Sept. 10, 2001
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GAME 3 - The UCLA Bruins (2-0) will open the Pac-10 schedule and play at home for the first time this season when they host Arizona State (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 15 in the Rose Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m PT. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc and Tom Ramsey in the booth and Louis Johnson on the sidelines.
The Bruins are currently ranked 12th on the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and 14th on the Associated Press poll.
Fox Sports Radio AM 1150 and the Bruin Radio Network, featuring Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens in the booth and John Ireland on the sidelines, broadcasts all games.
FOOD ZONE - For all Bruin home games, fans should plan on arriving in the Arroyo Seco early to avoid traffic and picnic at the Rose Bowl. UCLA is again sponsoring the Food Zone in Area H, just south of the bowl. Participating restaurants include Subway, Gourmet Sausage Company, In and Out Burger, American Pretzel, El Pollo Loco, Kettle Corn Caf?, Couple of Nuts and Tony's Pizza.
ALL ABOARD - In an effort to aid student attendance, UCLA is offering free busing to the Rose Bowl for students with tickets to the games. Students must pick up a bus ticket by the close of business on Thursday. Busses will leave from the dormitory area and from Parking Lot 32.
PARKING AT ROSE BOWL - Parking is again available on the Brookside Golf Course for $5. For those who want to avoid the traffic in the Arroyo Seco, parking will again be available at the Ralph Parsons Engineering Building on Fair Oaks and Walnut in Pasadena. Parking at the Parsons Lot is $5 and the shuttle bus to and from the Rose Bowl is free. Shuttle service begins four hours prior to kickoff.
LAST WEEK - For the first time since 1981, UCLA opened the season with two consecutive road victories, defeating Kansas 41-17 in Lawrence. It was UCLA's highest point total since the 1998 season, when it scored 45 points at Miami.
Once again the defense played a key role in the victory. UCLA has now held back-to-back opponents to under 20 points for the first time since 1997 (California and Stanford). The Bruins also forced three turnovers, returning one for a touchdown, and held Kansas to just 34 yards rushing and 180 total yards through three quarters.
On the afternoon, Kansas finished with just 242 yards total offense (86 rushing and 156 passing). The last time the Bruins held an opponent to fewer yards was in 1999 against Washington (236). The last time they held an opponent to fewer rushing yards was the 2000 Fresno State game (26 yards). UCLA also recorded three sacks, giving it seven through the first two games, and made six other stops for losses.
Offensively, the Bruins finished with 475 total yards. The Bruins dominated on the ground, rushing for 292 yards on 61 attempts, its best effort since the 1998 Arizona contest (298 yards). All three Bruins quarterbacks saw action and, as a group, completed 13 of 19 passes for 183 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
The Bruin attack was led by Heisman Trophy candidate DeShaun Foster. The spectacular tailback rushed for a career-high 189 yards on 28 carries, continually breaking tackles to gain extra yardage. It was his second straight game over 100 yards this season. Nine of his runs measured at least 10 yards and 18 measured at least five yards. He scored his first touchdown of the season on a four-yard sweep and he produced 11 first downs. In addition, he also made three receptions, including an athletic grab of a shovel pass that he turned into a 35-yard gain.
Several other Bruin backs also contributed. Manuel White gained 44 yards on nine carries, Matt Stanley, carrying for the first time since 1999, had 22 yards on four attempts and Craig Bragg scored on a 37-yard reverse.
Defensively, outside linebacker Ryan Nece returned an interception 22 yards to give UCLA a 20-3 lead and recovered a fumble. Robert Thomas was in on 10 tackles (seven solos and three assists for 8.5 total), including 3.5 for losses and one sack on which he forced a fumble (this play was originally credited to Dave Ball). Marques Anderson had 4.5 tackles (two solos and five assists while defensing two passes and Kenyon Coleman and Ricky Manning, Jr. each had two solos and two assists (3.0 total). Manning also added his second interception of the year. Thomas and Anthony Fletcher were each credited with one sack while Brandon Chillar and Steve Morgan were credited with 0.5 sacks. Overall, the Bruins made nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
UCLA held the ball for 35:39 and ran 80 offensive plays while Kansas had the ball for just 24:21.
Arizona State opened its season at home, dominating San Diego State, 38-7. The Sun Devils threw for 271 yards and ran for 154 while holding the Aztecs to 190 yards of total offense (102 passing and 88 rushing). Jeff Krohn threw four touchdown passes, one in each quarter.
PRE-SEASON HONORS - Senior tailback DeShaun Foster is on the list of pre-season candidates for the Doak Walker Award. Senior free safety Marques Anderson and junior cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. are both listed on the pre-season Jim Thorpe Award list. There are six defensive backs from the Pac-10 on the list, including the two Bruins. Placekicker Chris Griffith is a pre-season nominee for the Lou Groza Award. Linebackers Robert Thomas and Ryan Nece are on the Butkus Award pre-season watch list. Defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman joins Thomas on the Rotary Lombardi award list. Wide receiver Brian Poli-Dixon is on the Biletnikoff Award pre-season list. Punter Nate Fikse has been selected to the Ray Guy Award watch list. Center Troy Danoff is on the pre-season watch list for the Rimington Award.
