Oct. 15, 2001
GAME NO. 6 -
The UCLA Bruins (5-0 overall for the first time since 1998 and 2-0 in Pac-10 play) return to action this Saturday night, Oct. 20, when they host the California Golden Bears at the Rose Bowl in the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff has been set for 7:15 p.m. The game will be televised throughout the nation by Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc and Tom Ramsey in the booth and Louis Johnson on the sidelines.
The contest will be broadcast over 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. Fox Sports AM 1150 broadcasts all Bruins games.
The Bruins are currently ranked fourth on the Associated Press poll and sixth on the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. The last time they were ranked higher was in 1998, when they were 10-0 and ranked No. 3 entering the Miami game (they were also No. 6 last season following the Michigan game).
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 -
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.
STAT CHANGE -
The Washington fake punt which gained 24 yards has been changed from a run to a pass play after watching game films. Game stats should credit Todd Elstrom with one pass for 24 yards and Omare Lowe with one reception for 24 yards and delete Lowe's run for 24 yards. Washington's totals should not be: rushing - 28 carries for minus eight yards, passing - 23 of 46 for 340 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
LAST GAME -
UCLA improved its record to 5-0 and halted Washington's 12-game winning streak in a dominating 35-13 victory at the Rose Bowl. The Huskies entered the game ranked No. 8 by USA Today/ESPN and No. 10 by AP.
The Bruins dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage. On offense, UCLA rushed for 325 yards, its highest total since running for 344 versus Northeast Louisiana in 1996, and finished with 453 yards, averaging 7.1 yards per play. On defense, UCLA held Washington to minus eight net yards rushing (this is a stat change), the Bruins' best effort since setting a school record by holding Stanford to minus 34 net rushing yards in 1997, and one rushing first down. Overall, the Huskies finished with 332 yards, 251 until their final two possessions of the game.
The Huskies entered the game having not allowed a regular-season rushing touchdown since DeShaun Foster scored two in the second quarter on Nov. 11, 2000 in Seattle.
Foster, the nation's best running back and a prime Heisman Trophy candidate, obliterated that stat, running for four scores en route to a school-record 301 yards. He scored on runs of five, 21, one and 92 yards and also had a 64-yard run to the one-yard line. On his first TD, he ran over two Huskies and on his 21-yard score, he bounced off the pile, kept his balance and broke three tackles on his way to the end zone.
On his 92-yard run, the second-longest in UCLA history, Foster turned the corner and raced down the right sideline and into the record book. He became the first Bruin to reach the 300-yard plateau, shattering Theotis Brown's school record of 274 yards (1978 vs. Oregon) and is now third on the Pac-10's all-time single-game list. The 301 yards is also an NCAA Division IA best this year.
Defensively, UCLA held the Huskies to a touchdown with 20 seconds left in the second quarter leading 21-0 and one versus the reserves with 2:40 remaining with a 35-6 lead. Middle linebacker Robert Thomas, one of the top contenders for the Butkus Award, once again led the defense. He made 12 tackles, including 11 solo stops. Three of his tackles were for losses, including one for three yards when Washington had a first down at the Bruin two-yard line. He also broke up two passes, including one at the goal line on fourth down on the same series as his tackle for loss.
As a unit, UCLA forced three turnovers -- an end zone interception by Matt Ware and recoveries by Ware and Kenyon Coleman on fumbles caused by Dave Ball and Rodney Leisle. In addition, it kept Washington from converting any of UCLA's three turnovers and allowed just one touchdown (at the end of the game) on three red zone attempts.
UCLA built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to two Foster touchdowns, a blocked punt by Marcus Reese that Jibril Raymo returned for a score and a defense that allowed just two first downs and 25 yards and forced a turnover.
Leading 21-6 at halftime, UCLA held Washington without a first down on its first possession. The Bruins then used Foster's 64-yard run to the one-yard line and, following a Husky penalty for illegal substitution, Foster's third touchdown to take a 28-6 lead. The score stayed that way until Foster's 92-yard touchdown run with 4:02 remaining, giving UCLA a 35-6 lead.
