sykes, LB Hayden Nelson, DL Sitiveni Havili-Kaufusi, TE Grant Norberg, DL Gary Smith III, OL Benjamin Roy Jr., LB Carson Schwesinger, LB James Dinneen, DB Kaleb Tuliau, DB Isaiah Newcombe, DB Jaylin Davies, QB/holder Sean Holland, WR Ryan Cragun, LB Laiatu Latu and true-freshmen RBs T.J. Harden and Carsen Ryan.
• Two true freshmen saw action for the Bruins in the opener: RBs T.J. Harden and Carsen Ryan. Nine more true freshmen saw their first action in Game 2 against Alabama State: P Chase Barry, WR Jadyn Marshall, RB Jack Pedersen, WR Braden Pegan, DB Kamari Ramsey, WR Elijah Rodriguez, DB Clint Stephens, DB Croix Stewart and LB Jalen Woods.
• UCLA is +21 turnovers in wins and -27 in losses overall under head coach Chip Kelly... in 2021, UCLA was +5 in turnovers for the season, but committed seven of its 14 turnovers in its four 2021 losses ... in its four 2020 losses, UCLA committed 12 of its 13 turnovers on the season.
• UCLA compiled 626 yards of total offense in the win over BGSU, the most since it racked up 657 in a comeback win at Washington State Sept. 22, 2019. It is the third time in Coach Kelly's Bruin tenure the team has recorded 600 or more yards (also 609 at USC in 2021.)
• UCLA held BGSU to 162 yards of total offense in the opener (39 rushing, 125 passing) ... it marked the first time UCLA held a team under 200 yards since its 2020 game against California (176). The last time a UCLA defense limited an opponent to fewer than 162 yards of total offense was 2008, when Arizona State gained 122 yards (21 rushing, 101 passing).
• UCLA scored three touchdowns of 50 yards or more against BGSU: Dorian Thompson-Robinson's 68-yard run, a 52-yard catch and run by Keegan Jones from Thompson-Robinson and a 50-yard strike from Ethan Garbers to Josiah Norwood. It had three such plays all of 2021.

For more, view the full UCLA football Week 3 release HERE.