BRUINS IN THE 2001 POLLS - AP: Pre-season, No. 15, Aug. 27, No. 15, Sept. 2, No. 14, Sept. 9, No. 14. USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season, No. 17, Aug. 27, No. 17, Sept. 2, No. 14, Sept. 9, No. 12.
DID YOU KNOW? -
UCLA has won 11 of its last 15 games versus ranked opponents dating back to a 1997 win at #11 Texas and has posted a 19-4 record in regular season games played in the Rose Bowl since that win over the Longhorns. Alabama was ranked No. 25 on the AP poll, giving the Bruins a 1-0 record versus ranked opponents this season.
This is the ninth season in which the Bruins have opened the year with two straight road games since the 1960 campaign, posting a 12-4-2 record in those games. They won both games in four of the seasons, including 2001, and played in a bowl game to end six of the eight previous seasons (1961 - '62 Rose Bowl, 1965 - '66 Rose Bowl, 1970 - no bowl, 1974 - no bowl, 1978 - Fiesta Bowl, 1981 - Bluebonnet Bowl, 1985 - '86 Rose Bowl, 1986 - Freedom Bowl).
Four Bruins on the 2001 roster are the sons of former Bruin football players - TE Blane Kezirian (dad, Ed played offensive line in 1972-73 for coach Pepper Rodgers and posted a 17-5 record), DB/ Holder Garrett Lepisto (dad, Vic played defensive end in 1964-66-67 for coaches Bill Barnes and Tommy Prothro), FB Matt Stanley (dad, Steve played fullback in 1965-67 and was a member of the 1966 Rose Bowl team), QB John Sciarra (dad, John played 1972-75 and quarterbacked the Bruins to a win over No. 1 Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl game).
Tailback Bob Toledo will select a fourth captain on a weekly basis.
Cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. played this past summer for the Minnesota Twins' minor league team at Elizabethton, TN in the Appalachian League (rookie level). Manning, an outfielder, hit .253 in 22 games with a .364 on base percentage and four stolen bases. He played on the same team as the nation's number one selection in this past summer's Major League Baseball draft, Joe Mauer.
SERIES NOTES - UCLA leads the series with the Sun Devils by an 11-6-1 count, but are just 3-4-1 in games played in the Rose Bowl.
UCLA won last year's meeting (Sept. 30) in rather spectacular fashion, rallying from a 21-point deficit to capture a 38-31 decision. That comeback matched the largest winning rally in school history and the win snapped a three-game ASU winning streak in the series.
In that contest, the No. 15 ranked Bruins rallied from a 21-0 second quarter deficit to score four straight touchdowns and take a 28-21 lead at the 4:31 mark of the third quarter. With 2:38 remaining the first half, Akil Harris, on just his second career carry, burst 23-yards for a score. On the first play of the second half, Jermaine Lewis raced 57 yards for another score. Quarterback Cory Paus, playing in his first full game of the season, connected on 17 of 30 passes for 267 yards and a pair of scoring throws to Freddie Mitchell (8 and 80 yards).
Foster fractured a bone in his hand early in the second quarter but Jermaine Lewis rushed for 104 yards and Harris added 100 as UCLA ran for 233 yards and passed for 267.
Bob Toledo is 1-2 vs. the Sun Devils while at UCLA and 1-3 for his head coaching career.
ASU head coach Dirk Koetter is 0-1 versus the Bruins, a 38-7 loss in 1999 as head coach at Boise State.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - The Bruin head coach owns a record of 37-23 (24-16 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .617 during his first five years on the job. Toledo guided the Bruins to a 20-game winning streak (starting on Sept. 13, 1997 vs. Texas and snapped at Miami on Dec. 5, 1998) which was the longest in school history and twice the length of the previous streak (10, set in 1946 and tied in 1954-55). His teams have won two Pac-10 titles (1997 and 1998) and played in bowl games in three of the last four seasons.
Toledo is only the second coach in school history to win 10 regular-season games (Bert LaBrucherie in 1946) and only the second coach in school history to win 10 total games in back-to-back seasons (Terry Donahue in 1987-88).
Under Toledo, UCLA is 28-8 when it scores at least 30 points and 14-1 when it scores at least 40. UCLA is 24-6 when leading at the half and has won nine times after trailing at the half and four when tied at the half. The Bruins are 3-1 in overtime games. When ranked, the Bruins sport a 26-7 record under Toledo.
Under Toledo, UCLA is 12-9 versus ranked teams. It has won five of the last seven (in 1999 versus Washington and in 2000 against Alabama, Michigan and Arizona) and is 11-4 in the last 15 games against Top 25 teams. The Bruins were 3-2 last year versus the Top 25, 2-1 versus the Top 10.
NEW COACHES AND ASSIGNMENTS - UCLA has two new coaches on this year's staff and several others have different assignments than a year ago.
Phil Snow is in his first season as defensive coordinator and coach of the safeties. He spent the last nine seasons at Arizona State, the last seven as defensive coordinator.
R. Todd Littlejohn is in his first season as coach of the cornerbacks after spending the 2000 season at San Jose State and the 1998 and 1999 seasons at Utah State.
Bob Toledo to develop the weekly game plan.