BRUINS IN THE 2001 POLLS -
AP: Pre-season, No. 15, Aug. 27, No. 15, Sept. 2, No. 14, Sept. 9, No. 14, Sept. 16, No poll, Sept. 23, No. 12, Sept. 30, No. 9, Oct. 7, No. 7, Oct. 14, No. 4. USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season, No. 17, Aug. 27, No. 17, Sept. 2, No. 14, Sept. 9, No. 12, Sept. 16, No poll, Sept. 23, No. 10, Sept. 30, No. 9, Oct. 7, No. 7, Oct. 14, No. 6.
HOME SWEET HOME --
The 2001 season is UCLA's 20th at the Rose Bowl. Since moving to Pasadena in 1982, the Bruins are 81-34-2 (.701) on its home field.
DID YOU KNOW? -
UCLA has won 14 of its last 18 games versus ranked opponents dating back to a 1997 win at #11 Texas and has posted a 20-4 record in regular season games played in the Rose Bowl since that win over the Longhorns.
The Bruins are 4-0 versus ranked teams this season, having defeated Alabama (No. 25-AP), Ohio State (No. 21-both polls) Oregon State (No. 19-both polls) and Washington (No. 10 AP/ No. 8 USA).
Since winning the national championship in 1954 with a 9-0 record, UCLA has opened the season 5-0 on seven occasions, including this season. Here are the other years (start/overall record): 1966 (7-0/9-1), 1967 (6-0/7-2-1), 1969 (6-0/8-1-1), 1980 (6-0/9-2), 1988 (7-0/10-2, Cotton Bowl win) and 1998 (10-0/10-2, Rose Bowl loss).
The Bruins are 3-0 on the road for the first time since 1998 when they won their first five games away from the Rose Bowl. In the last two seasons (1999-2000) UCLA was 1-8 on the road.
This is the fourth time in six seasons that Toledo's Bruins have been ranked in the Top Ten by Associated Press at least once during the year: (highest ranking - 1997: 5th, 1998: 2nd, 2000: 6th, 2001: 4th).
Tailback Bob Toledo selects a fourth captain on a weekly basis.
SERIES NOTES -
UCLA leads the series with California, which dates back to 1933, by a count of 45-25-1. The Golden Bears have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 17-0 shutout of the Bruins in 1999 at the Rose Bowl. Last season, the Bears won a thrilling, 46-38, triple overtime game in Berkeley.
In the longest game in UCLA history, the Bruins rallied from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit, only to lose in the third overtime period. Playing without an injured DeShaun Foster (hand), the Bruins could muster a total of just 45 yards on the ground. Quarterback Cory Paus threw for 309 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in the game, but also was intercepted three times, including once on the final play of the game. Freddie Mitchell was Paus' favorite target. On the day, Mitchell totaled 167 yards on eight catches, the seventh-highest receiving yards mark in UCLA history.
In the 1999 contest, Cal snapped a 13-game regular season Bruin home winning streak with a 17-0 shutout. UCLA accounted for just 168 yards of total offense against the conference's top-ranked rushing defense (87 on the ground).Cal took a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter, but managed two late scores. The Bruins moved to the Cal four-yard line on its final drive of the day, but could not punch it in to the end zone. Paus was UCLA's leading rusher on the day with 67 yards on 11 carries, as the Bruins once again played Cal without an injured Foster (ankle).
Bob Toledo is 3-2 overall vs. California.
DeShaun Foster has never played against the Golden Bears, missing all three games due to injury.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO -
The Bruin head coach owns a record of 40-23 (26-16 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .635 during his five-plus 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 30-8 when it scores at least 30 points and 14-1 when it scores at least 40. UCLA is 27-6 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 29-7 record under Toledo and are 14-3 when ranked in the Top 10.
Under Toledo, UCLA is 15-9 versus ranked teams. It has won four straight and eight of the last 10 (in 1999 versus Washington, in 2000 against Alabama, Michigan and Arizona and in 2001 versus Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon State and Washington) and is 14-4 in the last 18 games against Top 25 teams. The Bruins were 3-2 last year versus the Top 25, 2-1 versus the Top 10.
