Sept. 24, 2007
** Bruins have won the last four meetings **
** The Bruins lead the all-time series 38-13-4 **
** UCLA's first trip to Corvallis since 2002 **
GAME #5 - UCLA (3-1, 2-0 and in first place in Pac-10 play) takes to the road to play at Oregon State (2-2, 0-1) on Sept. 29 in a Pac-10 conference contest. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. PDT and the game will be televised by FSN (FSN West in Los Angeles) with Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis and Jim Watson calling the action. AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin Radio Network (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook) will broadcast all of the Bruin games. Sirius satellite radio will air the game on channel 107.
SERIES WITH OREGON STATE - The Bruins lead the overall series, which dates back to 1930, by a 38-13-4 count. UCLA has won the last four meetings including back-to-back home wins in the 2006 (25-7) and 2005 (51-28) seasons. The teams have not played in Corvallis,OR since the 2002 season when UCLA posted a 43-35 win. The Bruins also won in Corvallis in the 2001 season by a score of 38-7. UCLA and OSU did not meet in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Oregon State's last win in the series came in the 2000 campaign when it pulled out a 44-38 decision in the Rose Bowl. The Beavers last defeated the Bruins at home in 1999.
UCLA's 25-7 win last season in the Rose Bowl over the Beavers snapped a four-game skid for the home team at the time. OSU led 7-6 at the half of last year's contest. On the initial possession of the third quarter, the Beavers, faced with a fourth-and-one near midfield, opted to go for it and were denied. On the ensuing play, quarterback Patrick Cowan connected with Marcus Everett on a 45-yard scoring play to put the Bruins in the lead for good at 13-7. Cowan and Everett hooked up again early in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard scoring play and UCLA added a couple of field goals down the stretch for the 25-7 win. The Bruin defense recorded five sacks, limited OSU to 85 yards on the ground and forced four fumbles.
In the last meeting played in Corvallis (2002), UCLA rallied from a 14-0 deficit to score 29 unanswered points and went on to defeat the Beavers 43-35. After trailing 14-12 at the half, UCLA took the lead for good on the first possession of the second half when Tyler Ebell ran in to the end zone from five yards out for a 19-14 advantage. Cornerback Ricky Manning ruined OSU's first possession of the second half by returning an interception 33 yards for another score. UCLA withstood a 21-point Beaver fourth quarter to post the 43-35 win. The Bruins totaled 625 yards of offense on the day, ninth-best in school history at the time (now 10th). Quarterback Cory Paus threw for a career-best 378 yards. Ebell came off the bench to pile up 203 rushing yards for the game, the second-most ever by a UCLA freshman.
UCLA IN THE POLLS IN 2007 - Pre-Season: USA Today 17, AP 14; Sept. 3: USA Today 14, AP 13; Sept. 10: USA Today 11, AP 11; Sept. 17: USA Today 29, AP 30; Sept. 24: USA Today 27, AP 29, Harris 29.
2007 SEASON SCHEDULE - There are six home games and six road matchups on the 2007 schedule. The Bruins play back-to-back home games on two occasions --- Oct. 6 vs. Notre Dame and (bye week in between) Oct. 20 vs. California (homecoming); and Nov. 10 vs. Arizona State and Nov. 24, following a bye week, vs. Oregon. UCLA will play back-to-back road contests once this season, on Oct. 27 at Washington State and on Nov. 3 at Arizona. The Bruins posted a 6-5 record against teams it played in the 2006 season and will meet again in 2007. The Bruins will square off against five opponents who won at least 10 games in the 2006 season (BYU 11-2, USC 11-2, Notre Dame 10-3, California 10-3, Oregon State 10-4). Overall, UCLA will meet 10 opponents which won at least six contests last season (above teams, plus Utah 8-5, Arizona State 7-6, Oregon 7-6, Arizona 6-6, Washington State 6-6). Three opponents earned at least a share of a conference title (BYU - Mountain West champion; USC and California were co-champions of the Pac-10).
The combined 2006 records of the teams that UCLA will play this season are 92-61 (.601). The teams UCLA will meet on the road this season posted a record of 42-34 (.553) last year. The combined record of the teams that the Bruins will host in the Rose Bowl this season was 50-27 (.649).
The combined record of the three nonconference opponents UCLA will meet in 2007 was 29-10 (.744) last season (BYU 11-2, Notre Dame 10-3, Utah 8-5).
Notre Dame makes just its second visit ever to the Rose Bowl this season on Oct. 6. The Irish last played in Pasadena in the Jan. 1, 1925 Rose Bowl game. Notre Dame's victory over Stanford that day earned the Irish and coach Knute Rockne the school's first-ever national championship.
LAST GAME -- UCLA broke a 10-10 tie with two third-quarter touchdowns en route to a 44-31 victory over Washington at the Rose Bowl. The win was UCLA's ninth in the last 11 meetings between the two schools.
Tied 10-10 at halftime, the Bruins drove 71 yards following the opening kickoff and took a 17-10 lead when Kahlil Bell scored from eight yards out. Later in the quarter, free safety Dennis Keyes scored the first touchdown of his career when he returned an interception 60 yards for a 24-10 lead late in the third quarter.