John Pearce is in his first season as quarterback coach and third overall, having tutored the defensive ends the past two years.
Don Johnson, in his second season on the staff, is now coaching the entire defensive line after working with the interior line this past year.
HOME SWEET HOME -- The 2001 season is UCLA's 20th at the Rose Bowl. Since moving to Pasadena in 1982, the Bruins are 79-34-2 (.696) on its home field. In home openers, they are 14-4-1 and head coach Bob Toledo is 4-1.
NEW STARTERS AND DEBUTS -- Four Bruins made their first career starts versus Alabama - LG - Eyoseph Efseaff, RG - Shane Lehmann, WR - Tab Perry and CB - Matt Ware. Eleven Bruins made their varsity debut versus Alabama, including true freshmen Ware, Jibril Raymo and Matt Clark, redshirt freshmen Craig Bragg, Efseaff, Ben Emanuel, Patrick Norton, Steve Vieira, Manuel White, sophomore Blane Kezirian and senior Adam Peters.
Against Kansas, OLB Brandon Chillar made his first career start. Redshirt freshmen Ray Cassaday, Paul Mociler, John Ream and Tim Warfield and sophomore Nick Carey made their varsity debuts. Norton and Cassaday had their first career carries while tailback Ken Pritchett carried for the first time since 1999. Emanuel, Peters and Raymo saw their first action on defense (they played on special teams against Alabama) while Kezirian saw his first offensive action.
THE DEFENSEROBERT THOMAS - Robert, a 2001 Butkus and Lombardi Award candidate and a 2000 Butkus semi-finalist, is the anchor of the defensive unit at middle linebacker. He was all over the field in the victory at Alabama, finishing second on the squad and was involved in 11 tackles -- five solos and six assists for a total of 8.0. He also recorded two sacks and another half-tackle for loss and deflected a pass.
In the win at Kansas, he led the team with 8.5 tackles (seven solos and three assists), including 3.5 for losses (one sack on which he forced a fumble). He was a key reason Kansas could run for just 37 yards through three quarters and 89 for the game.
On the year, he leads the Bruins with 16.5 tackles (12 solos and nine assists), including 6.0 for losses.
One of three season tri-captains for 2001, Thomas was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award which honors the nation's top linebacker in 2000. A starter the previous two seasons, he is known for his quick strike ability and sideline-to-sideline coverage. On the year, he led the team with 88 tackles despite being hampered by a stress reaction in his left foot. He was tied for second on the squad with nine tackles for loss and led the Bruins and the Pac-10 with six fumbles forced. His regular-season average of 7.3 tackles per game ranked 11th in the Pac-10.
Thomas moved into the starting lineup in 1999 at middle linebacker. He made a team-high 14 tackles that year against Fresno State, the most by a Bruin since Brian Willmer made 15 versus Arizona on Nov. 16, 1996. For the season, Thomas ranked second on the squad with 68 tackles (he missed three games-the season's first two and the Arizona contest). He also had four tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks.
KENYON COLEMAN - Senior defensive left end Kenyon Coleman, a Rotary Lombardi Award candidate, was credited with two solo tackles and five assists in the opener versus Alabama, helping hold the Crimson Tide to 159 net rushing yards on 46 attempts. Against Kansas, he made two solo tackles and two assists and helped the Bruins dominate the line of scrimmage. He now has 7.5 total tackles (four solos and seven assists).
In 2000, he started the first three games of the season before suffering a knee injury (torn cartilage in his left knee) in the Michigan game and undergoing season-ending surgery.
One of the leaders of the defense, he enjoyed his best season in 1999 when he was one of just four Bruins to start all 11 games. He made 50 tackles, including nine at USC and seven at Stanford. Coleman ranked second on the squad with 3.5 sacks that season and had nine tackles for loss. He also broke up eight passes.
RYAN NECE - Ryan, now a senior, was added to the Butkus Award pre-season candidate list on August 30, his third straight year with that honor. Healthy after surgery on both shoulders during the off-season, he was involved in a team-high 13 plays in the win over Alabama -- five solos and eight assists for a total of 9.0 tackles, including one for loss.
In the win at Kansas, he scored the first touchdown of his career, returning an interception 22 yards to give UCLA a 20-3 lead. He also recovered a fumble and was credited with 1.5 tackles. He ranks third on the squad with 10.5 tackles. The game was also his 23rd consecutive start, tied for longest string on the team.
In 2000, he ranked second on the team last season with 78 tackles. He started all 12 games at weak side linebacker and has a team-high 30 career starts entering the season, including a streak of 21 straight (tied for team-high). Nece played with an injured shoulder for most of the season and missed Spring practice following surgery. He was a 1998 first-team Freshman All-American and was credited with 85 tackles and six sacks that season. He ranked third on the team in tackles in 1999 with 65.
MARQUES ANDERSON - A candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, senior free safety Marques Anderson is one of the nation's top big-play defenders. In the victory over Alabama, he was involved in seven tackles for a total of 6.5 (six solos and one assist). He was also credited with one pass defensed. In the victory at Kansas, he ranked second with 4.5 tackles (two solos and five assists) and deflected two passes.
He currently ranks second on the squad with his 11.0 tackles (eight solos and six assists).