UCLA held back-to-back opponents (Ohio State six, Oregon State 7)to single-digits points for the first time under Bob Toledo. The last time it happened was in the first two games of the 1995 season.
UCLA's defense has allowed only one of 11 turnovers to be converted into an opponent score (one touchdown at Kansas). Ohio State was unable to score after any of four Bruin turnovers, Oregon State did not convert its lone opportunity and Washington was unsuccessful after three Bruin miscues.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer than 60 points in the first five games of the season was 1980 (49) against Colorado, Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Stanford. Of those 60 points, only 33 have come against the first unit (Kansas scored a late touchdown with UCLA leading 41-10, Ohio State's touchdown came on a blocked punt, Oregon State's TD came against the second team with 6:52 remaining and UCLA leading 38-0 and Washington's second touchdown came with 2:40 remaining and UCLA leading 35-6).
The last time UCLA allowed fewer than 60 points in any five-game span was in 1981 -- 58 versus WSU, California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona State (UCLA also allowed 60 in 1991 versus Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington State, Stanford and Oregon).
The last time the Bruins held five straight opponents under 20 points each in the same year was 1977.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer than Ohio State's 166 yards of total offense was in 1996, when the Bruins held Northeast Louisiana to 153 yards.
The last time the Bruins held a Pac-10 opponent to fewer than Oregon State's 220 yards of total offense was in 1991, when they held the Beavers to 216 yards - all on the ground.
The 1997 Texas game was the last time UCLA held an offense without a touchdown prior to this year's Ohio State game.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer passing yards than Ohio State's 45 was in 1994, when Oregon State failed to complete a pass.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer net yards rushing than Washington's minus eight was in 1997, when it held Stanford to a school record minus 34 yards rushing.
UCLA held Kansas, Ohio State and Oregon State to just 628 yards of total offense. In the games against Ohio State and Oregon State, the Bruins held them to just 386 yards of total offense. The last time the Bruins had a lower two-game total was in 1991, holding Arizona (155) and Oregon State (216) to 371 total yards.
UCLA's last three opponents have converted just six of 47 third-down situations.
ROBERT 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 and the leading tackler in the Pac-10. He was all over the field in the victory at Alabama, finishing second on the squad and made 11 tackles -- five solos and six assists. 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 10 tackles (seven solos and three assists), including four 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.
In the win over Ohio State, he led the Bruins with nine tackles (six solos and three assists), including five behind the line of scrimmage (one sack). Time and again, he made key stops, helping to hold the Buckeyes to one conversion on 16 third or fourth down conversion attempts.
In the road win at Oregon State, Thomas again led the Bruins with nine tackles (seven solos), including one for loss. OSU's high-powered offense managed just 157 yards until its final play of the game and Thomas was a key in holding Ken Simonton to just 23 net yards on the ground.
Thomas was at his best in the victory over No. 8 (USA Today/ESPN) Washington. He led the Bruins with 12 tackles (11 solos), including three for losses, and also defensed two passes. No other Bruin was credited with more than five tackles. Every time the defense made a big play behind the line, Thomas seemed to be involved. In the first quarter, he tackled tailback Willie Hurst for a three-yard loss on a third-and two situation. In the fourth quarter, Washington had a first down at the Bruin two-yard line but Thomas knifed into the backfield and dropped Rich Alexis for a three-yard loss. On fourth down at the five, he broke up a pass at the goal line to give the Bruins possession. Two plays later, Foster raced 92 yards to give UCLA a 35-6 lead.
On the year, Thomas leads the Bruins with 51 tackles (36 solos and 15 assists). Sixteen of his tackles have been for losses, putting him on pace to shatter Marvcus Patton's school record of 22 tackles for loss in a season. He currently ranks sixth on the single-season list and the five players ahead of him all played successfully in the NFL (see list below). He is first in the Pac-10 in tackles (10.2) and tackles for loss (3.2) and tied for fourth in sacks (0.8).
