Dec. 11, 2002
UCLA, winner of three of its last five games and 7-5 overall and 4-4 in Pac-10 play (tied for fourth place), will play New Mexico, 7-6 overall and 5-2 in the Mountain West Conference, on Dec. 25 in Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.
Kickoff has been set for 1:30 p.m. (PT).
The game will be nationally televised by ESPN with Mark Jones, Mike Gottfried and Bob Davie in the booth and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.
Fox Sports Radio AM 1150 and the Bruin Radio Network broadcasts all games. Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens will call the action and John Ireland will work the sidelines.
BOWLING - The Bruins have qualified to play in a bowl in five of the last six seasons.This will be UCLA's 15th bowl trip in the last 22 years. UCLA is 9-4 in its last 13 bowl game appearances. UCLA's nine bowl wins in the last 20 years rank No. 1 in the Pac-10. Only Florida State, Tennessee, Penn State, Alabama, Miami and Michigan have won more bowl games in that span.
UCLA's BOWL RECORD - UCLA enters the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl with an overall record of 11-11-1 in bowl games. UCLA, the first school in NCAA history to win a bowl game in seven consecutive seasons (1982-88), has never played in the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.
PRACTICE SCHEDULE - Here is UCLA's tentative practice schedule, as of Dec.10. The Bruins will arrive in Las Vegas on Dec. 21. Players will be available for interviews following practice through Dec. 23.
Sat., Dec. 14 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 16 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Tues., Dec. 17 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Wed., Dec. 18 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Thu., Dec. 19 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Fri., Dec. 20 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Sat., Dec. 21 No Practice
Sun., Dec. 22 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 23 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tue., Dec. 24 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
SERIES RECORD - UCLA and New Mexico have never met on the football field.
INTERIM BRUIN HEAD COACH ED KEZIRIAN - Ed Kezirian, who is in his 21st year as a member of the Bruin program and his 10th in his current capacity as an Assistant Director of Academic Services, will serve as interim head coach for the SEGA Sports Las Vegas Bowl.
In his current position, he is responsible for implementing academic services for football team members and tracking the academic progress of the student-athletes. In addition, he is also responsible for interacting with other departments within the athletic administration in the area of student services for the football team.
He previously served as a member of the Bruin football coaching staff for 11 seasons (1982-1992) under then head coach Terry Donahue. During his first seven seasons, he tutored the tackles and tight ends and then in 1989, he worked with the centers and guards. In his last three seasons, he was in charge of the entire offensive line.
Throughout his coaching career, Kezirian worked with many top Bruin linemen, including future professional performers Irv Eatman, Duval Love, Robert Cox, David Richards, Frank Cornish, Vaughn Parker, Craig Novitsky, Mike Flanagan and Jonathan Ogden.
Kezirian's expertise as a standout Bruin lineman in the early 70's continued in his years as a coach. In 1973, he started on an offensive line for coach Pepper Rodgers that opened holes for a powerful Wishbone-T attack that set single-season records for rushing yardage (4,403), total offense per game (470.6), average yards rushing (400.3) per game, points in a season (470) and a single-game rushing best of 621 yards versus Stanford.
LAST GAME - UCLA held a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, but Washington State returned with 24 consecutive points to defeat the Bruins, 48-27 at the Rose Bowl.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Cougars scored on their second play from scrimmage to go up 7-0 with only 37 seconds expired. UCLA failed to move the ball on its next possession and punted after three plays. However, Ben Emanuel II intercepted a Jason Gesser pass on the next Cougar possession and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. Still tied at 7-7, quarterback Drew Olson pitched to Jon Dubravac, who threw a 55-yard pass to Manuel White to put the Bruins ahead 14-7 with 7:33 remaining in the first quarter. The Cougars responded to tie the game at 14- 14 heading into the second quarter.
Washington State scored on three of its next four possessions in the second quarter, to build a 31-14 lead with 48 seconds left in the first half. On the first play of the final UCLA possession of the half, Olson found Junior Taylor for a 39- yard touchdown pass to send the Bruins into the locker room trailing, 31-21.
In the third quarter, the Cougars struck first on a John Tippins run with 7:27 remaining in the period. UCLA matched the Washington State touchdown when Olson connected with tight end Mike Seidman for a 27-yard strike at the 3:37 mark. The Bruins entered the final quarter trailing 38-27, but it would prove to be the closest that they would come. The Cougars scored ten unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown, to take home a 48-27 victory.
Offensively, UCLA gained 307 total yards, including 254 in the air. The Bruins only rushed for 79 yards and were led by Manuel White with 48 yards on eight carries. Tyler Ebell picked up ten yards on nine attempts.
Olson, a true freshman, completed 13 of 27 passes for 163 yards, but threw two interceptions. Matt Moore completed four of eight passes for 36 yards. Dubravac's 55-yard touchdown pass to White was the third of his career, - all this season (one vs. Colorado, one vs. Oregon).
Taylor (four for 86 yards) and Seidman (four for 68 yards) led the receivers. Seidman's 16-yard catch in the first quarter gave him the single season yardage record for UCLA tight ends, with 631 yards.
Defensively, UCLA allowed 541 yards -- 321 in the air and 220 on the ground. Emanuel's two interceptions brought his total to four on the year, tied for the team lead with Ricky Manning. His interception return for a touchdown was the Bruins' fourth this season, the most by UCLA since 1987.
ALL-PAC-10 CONFERENCE HONORS - Four Bruin seniors were named to the first-team All-Pacific-10 conference team: tight end Mike Seidman, offensive tackle Mike Saffer, cornerback Ricky Manning and punter Nate Fikse. Manning was selected by the coaches for the third straight year. It was the second time for Fikse.
Five Bruins were named to the second-team all-conference unit - freshman running back Tyler Ebell, sophomore offensive guard Eyoseph Efseaff, senior offensive tackle Bryce Bohlander, junior defensive lineman Dave Ball and senior linebacker Marcus Reese. Five more Bruins were named to the honorable mention all-conference squad - sophomore receiver Craig Bragg, junior linebacker Brandon Chillar, senior defensive tackle Steve Morgan, junior receiver Tab Perry and sophomore offensive guard Steven Vieira.