In his 10 regular-season games a year ago, he was involved in seven turnovers to tie for No. 1 in the nation with a 0.7 turnovers per-game average. On the year, Anderson finished third on the team in tackles with 73 and led the squad with 11 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries. He shifted to free safety in the Spring after starting at strong safety last season.
RICKY MANNING- True junior corner Ricky Manning Jr., one of two Bruins on the Jim Thorpe Award pre-season candidate list, earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors last season in the vote of league coaches. He has started in each of the last 23 games (tied for longest starting streak on the team) after making his first career start against Fresno State in 1999.
Manning was at his best in the 20-17 victory at Alabama. He made four solo tackles, including one for loss. He forced Ahmaad Galloway out of bounds at the two-yard line, helping the Bruins complete a fourth quarter goal line stand. He also intercepted a pass that the Bruins turned into a Chris Griffith field goal and defensed two other passes.
Against Kansas, he made his second interception (UCLA converted it into a touchdown) and had 3.0 tackles (two solos and two assists), including one for loss.
Last season, he ranked fifth on the team with 65 tackles. His four interceptions led the team, as did his 14 pass defenses. As a freshman in 1999, he led the Bruins with 10 tackles for loss and ranked fourth on the team with 53 tackles.
He has also served as a punt returner the past two seasons and is expected to do so again this season.
LINEBACKERS-True junior linebacker Marcus Reese, who has been a major contributor the last two seasons, will contend for playing time on the weak side and in the middle. In the win over Alabama, be played well off the bench and was credited with 4.5 tackles (three solos and three assists). He added one solo tackle at Kansas. In 2000, he came off the bench to appear in all 12 games and finished with 34 tackles, ninth on the team.
Redshirt freshman Mat Ball, who started four games at defensive end a year ago, was switched to strongside linebacker during Fall camp. He started versus Alabama and made one tackle at his new position. He came off the bench at Kansas and made 1.5 tackles, including 0.5 for loss. In 2000, he made 14 tackles and had one interception.
True sophomore Brandon Chillar will battle with Ball for playing time on the strongside. He made one tackle versus Alabama. He made his first career start at Kansas and was credited with two tackles and one assist, including 0.5 sacks. In 2000 as a true freshman, Chillar saw action as a backup linebacker and special teams performer. He appeared in a total of seven games.
DEFENSIVE LINE-Junior Rusty Williams had a 22-game starting streak at defensive end stopped at the Sun Bowl. He missed that contest after undergoing shoulder surgery. He sat out Spring practice and reported to Fall camp ready for action and played at defensive right end versus Alabama. He also played well against Kansas with one solo tackle.
Sophomore Dave Ball started at right end against Alabama and did a good job on his assignments, just missing a quarterback sack late in the game. Against Kansas, he was credited with 1.5 tackles (three assists). A year ago as a redshirt freshman, he started three games at end and saw action in all 12 contests.
Redshirt sophomore tackle Rodney Leisle played very well in the opener at Alabama. He was involved in seven plays and finished with 5.0 tackles (three solos and four assists). Late in the third quarter with the Bruins leading 17-10, the Crimson Tide drove to the Bruin 33-yard line. Alabama then tried a reverse, but Leisle stripped the ball carrier and recovered the football to halt the drive. UCLA then converted the turnover into a field goal. At Kansas, he again stuffed the middle and made two solo tackles, including one for loss. He has now started 14 consecutive games.
At the other tackle position, senior Anthony Fletcher came off the bench and made two tackles against the Crimson Tide. At Kansas, he started and made one solo tackle, a sack for seven yards. Senior Ken Kocher, who suffered a separated right shoulder in the first quarter of the Alabama game, did not play at Kansas.
Leisle started all 12 games in 2000 and ranked first among the linemen with 36 tackles. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and was named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News. Fletcher ranked second among the linemen with 28 tackles and was a starter in seven games. Kocher battled through nagging injuries to see action in nine games.
The reserves have also played well. Junior Steve Morgan came off the bench to make two tackles, including a five-yard sack, against Alabama and 1.5 tackles, including 0.5 sacks, against Kansas. Junior Sean Phillips also made a sack off the bench against Alabama and had one assist at Kansas.
DESHAUN FOSTER - The Heisman and Doak Walker candidate was at his spectacular best against Kansas. Foster ran over, around and through the Jayhawk defense for a career-high 189 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries and retired for the day with 13:23 remaining in the game following his four-yard score that gave UCLA a 41-10 lead. Game reports listed him with 179 yards but the Kansas stat crew corrected that late Saturday night.
Foster repeatedly made would-be tacklers miss and broke numerous tackles en route to the best effort of his career (his previous best was 187 against Alabama last year). Nine of his runs measured at least 10 yards and he gained at least five yards on 18 occasions. Eleven times he produced a first down against the Jayhawks. He also made three receptions for 41 yards, including a 35-yard run after catching a shovel pass from Cory Paus.
Foster is just the fifth player in school history to rush for 187 or more yards twice in a career. The others are Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Theotis Brown, Gaston Green and Freeman McNeil.
In the season opener against Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Foster carried the ball 24 times for 110 net yards, including a 40-yard run in the fourth quarter and a 21-yard run in the first quarter.