In addition, he now has 31 tackles for loss during his career, placing him 11th (tied) on UCLA's career list.
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.
In the win over Ohio State, he added two solo tackles and deflected a pass. Against Oregon State, he helped shut down Ken Simonton and made four tackles, including one sack and a second stop behind the line of scrimmage. In the win over Washington, he made two tackles, including one sack, and also recovered a fumble on the Husky 32-yard line to set up UCLA's first touchdown.
On the year, he has 19 total tackles (11 solos and eight assists), most among the linemen and fifth overall, and four for losses (two sacks). He is tied for second on the team in sacks and tackles for loss.
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 tackles in the win over Alabama -- five solos and eight assists, 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 two tackles.
In the victory over Ohio State, he ranked second (tied) on the defense with eight tackles (six solos and two assists) and also defensed one pass. In the win at Oregon State, he added two solo tackles. In the victory over Washington, he was second on the team with five tackles (two solos).
On the season, he ranks second on the squad and T16th in the Pac-10 with 30 tackles (6.0 per game), including 16 solos and two for loss.
The Washington game was also his 26th consecutive start, tied for longest string on the team.
During his Bruin career, Nece has now made 258 tackles, tied for 19th on UCLA's career list.
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. 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 (six solos and one assist). He was also credited with one pass defensed. In the victory at Kansas, he ranked second with seven tackles (two solos and five assists) and deflected two passes.
The hard-hitting senior helped hold Ohio State to just five completions in 23 attempts for 45 passing yards. He tied for second on the squad with eight tackles (five solos), including one sack, made an interception and also defended two passes. In the win at Oregon State, he came off the bench to make four tackles, including one for loss, and he also recovered a fumble. In the victory over Washington, he missed substantial portions of the game due to heat cramps (he required an IV for hydration) and finished with two tackles, including one for loss, one pass deflection and several hard hits against would-be receivers.
On the year, he ranks third on the squad with his 28 tackles (16 solos) and leads the team with seven passes defensed. He also has three tackles for loss, one interception and one fumble recovery. His average of 5.6 tackles is T-27th in the Pac-10.
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 26 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 four tackles (two solos and two assists), including one for loss. He was credited with one solo tackle and one pass defense in the victory over Ohio State. In the win at Oregon State, he recovered Jason Stephens' fumble of an interception and advanced it 17 yards to set up UCLA's first touchdown. The Beavers did not throw to his side often, so he was not credited with any tackles. In the win over Washington, he made four solo tackles, second only to Robert Thomas' 11 solos, and had one pass defensed.
On the year, he is tied for the team lead with his two interceptions and has made 13 tackles, including two for losses.
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 throughout his career and had a good day versus Oregon State, averaging 8.7 yards on three returns.
True junior linebacker Marcus Reese, who has been a major contributor the last two seasons, continues to see action on the weak side and in the middle. In the win over Alabama, be played well off the bench and was credited with six tackles (three solos and three assists). He added one solo tackle at Kansas and one solo against Ohio State.
In the victory at Oregon State, Reese was second on the team with six tackles (five solos), forced one fumble and recovered another. In the victory over Washington, he made three tackles (two solos), including one-half sack, and blocked a punt that produced UCLA's third touchdown of the first quarter. It was the Bruins' first score on a blocked punt since the 1997 California contest. On the year, he ranks sixth on the squad with 17 tackles.
In 2000, he came off the bench to appear in all 12 games and finished with 34 tackles, ninth on the team.
True sophomore Brandon Chillar has started the last four games at strongside linebacker. 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. He started versus Ohio State and was credited with one solo tackle. Against Ohio State, he made three tackles, including a nine-yard sack. He was credited with three tackles against Washington. 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.
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 three tackles, including one for loss, had one assist off the bench versus Ohio State, and two solo tackles in the win at Oregon State. In 2000, he made 14 tackles and had one interception.
