Nov. 27, 2006
GAME #12 - The UCLA Bruins (6-5, 4-4 in Pac-10) close out the regular season with its 76th meeting with USC (10-1, 7-1). Kickoff in the Rose Bowl is set for 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by ABC Sports.
AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin Radio Network is broadcasting all of the Bruin games this season with Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens in the booth and Wayne Cook on the sidelines. The AM 570 feed can also be heard nationwide on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 121). In addition, Sports USA Radio will broadcast the game nationally (blacked out in Los Angeles) with Tom Dillon, Terry Donahue and John Robinson in the booth and Troy West on the sidelines.
SENIOR SALUTE - Twelve Bruins will be suiting up for their last regular season home game on Dec. 2 - WR Andrew Baumgartner, C Robert Chai, TE J.J. Hair, DE Justin Hickman, LS Riley Jondle, LB Eric McNeal, PK Justin Medlock, FB Dan Nelson, DE Will Peddie, DT Brian Ruziecki, WR Junior Taylor and WR Matt Willis. It will also be the final home game for undergraduate coach Philip Rauscher.
ACADEMIC AWARDS -- Offensive guard Chris Joseph and defensive lineman Kenneth Lombard have been named to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District-VIII team and have advanced to the national Academic All-America ballot (announced Nov. 30).
Joseph and Lombard were two of eight Bruins who earned All-Academic honors from the Pac-10. Both of them were first-team selections. Offensive tackle Aleksey Lanis and fullback/special teams performer Dan Nelson earned second-team honors. Wide receiver Andrew Baumgartner, quarterback Ben Olson and tight ends Logan Paulsen and Ryan Moya were honorable mention selections.
Jim McCullough lettered four seasons as an offensive guard and was on the winning side of the UCLA-USC rivalry three times, including the thrilling 20-19 victory in 1982 that sent the Bruins to the Rose Bowl. McCullough earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors as a senior in 1985 when the Bruins were 9-2-1 and defeated Iowa 45-28 in the Rose Bowl. Overall, he played on three Rose Bowl championship teams and a Fiesta Bowl winner, starting his final 33 games. Jim was also an outstanding prep wrestler at Hemet High, where he was 44-0 as a heavyweight, winning 40 matches by pins.
DEFENSIVE ENDS EXTRAORDINAIRE - UCLA's defensive end tandem of senior Justin Hickman and junior Bruce Davis might just be the best duo in the country. Both are on the mid-season Hendricks Defensive End Award list and have established themselves as All-America candidates.
Hickman is second nationally and first in the Pac-10 in sacks (1.14 per game - 12.5 total) and fifth (tied) in the NCAA and first in the Pac-10 in tackles for loss (1.68 - 18.5 total).
Davis is second in the Pac-10 and third (tied) nationally in sacks (1.05 - 11.5 total) and second in the Pac-10 and 11th (tied) nationally in tackles for loss (1.45 - 16.0 overall).
Only four players in the nation are averaging 1.00 sacks per game and Hickman and Davis are the only pair on the list. Only 13 players in the NCAA are averaging 1.40 tackles for loss and only two schools -- UCLA (Hickman and Davis) and Florida International -- have two or more players on that list.
The series vs. USC - The Trojans lead the series, which dates back to a 1929 meeting, 41-27-7. The Bruins have lost the last seven meetings in the series after running off an eight-game streak of their own in the previous eight contests. USC won last year's meeting, played in the Coliseum, by a score of 66-19. UCLA owns a 7-5 edge in the 12 contests played in the Rose Bowl, but lost the last meeting, 29-24, in 2004.
Since the start of the 1980s, UCLA leads the series, 13-12-1. In last year's contest, USC jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead and enjoyed a 31-6 margin at the intermission on its way to the win. Quarterback Drew Olson threw for 146 yards in the game, breaking Troy Aikman's single-season school record for completions in a season in the process. The late Marcus Cassel led Bruin defenders with 16 tackles on the day, the most for a UCLA player since Spencer Havner totaled 17 against Illinois in 2004.
In the 2004 game played in the Rose Bowl, the Bruins fell behind early (10-0), battled back, but came up short. A 96-yard punt return for a score by Craig Bragg sliced USC's lead to 10-7 in the second quarter, but the Trojans took a 20-10 lead into the dressing room at the half. Three second half field goals (five overall in the game) gave USC a 29-17 lead with 7:02 to play in the game. Drew Olson then found Marcedes Lewis for a four-yard scoring toss with 2:20 on the clock to make it 29-24. USC recovered the ensuing onside kick, but fumbled the ball back to UCLA on its offensive series. UCLA then turned the ball back over on an interception to end its hopes for the win. UCLA became the first opponent of the Trojans in 25 starts to hold quarterback Matt Leinart without a touchdown pass.
NOTING USC - The Trojans rank among the national leaders in passing offense (17th at 251.36), total offense (23rd at 393.27), scoring offense (15th at 32.27), rushing defense (17th at 95.55), total defense (28th at 299.09) and scoring defense (13th at 15.09). Junior running back Chauncey Washington (66.09) ranks sixth in the league in rushing. Junior quarterback John David Booty ranks first in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (145.11), passing yards (243.8) and touchdown passes (25). Senior wide receiver Steve Smith ranks third in the Pac-10 in receptions per game and yards per game while junior receiver Dwayne Jarrett ranks second in receptions per game and sixth in yards per game.