With his 189-yard effort against the Kansas, Foster has now rushed for at least 100 yards nine times in his career, including two straight and six times in his last 13 games. He now ranks ninth on UCLA's career rushing list with 2,384 yards and needs just 200 to move past Kermit Johnson (2,495) and Kevin Nelson (2,583) into seventh place.
Foster currently ranks fourth in the NCAA in rushing (149.5) and 11th in all-purpose yardage (173.0). He leads the Pac-10 in rushing by 44 yards per game and is third in all-purpose yards.
His junior season featured four 100-yard games including a 42-carry, 187-yard effort against Alabama. He scored 13 touchdowns for the year to rank eighth on the school single-season list and was named to the first-team All-Pac-10 team. In addition, his 16 receptions ranked third on the team.
As a sophomore, Foster led the Bruins in rushing five times. However, he carried just five times in the month of October due to a sprained right ankle incurred at Stanford. On the year, he finished as the team's second-leading rusher (375 yards) and led the squad with six touchdowns. He also placed fourth on the squad with 17 receptions.
In 1998, Foster wrote his name into Bruin lore by scoring all four touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving) in UCLA's 34-17 victory over USC. He became the first true freshman in school history to score four TDs in one game and tied the school record. Foster ranked second on the team with 12 touchdowns (10 rushing and two passes), a school record for true freshmen. His rushing total of 673 yards ranks as the most ever by a Bruin freshman.
CORY PAUS - Junior Cory Paus enjoyed an outstanding year in 2000, becoming only the third sophomore in school history to pass for over 2,000 yards in a season.
In the 2001 opener against Alabama, he completed eight of 22 passes for 123 yards, although several of his passes were dropped. In the third quarter, he hit sophomore Tab Perry along the left sideline for a 53-yard touchdown pass to give the Bruins their first lead, 14-10. The Bruin offense ran 60 plays and did not commit a turnover or a penalty.
At Kansas, he led the Bruins to a 41-10 lead before retiring early in the fourth quarter. On the afternoon, he completed 10 of 16 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown. For the second straight week, he hooked up with Perry for a long score, this time a 49-yard strike on the first play of the drive to give the Bruins a 27-3 lead with 3:20 left in the first half. He also completed a shovel pass to DeShaun Foster that resulted in a 35-yard gain and led to a field goal. He has not thrown an interception since the 2000 Washington game, a string of 105 straight passes.
On the year, he has now completed 18 of 38 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
Paus has moved into the career Top 10 lists in passing yardage (eighth with 3,773 yards), completions (seventh with 247) and touchdown passes (seventh with 26) after playing in just 20 games, including two in which he was injured and managed to throw just five total passes before leaving the field.
Despite missing three full games, and virtually all of a fourth during the 2000 season, Paus passed for 2,154 yards and 17 touchdowns (fifth on the all-time single-season school list). His regular season pass efficiency rating of 145.8 would have led the Pac-10 if he had appeared in enough games, as would his 250.9 passing yards per game figure.
Paus started seven games in 1999 after beginning the season as the No. 2 signal caller. He made the first start of his career against Fresno State on Sept. 18.
His 332 passing yards versus Oregon tied Tommy Maddox (1990 vs. Oregon) for the No. 3 effort among Bruin freshmen. Only Maddox (409 vs. USC and 353 at Michigan) ever threw for more yards as a freshman. His 324 yards total offense ranked No. 4 on that list at the time.
Against Washington, his season came to an end when he suffered a fractured left collarbone on UCLA's second offensive play of the second quarter.
BRIAN POLI-DIXON - Last season, senior Brian Poli-Dixon became just the second receiver (joining Kevin Jordan, '92-95) in school history to catch at least 44 passes twice in a career. His 165-yard game against Washington ranks as the 11th-best single-game performance ever at UCLA.
A pre-season candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, he was the focus of the Crimson Tide secondary and did not catch a pass in the opener. The following week at Kansas, Poli-Dixon made three receptions for 41 yards, tying DeShaun Foster for the team lead.
In 1998, Poli-Dixon was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, after being the team's second-leading receiver. His 10 touchdowns tied for the conference lead. He started the final 10 games of the season. Only J.J. Stokes ever gained more yards as a Bruin sophomore, and only two other players ever caught more balls in a sophomore season. His 1999 season ended in the season's third game, when he suffered a fractured wrist in the game against Fresno State.
EXPERIENCE AT FULLBACK and TIGHT ENDS - Senior fullbacks Ed Ieremia-Stansbury (6) and Matt Stanley (2) shared the starting assignment last season. Ieremia-Stansbury caught 10 passes for three touchdowns. Stanley, who started the Alabama and Michgan games, saw limited action after dislocating his shoulder against the Wolverines.
Ieremia-Stansbury is one of the unsung stars of the team. An outstanding blocker, he started against Alabama and scored the Bruins' first touchdown of 2001 on a tackle-breaking 10-yard run. On the afternoon, he carried five times for 31 yards. He also recovered Alabama's onside kick attempt with 2:13 remaining in the game with UCLA leading by three. He suffered a sprained left ankle at Kansas and did not touch the ball, although he blocked well when he was in the game.