DEFENSIVE LINE -
"That's clearly the best front we've played in a very long time. I'm trying to think of all the UCLA lines, or anybody in our league who's had that powerful a defensive front. I think back to Arizona when Dick Tomey was there with the Desert Swarm defense." -- Washington offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson.
Redshirt sophomore tackle Rodney Leisle has played like an All-American throughout the season. In the opener at Alabama he made seven 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. In the win over Ohio State, he added three tackles (two solos) and was credited with one solo tackle, an eight-yard sack, in the win at Oregon State. In the victory over Washington, Leisle made two tackles, including one sack and a second for loss. His sack also caused a fumble at the Husky 32-yard line that set up UCLA's first touchdown of the day.
On the year, he has made 15 tackles, including two sacks and four for losses to rank second (tied) in both categories. He ranks second among the linemen and seventh overall with his 15 stops and has now started 17 consecutive games stretching back to the 2000 opener.
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.
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. He also started against Ohio State and made one tackle. He played off the bench versus Oregon State and Washington (one tackle).
Senior Ken Kocher, who suffered a separated right shoulder in the first quarter of the Alabama game, did not play at Kansas. He came off the bench versus Ohio State and was a monster in the middle. He finished with five tackles (two solos and three assists), most among the linemen, and two of his stops were for losses. He returned to the starting lineup versus Oregon State and made one tackle while helping to plug the middle of the defense. In the win over Washington, he made four tackles, including one-half sack and a second stop for loss, and helped hold Washington to just 16 net yards rushing. He has 10 tackles on the year and is tied for second on the squad with four tackles for loss.
In 2000, 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 this season. Junior Steve Morgan came off the bench to make two tackles, including a five-yard sack, against Alabama, two tackles, including 0.5 sacks, against Kansas and two tackles versus Washington.
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 made three tackles but was not credited with a stop versus Ohio State or Oregon State. In the win over Washington, he made three tackles, including a 14-yard sack and a second stop behind the line. His sack also created a fumble at the Bruin 13-yard line to halt a scoring threat in the third quarter. A year ago as a redshirt freshman, he started three games at end and saw action in all 12 contests.
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 and added a solo tackle in the win over Ohio State. He was not credited with a tackle in the win at Oregon State or in the win over Washington.
JASON STEPHENS -
One of the most pleasant surprises of the year, the fifth-year senior has helped solidify the secondary with his inspired play. Through five games, he ranks fourth on the squad and second in the secondary with 22 tackles. He also has one interception and has forced one fumble.
He was a key performer in the win at Alabama, making nine tackles (two solos). He made four tackles against both Kansas and Ohio State. The hard-hitter was at his best in the win at Oregon State. He made four tackles and his interception on the Beavers' first possession set up UCLA's initial touchdown. He also forced a fumble with a bone-jarring hit and UCLA immediately converted it into a touchdown for a 31-0 lead. In the win over Washington, he made one tackles, was credited with two pass defenses and made a recovery on the Huskies' onside kick to give UCLA its final possession of the game.
MATT WARE -
The only true freshman in the starting lineup, Ware gets better each week. In the win at Oregon State, he was credited with five tackles after making two tackles and his first career interception versus Ohio State. Against Washington, matched up against Reggie Williams much of the game, he was credited with three tackles (two solos), recovered a fumble, made his second interception of the year in the end zone to halt a scoring threat and had one pass defense. On the year, Ware has made 12 tackles and is tied for the team lead with his two thefts. He signed a baseball contract with the Seattle Mariners during Fall football camp and will play in their minor league organization this summer as an outfielder.
DESHAUN FOSTER -
The best running back in America and a top candidate for the Doak Walker Award, DeShaun Foster, now the nation's leading rusher, stepped squarely into the Heisman Trophy spotlight with his unbelievable effort against the No. 8 (USA Today/ESPN) Washington Huskies.
Against a defense that hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown all year (he was the last player to score a TD on the ground during the regular season), Foster ran through, over and around the Huskies for a school-record 301 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries (9.7 average) to lead the Bruins to the 35-13 victory. The four touchdowns also tied a school record for rushing touchdowns and touchdowns of any type (he is co-holder of the latter mark, having scored three on the ground and one through the air as a freshman versus USC).
On his first touchdown, he ran through a couple of would-be tacklers for a five-yard score. On his second TD, from 21 yards, he bounced off the pile to the outside and broke three tackles to reach the end zone. His one-yard score was set up by his 64-yard run on UCLA's first offensive play of the second half. His final touchdown came when he turned the right corner and ran by several Huskies for a 92-yard touchdown, the second-longest run from scrimmage in school history.
His 301 yards shattered the school record of 274, set by Theotis Brown versus Oregon in 1978. He also became only the third player in Pacific-10 Conference history to rush for over 300 yards in a game. He rushed for 65 yards (10 carries) and two scores in the first quarter, 38 yards (five carries) in the second quarter, 78 yards (10 carries) and one touchdown in the third quarter and 120 yards (six carries) and one touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sixteen of his 31 runs produced at least five yards, including eight straight in the first half. Seven of those runs gained at least double digits. His 64-yard run on UCLA's first play of the second half was the second-longest of his career (he had a 65-yard run in 1998) until the fourth quarter, when he raced 92 yards for a score.
His 301 rushing yards and his 92-yard run also set Washington opponent records.
With his 301-yard effort against the Huskies, Foster has rushed for at least 100 yards 11 times in his career, including four of five games this season and eight times in his last 16 games. In his last two games, he has recorded 448 yards and seven touchdowns on 62 attempts (7.2 average).
Foster currently leads the nation in rushing (162.6) and ranks ninth in all-purpose yardage (171.8). He leads the Pac-10 in rushing by almost 45 yards per game and is first in all-purpose yards and third in scoring (9.6).
His school-record tying four touchdowns gave him 39 in his career, putting him just one behind Gaston Green (40) for second place on UCLA's all-time list. Skip Hicks holds the record with 55. He also ranks sixth in career scoring with 236 points.
He also moved into seventh place on UCLA's career rushing list with 2,898 yards and trails No. 6 Theotis Brown by just 16 yards.
Foster is just the fourth player in school history to rush for 187 or more yards three times in a career. The others are Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Gaston Green and Freeman McNeil.
On Sept. 29, in just three quarters of action against Oregon State, Foster rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries and earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors. In a hostile environment, he gave the Bruins a lead just 2:59 into the game, when he followed a 25-yard run with a three-yard touchdown. He had 87 yards at halftime and in the third quarter, he ran for 60 yards on 10 carries, including touchdowns of 17 and one yard. On his 17-yard TD, he bounced off a pile to the outside, broke at least four tackles and tightroped the sideline for the final yards to give the Bruins a 24-0 lead. His final TD with 50 seconds left in the third quarter, made the score 38-0.
On the afternoon, Foster had four double-figure runs, none longer than 25 yards. He produced nine first downs, including twice on third-down runs on UCLA's second-quarter field goal drive that made the score 10-0. Overall, he carried four times on third down and moved the chains on all four occasions.
In the victory over Ohio State, he rushed for 66 yards on 29 carries against a defense dedicated to stopping him.
Foster was at his spectacular best against Kansas. He ran over, around and through the Jayhawk defense for a career-high (at the time) 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.
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.
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.
"DeShaun Foster had a 300 yard rushing performance against a Top Ten team with a very good defense. The way he finishes runs is amazing - he dishes out blows when he runs with the football. He is, without exception, the best running back in college football." -- Rod Gilmore, ESPN.com
"All he wanted to do was "Show America." Well, DeShaun, we were left mesmerized. Move over QBs, this running back has sprinted right into the forefront of a race where nobody's early lead is safe." - ESPN Heisman Watch
It was your basic, 60-minute primer on "How to Win the Heisman." DeShaun Foster juked past Miami's Ken Dorsey here, straight-armed Nebraska's Eric Crouch there and sprinted off into the warm Pasadena sunset Saturday.