Against Kansas, Stanley made a contribution by running four times for 22 yards, his first carries since 1999 (Arizona) and caught one pass for 18 yards.
Senior Bryan Fletcher and junior Mike Seidman provide a one-two punch at tight end capable of rivaling any school in the country. Fletcher made 10 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns last season. Seidman caught six passes and scored one touchdown. Each player saw action in all 12 games. Seidman underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee to repair cartilage damage on August 10th. He returned to practice on August 24 and played in the opener at Alabama.
Against Kansas, Fletcher made one reception for 16 yards and just missed connections with Cory Paus on a few other passes.
OFFENSIVE LINE - Three veterans, each in his third season as a starter, return to the unit. Senior Troy Danoff (23 starts over last two-plus seasons) started the first nine games of 1999 at center and all 12 games there last season. He is a candidate for the Rimington Award, presented to the nation's top center. Junior Bryce Bohlander (16 straight starts), who started the final two games of 1999, started all 12 at left tackle last season. Junior Mike Saffer (21 career starts) started all 12 games at right tackle after starting seven times at right guard in 1999. Redshirt sophomore Shane Lehmann won the starting job at right guard while redshirt freshman Eyoseff Efseaff emerged from Fall camp as the No. 1 left guard and they both made their first starts at Alabama and started again at Kansas. Three redshirt freshmen -- left tackle/guard Paul Mociler, right tackle/guard Steven Vieira and center John Ream -- are the top reserves -- and all played at Kansas as well as Ed Anderson and Tyson Clayton.
In the opener against Alabama, the line enabled the Bruins to average 4.4 yards on 38 rushing attempts (168 total) after averaging 2.6 yards in 2000. Saffer had the top grade among the linemen at 92%.
Against Kansas, the Bruins rushed for 292 yards, its best total with the 1998 Arizona game (298 yards), including 189 yards behind a line that dominated most of the game.
JUST FOR KICKS - Redshirt junior Chris Griffith, a candidate for the Lou Groza Award and a former walk-on, handled the place kicking chores in 1999 and earned a scholarship for the 2000 season. A second-team All-Pac-10 team selection last year, Griffith ranks among the all-time leaders at UCLA in career field goals.
In the 2001 opener against Alabama, he converted field goals of 30 and 45 yards to help build a 20-10 lead and also pinned the Tide at its seven-yard line with a 28-yard punt from field goal formation. Against Kansas, he made second-quarter field goals of 31-and 36 yards and converted five PATs.
Griffith leads the team with 19 points, making all four field goal attempts and all seven PATs. He is sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring (9.5) and second in the Pac-10 and T-11th in the NCAA in field goals (2.0).
Griffith has now made six straight field goals and 10 of his last 11 over two seasons.
He currently ranks seventh in school history with 28 career field goals, just one behind No. 6 Louis Perez and three behind No. 5 Peter Boermeester. His percentage of 77.8% ranks third in school history behind John Lee and Alfredo Velasco.
True junior punter Nate Fikse, a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, enjoyed a spectacular night at Alabama. He averaged 44.2 yards on eight punts with a long of 56 yards. Three times, he forced the Crimson Tide to start at their own 10-yard line or deeper, including a 46-yard punt that pinned Alabama at its 10-yard line with 21 seconds remaining in the game. Against Kansas, he averaged 42.0 yards on three kicks with a long of 49 yards.
On the year, he is averaging 43.6 yards on 11 punts and is ranked first in the Pac-10 and 21st in the nation.
In 2000, he earned second-team all-conference honors a season ago after averaging 43.3 yards per kick. He had 19 kicks of at least 50 yards and 17 of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. His regular-season average of 43.3 ranked first in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation and he averaged at least 45.0 yards in five games with a high of 48.1 yards against Michigan.
His total of 3,246 yards on his 75 punts set a new school record, breaking the mark of 3,130, set by Matt McFarland in 1978. Fikse's current career average of 42.76 would rank No. 2 on UCLA's all-time list, trailing only Kirk Wilson's record of 44.60 and just ahead of No. 3 Zenon Andrusyshyn (42.63).
WIDE RECEIVER - True sophomore Tab Perry, redshirt sophomores Ryan Smith, redshirt freshman Craig Bragg and seniors Cody Joyce and Devon Reese emerged from Fall camp with the best chances to compete for time in the receiver rotation with senior Brian Poli-Dixon.
Perry made his first start a very successful one. The true sophomore made five receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown, catching a long strike along the left sideline and finishing the play for a 53-yard score, the first of his career.
Against Kansas, he made just one catch -- a 49-yard touchdown on a well-executed post route -- for his second long score in as many weeks. A year ago, he made six catches for 58 yards and excelled as a kickoff returner, setting school records with 29 returns for 598 yards.
Bragg saw the first action of his career in the Alabama game and made his presence felt. He had a 27-yard kickoff return, a 21-yard punt return and two runs for 23 yards, including one for 22 yards. At Kansas, he ran a reverse for a 37-yard touchdown and made the first reception of his career (five yards).
Smith was one of just three players to catch a pass versus Alabama (four yards), Joyce caught two passes at Kansas (nine yards) and Reese had a four-yard catch against the Jayhawks.
RUNNING BACK - Sophomore Akil Harris and redshirt freshman Manuel White each demonstrated during Spring practice that they are capable performers. Last season, Harris ran for 100 yards versus Arizona State after Foster went down with an injury. On just the second carry of his career, he went around right end for a 23-yard touchdown. At Alabama, he carried once for eight yards on UCLA's first touchdown drive, setting up Ed Ieremia-Stanley's scoring run. At Kansas, he carried five times for eight net yards.
White, a big, tough back with speed, made his debut against Alabama, carrying four times for no yards. He was the team's No. 2 rusher versus Kansas, carrying nine times for 44 net yards while keeping the clock moving.
STARTING ASSIGNMENTS (2001 starts / career starts) - Offense - WR: Brian Poli-Dixon (2/22), Tab Perry (2/2), OL: Troy Danoff (2/23), Mike Saffer (2/21), Bryce Bohlander (2/16), Eyoseff Efseaff (2/2), Shane Lehmann (2/2), TE: Bryan Fletcher (2/6), QB: Cory Paus (2/18), Ryan McCann (/4), RB: DeShaun Foster (2/17), Akil Harris (1/2), Ed Ieremia-Stansbury (2/10, two at LB), Matt Stanley (0/3), PK: Chris Griffith (2/24).
Defense - DL: Kenyon Coleman (2/25), Ken Kocher (1/12), Rusty Williams (0/22), Anthony Fletcher (1/12), Stephen Sua (0/1), Rodney Leisle (2/14), Sean Phillips (0/3), Dave Ball (2/5), Steve Morgan (0/1), Asi Faoa (0/1 at LB), LB: Ryan Nece (2/32), Robert Thomas (2/22), Brandon Chillar (1/1), Mat Ball (1/5, 4 at DE), Audie Attar (0/1 at DB), DB: Jason Stephens (2/10), Joe Hunter (0/4), Ricky Manning Jr. (2/23), Marques Anderson (2/24), Matt Ware (2/2), P: Nate Fikse (2/25).
RED ZONE - UCLA entered the Red Zone twice against Alabama and scored twice (one rushing touchdown, one field goal) for 10 points. At Kansas, UCLA reached the Red Zone five times and scored four times (two rushing touchdowns, two field goals) for 20 points. The other possession ended in a fumble. Overall, UCLA has scored six times (three rushing touchdowns, three field goals) for 30 points on seven tries.
Alabama was in the Red Zone twice and settled for one field goal for three points. The other possession ended on downs at the two-yard line. Kansas reached the Red Zone three times and scored 14 points (two rushing touchdowns). The third possession ended with a fumble. Overall, opponents have scored three times (two rushing touchdowns and one field goal) for 17 points on five tries.
Last year, UCLA was in the Red Zone 47 times and scored 38 times (16 rushing touchdowns, 13 passing touchdowns and nine field goals) for 227 points. The other possessions resulted in two fumbles, three interceptions, one missed field goal, two on downs and one with the game ending.
Bruin opponents entered the Red Zone 45 times and scored on 38 occasions (13 passing touchdowns, 17 rushing touchdowns and eight field goals) for 232 points. The other possessions ended on a fumble, an interception, three missed field goals and twice on downs.
TURNOVERS - In the season opener, UCLA recovered two turnovers (an interception by Ricky Manning Jr. and a fumble recovery by Rodney Leisle) and scored six points (two field goals). UCLA did not have a turnover.
Against Kansas, UCLA forced three turnovers (interceptions by Manning and Ryan Nece and a fumble recovery by Nece) and scored 21 points (three touchdowns), including one by the defense. UCLA turned the ball over three times on fumbles (two by Cory Paus and one by Manuel White) and Kansas scored seven points (one touchdown). The other turnovers led to a fumble and a punt.
Last year, UCLA recovered 30 turnovers (17 fumbles, 13 interceptions) and scored 69 points (nine touchdowns and two field goals). The Bruins turned the ball over 23 times (11 fumbles and 12 interceptions) and they were converted into 59 points (eight touchdowns, including three on interception returns, and one field goal).
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 STATS -- DeShaun Foster: Rushing - 1st in Pac-10, 4th in NCAA (149.5), All-Purpose Yards - 3rd in Pac-10, 11th in NCAA (173.0), Cory Paus: Passing Efficiency - 9th in Pac-10 (127.3), Passing Yards - 10th in Pac-10 (141.5), Chris Griffith: Field Goals - 2nd in Pac-10, T-11th in NCAA (2.0), Scoring - 6th in Pac-10, T-36th in NCAA (9.5), Kick-Scoring - 2nd in Pac-10 (9.5), Nate Fikse: Punting - 1st in Pac-10, 21st in NCAA (43.6), Ricky Manning: Interceptions: T-1st in Pac-10, T-3rd in NCAA (1.0), Tab Perry: Receiving Yards - 7th in Pac-10 (81.0), Ryan Nece: Interceptions - T-7th in Pac-10 (0.5), Craig Bragg: Punt Returns - 4th in Pac-10 (9.7).