If UCLA's electric tailback isn't the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy now, he certainly has bullied his way into the top group, along with Dorsey and Crouch.
Foster did it with bust-out moves of 92 and 64 yards and an early 21-yard body cruncher he might come to remember as the single most impressive run of his collegiate career.
The 64-yarder in the third period was pretty, even if he did get nudged out at the 1. The 92-yarder in the final minutes was almost the icing on his Heisman-contending cake.
But the best one, the one you might want to tell your grandkids about some day, was the 21-yard jolt in the first quarter.
First, Huskies linebacker Ben Mahdavi had him in his grasp and lost him. Then cornerback Wondame Davis rushed up and must have thought he was leveled by an SUV. Next, it was corner Chris Massey's turn. When he wakes up today, Massey might still have Foster's cleat marks on his chest. -- Steve Bisheff, Orange County Register
DeShaun Foster is everything that I thought he would be. I have been saying all year that he is the best back in the country. On Saturday, he ran himself into the Heisman picture.
A lot of people in the East don't get to see him, so he hasn't received all the accolades. But he is the best back in the country. He certainly got the attention of the nation with his 301-yard, 4 TD effort in the Bruins' 35-13 win over No. 8 Washington.
Foster is the best in the country at yards after contact (YACs), but he showed against Washington that he is the entire special package of size, speed, power and balance. He did it all. He ran and scored every conceivable way a running back can run. Keith Jackson and I sat in amazement. We said during the telecast that you don't want to analyze the guy, you want to sit back and admire him. - ABC analyst Tim Brant following the Washington game.
"You punch into a computer the prototype running back, somebody who looks very similar to DeShaun Foster will emerge. He is a gifted physical specimen. Obviously, he's very competitive. He's got great speed, he has great vision, it doesn't look like the first guy who gets to him ever gets him down. This is a very talented player." -- Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said.
"We face running backs every week that are pretty good, but we face the best running back in the country every day at practice. It's easy for us to go out there and play the other running backs, because they don't run as fast and as hard as DeShaun. It's a blessing to have him on our team and to face him every day. We go out and face other running backs and it seems like the scout team." -- UCLA linebacker Robert Thomas.
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.
In the victory over Ohio State, he enjoyed his best game of the young season. Paus completed 16 of 25 passes for a season-high 262 yards and one touchdown. He gave the Bruins an early 7-0 lead when he connected with Ryan Smith on a 24-yard touchdown on UCLA's first possession of the game. Paus completed all three of his third-down passes on that drive, including a third-and-nine on the touchdown toss.
In the win at Oregon State, he overcame a slow start to complete 10 of his final 14 passes before retiring at the end of the third quarter with a 38-0 lead. On the afternoon, he completed 12 of 24 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Paus changed the complexion of the game on the final play of the first half. Leading 10-0 with nine seconds to play and UCLA at the OSU 38, Paus lifted a perfect strike to Brian Poli-Dixon in the left corner of the end zone for a 17-0 halftime lead. With just under five minutes left in the third quarter following an OSU turnover, Paus again hooked up with Poli-Dixon for a 39-yard touchdown and a 31-0 lead.
In the win over Washington, he completed nine of 19 passes for 128 yards, barely missing on several long attempts. Paus has not thrown an interception this season and has now thrown 173 straight passes without an interception dating back to the 2000 Washington game. Seven of his nine completions produced first downs, including three on third down.
On the year, Paus has completed 55 of 106 passes (51.9) for 761 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He currently ranks 25th in the nation and sixth in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (137.9).
Paus has moved into the career Top 10 lists in passing yardage (sixth with 4,379 yards), completions (seventh with 284) and touchdown passes (T-sixth with 29) after playing in just 23 games, including two in which he was injured and threw 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.
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. Against Ohio State, he made one reception for 17 yards.
Poli-Dixon had his best game of the year in the victory at Oregon State, leading the team with six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns (38 and 39 yards). He made outstanding catches on both of his touchdown receptions, catching the 38-yard strike on the final play of the first half in stride and outleaping a defender in the end zone on the 39-yard score.
Against Washington, he made four receptions for 69 yards, including a diving 33-yard grab on UCLA's second touchdown drive, before suffering a dislocated left shoulder that will sideline him for about three weeks.
On the year, he is now the team's No. 1 receiver with 14 catches, ranks second with 165 yards and is tied for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns.
Poli-Dixon is tied with Jojo Townsell for No. 2 in career touchdown receptions (20). Only J.J. Stokes (28) caught more touchdown passes as a Bruin. He has now moved into fifth place on UCLA's career receiving list with 129 catches, passing Mike Sherrard versus Washington. He also ranks ninth with 1,946 career receiving yards, passing Cormac Carney against Washington.
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, and missed the Ohio State contest because of the injury. He returned to action versus Oregon State and blocked well for DeShaun Foster. Against Washington, he made two receptions for 20 yards, carried three times for four yards and was a devastating lead blocker on DeShaun Foster's record-breaking day.
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. He started against his hometown Ohio State Buckeyes and ran for 19 yards on three carries and added a 25-yard reception. He carried once for seven yards at Oregon State. He sat out the Washington game with an ankle injury.
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.
In the win over Ohio State, Seidman made two receptions for 39 yards while Fletcher made two catches for 35 yards. At Oregon State, Seidman caught a pass for 17 yards one play before Foster's second touchdown run while Fletcher made a 15-yard catch in the first quarter. Both started versus Washington and blocked well as the Bruins rushed for 325 yards on the ground.
OFFENSIVE LINE -
Three veterans, each in his third season as a starter, return to the unit. Senior Troy Danoff has started 26 games (17 straight) at center, including the first nine games of 1999, all 12 games last season and four this year. He is a candidate for the Rimington Award, presented to the nation's top center. Junior Bryce Bohlander has started 19 straight contests at left tackle, including the final two games of 1999, all 12 last season and four this year. Junior Mike Saffer has started 24, including 17 straight at right tackle stretching back to the 2000 opener (he started 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. They both made their first starts at Alabama and have started all five games. Three redshirt freshmen -- left tackle/guard Paul Mociler, right tackle/guard Steven Vieira and center John Ream -- and senior Ed Anderson are the top reserves and all played at Kansas and Oregon State. Vieira also played against Ohio State and Washington.
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% and he and Bohlander both had six KO blocks.
Against Kansas, the Bruins rushed for 292 yards, its best total with the 1998 Arizona game (298 yards). Danoff graded at 92% and Saffer and Bohlander both finished at 89%. Efseaff had six KO blocks while Bohlander and Danoff each had five.
Against Ohio State, Saffer and Lehmann each graded at 88% while Bohlander had six KO blocks and and Efseaff had five.
At Oregon State, UCLA's offense produced a season-high 496 yards, including at least 200 rushing and 200 throwing for the first time this year. UCLA controlled the ball for over 35 minutes, averaged 6.0 yards per play and allowed just two sacks on 82 scrimmage plays. Among the starters, Bohlander graded at 89% and Danoff, Efseaff and Saffer were all at 88%. Efseaff led the unit with seven KO blocks and Bohlander had six.
In the victory over Washington, the line helped DeShaun Foster set a school rushing record with 301 yards. On the day, UCLA had 453 yards of total offense, including 325 on the ground. Saffer graded at 97% and Bohlander at 95%. Efseaff led the unit with seven KO blocks and Lehmann added six.
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. In the win over Ohio State, he kicked a career-best 49-yard field goal in the second quarter and added a 33-yard field goal in the third period. However, he also missed from 40 and 38 yards, the first time since his freshman year that he was unsuccessful twice in the same game. He was back to normal at Oregon State, kicking a 42-yard field goal with 1:22 remaining in the first half to give UCLA a 10-0 lead and converting all five PATs. Versus Washington, he made all five PATs.
Griffith ranks second on the team with 39 points, making seven of nine field goal attempts and all 18 PATs. He is tied for sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring (7.8) and third in the Pac-10 and T-21st in the NCAA in field goals (1.4).