THIS AND THAT - Offensive lineman Mike Saffer's dad, Don, played on the 1967 UCLA national championship basketball team for coach John Wooden ... Tight end Bryan Fletcher's brother, Terrell, plays for the San Diego Chargers ... Several Bruins have fathers who played in the NFL - Ryan Nece's dad, Ronnie Lott, was one of the top safeties in NFL history with the 49ers, Jibril Raymo's dad, Halim Muhammad, played with the Raiders, John Sciarra's dad, John, played for the Eagles ... Some have dads who played at colleges other than UCLA - Kevin Brant's dad, Tim, played at Maryland, Ryan McCann's dad, John, played at Arizona, Ryan Nece's dad, Ronnie Lott, played at USC, Ryan Wikert's dad, James, played at Northern Arizona ... Robert Thomas' dad, Stan, played major league baseball ... Defensive lineman Rodney Leisle's high school team went 0-10 his senior season ... UCLA is home to the only three-time consensus All-Americans in Pac-10 history - linebacker Jerry Robinson (1976-78) and safety Kenny Easley (1978-80) ... UCLA is the school that produced the only player to participate in six Super Bowls (Mike Lodish), the only quarterback to win three Super Bowls in four years (Troy Aikman) and the only man to play on three straight Super Bowl champions (Ken Norton) ... After winning four NCAA titles during the past school year, UCLA still ranks No. 1 with a total of 86 NCAA team championships.
NCAA GRADUATION RATES - In the 2000 NCAA Graduation Report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen earned their degrees - 71.4%. In addition, three other freshmen who entered in the Winter or Spring quarters of 1993-94 also earned their degrees, raising the mark to 76.5%. In the 2000 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen earned degrees - 71.4%. In addition, three other freshmen who entered in the Winter or Spring quarters of 1993-94 also earned their degrees, raising the percentage to 76.5% (13 of 17).
UCLA ON THE RADIO - The 2001 season is UCLA fifth on Fox Sports Radio AM 1150. The Los Angeles all-sports station broadcasts the Bruins' games, including a two-hour pre-game show and a one-hour post-game show.
Chris Roberts, a four-time Golden Mike Award winner, is in his 10th season as the voice of the Bruins. Former Bruin quarterback Matt Stevens is in his fifth year on the broadcast team and his first as the analyst in the booth. John Ireland, who is a sportscaster for KCAL-TV, is in his first season as the sideline reporter.
Stations on the Bruin radio network include: KDFO 800AM (Bakersfield), KCBL 1340AM (Fresno), KAVL 610AM (Lancaster), KSDO 1130AM (San Diego, CA), KSHP 1400AM (Las Vegas, NV), KAOI 1110AM (Maui), KPTT 630AM (Reno, NV), KBET 850AM (Thousand Oaks), KVEN 1450AM (Ventura), KIXW 960AM (Victorville), KVBL 1400AM (Visalia), KDEF 1150 AM (Albuquerque, NM), KEWS 1350 AM (Riverside).
In addition, Fox Sports Radio provides ancillary programming during the week, including Bob Toledo interviews during the week of the games.
UCLA games are also available via the internet at www.uclabruins.com and www.foxsports1150.com. Fans can also hear the game for as little as 10 cents per minute by dialing 1-800-846-4700 (ext. 5929) to listen to the broadcast on the telephone.
TELEVISION - In 2000, 11 of UCLA's 12 games were televised live (four ABC-TV, three on Fox Sports Net West 2, two on the Pac-10's Fox Sports Net package, one on the Pac-10's Fox Syndicated package and one on CBS-TV).
Seven of UCLA's 11 games this season have already been selected for live television. The Alabama game was broadcast nationally by ESPN. ABC will televise the Ohio State, Stanford and Oregon games. Fox Sports Net televises the Kansas, Arizona State and California games.
Entering the Arizona State game, 90 of UCLA's last 96 games have been televised live.
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, produced by Fox Sports Net West 2, airs every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m or 7:30 p.m. during the season.
UCLA ON THE WEB - UCLA releases, player information and results can be found on the school's official website - www.uclabruins.com. For more detailed information on Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award candidate DeShaun Foster, click on the logo on the right side of the front page.
TOLEDO PRESS CONFERENCE - Bruin head coach Bob Toledo hosts a weekly press conference every Monday. It is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Morgan Center Press Room adjacent to the new Hall of Fame. The opposing coach is usually available by speaker phone at either 1:15 or 2:30 p.m. A few players are usually available prior to 1:15 p.m.
PAC-10 TELECONFERENCES - The Pac-10 will hold a weekly teleconference with all 10 head coaches every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., beginning on Sept. 11. Each coach will have a 10-minute window. Bob Toledo will be on the call at 11:30 a.m. Please call the Pac-10 office or a Pac-10 SID to obtain the telephone number.
PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED - The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed containing interviews with coaches and players and game highlight footage. The half-hour feed airs every Wedensday at 11:30 a.m. PT, beginning on Sept. 5. Coordinates for the feed are Telstar 6, Transponder 9 (C-Band).
PROMOTIONS -- UCLA will be giving away 10,000 screen savers, sponsored by Pac Bell. In addition, as part of its "Race for the Roses" campaign, 12 bouquets of one dozen roses will be given away at the game.
Pre-game festivities will feature middle school bands, as well pep bands from UCLA and Arizona State. United Spirit Association will perform at halftime.