In the final 15 minutes, the two teams combined for 41 points. Following an interception, the Huskies pulled to within seven (24-17) with 13:10 remaining. On UCLA's ensuing possession, Chris Markey sped 72 yards for a score to give UCLA a two-touchdown lead. Washington countered with a 63-yard touchdown pass but Matthew Slater answered with an 85-yard kickoff return to make the score 38-24 with 9:33 left. UCLA's next two possessions produced two Kai Forbath field goals sandwiched around a Husky touchdown for the 13-point win.
In the final quarter, UCLA's offense ran the ball on 18 of its final 19 plays with reserve quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson at the controls (the other play was a pass by Bell) and produced 157 yards, one touchdown and two field goals.
On the day, UCLA produced 537 yards of total offense, 333 on the ground and 204 in the air. Markey came off the bench to rush for 193 yards on 14 carries, including a 72-yard touchdown, the longest run of his career, and a 66-yard non-scoring run. Bell rushed for 109 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries, giving the Bruins two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since the second game of the 2006 season (Rice).
Pat Cowan, playing for the first time this season, completed 17 of 30 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown before spraining his right knee while making a tackle following his only interception. Bethel-Thompson played the rest of the way.
Dominique Johnson led the Bruins with five receptions for 32 yards, including a two-yard touchdown. Brandon Breazell added four catches for 30 yards and also completed a 57-yard pass to Terrence Austin.
Defensively, UCLA allowed 340 yards - 216 in the air and 124 on the ground. Reggie Carter and Alterraun Verner each made six tackles and Dennis Keyes and Chris Horton added five each. Keyes also scored on a 60-yard interception return. Bruce Davis had 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss and Jess Ward also had 2.5 tackles for loss.
On special teams, Matthew Slater scored on an 85-yard kickoff and also made four special teams tackles.
UCLA PLAYER / COACH NOTES -
Redshirt senior Bruce Davis is the nation's leading returning sack specialist, based on his sacks in the 2006 season. Davis ranked fourth (tied) in the NCAA and tied for first in the Pac-10 in sacks (12.5 - 0.96 average) and 18th nationally and second in the Pac-10 in tackles for losses (1.35 average). In 2006, he was named first-team All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com and SI.com. On the year, Davis ranked tied for first on the team with 12.5 sacks and second on the team behind Justin Hickman with 17.5 tackles for loss. He made two tackles and recovered a fumble versus Stanford. Against BYU, he had two sacks, including one on which he caused a fumble, and made seven tackles, tying his career high. He had two tackles at Utah. Against Washington, he had 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. He now has 20.5 career sacks to rank eighth in school history.
Senior running back Chris Markey ranks seventh in UCLA history in career all-purpose yardage with 3,811 yards and 11th in career rushing with 2,364 yards. In 2006, he became the third Bruin and first since 1962 to lead the team in both rushing (1,107 yards) and receiving (35 receptions). He is just the 11th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season (it has been done a total of 18 times).
Against Washington, he rushed for 193 yards on 14 carries, including a touchdown run of 72 yards and another run for 66 yards. He is just the fifth player in school history to rush for at least 190 yards in a game twice in a career.
Redshirt senior safety Chris Horton was the Bruins' leading tackler in 2006 with 95 and was second on the team with three interceptions. He led the team (or tied for the lead) in tackles in four of the last six games, including a career-high 12 stops versus Arizona State (Nov. 18) to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
He made six stops versus Stanford and added five and a forced fumble against BYU and nine tackles at Utah. He added five tackles versus Washington and is second on the squad with 25 stops.
Redshirt freshman Kai Forbath's 52-yard field goal at Utah is the longest ever by a Bruin freshman and tied for fourth on the all-time list.
True junior tailback Kahlil Bell rushed for 195 yards in the opener versus Stanford. That is the highest total by a Bruin in an opener and the most in any game since Chris Markey ran for 208 against Rice in 2006. He added a team-high 79 yards versus BYU, a team best 59 at BYU and 109 yards versus Washington. He is third in the Pac-10 with an average of 110.5 yards per game.
When Chris Markey (193) and Kahlil Bell (109) both rushed for over 100 yards against Washington, it was the first time a pair of Bruins broke the century mark since the same pair did it against Rice in the second game of the 2006 season.
MATTHEW SLATER's 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was UCLA's first since Brandon Breazell returned two for touchdowns in the 2005 Sun Bowl.
True senior Shannon Tevaga had his games started streak snapped at 34 straight games when he sat out the Washington game with a knee injury. Redshirt senior cornerback Trey Brown is now the player with the most consecutive starts (34). Others with starting streaks of note include OL Noah Sutherland (19), OL Chris Joseph (17), TE Logan Paulsen (13) on offense; on defense: DB Chris Horton (19), DL Bruce Davis (17), DB Dennis Keyes (17), DL Kevin Brown (16), LB Christian Taylor (11).
Redshirt senior wide receiver Joe Cowan is one of just four players to have multiple career touchdown receptions of at least 77 yards. Danny Farmer had three and J.J. Stokes and Freddie Mitchell also had two.
Bruin head coach Karl Dorrell helped guide the Bruin team to the seventh 10-win season in school history in 2005. Dorrell has been a part of three of the seven record-tying seasons. In 1982, he was a freshman wide receiver on a Bruin team that went 10-1-1 and handed Michigan a 24-14 loss in the Rose Bowl. In 1988, Dorrell served as a graduate assistant coach on the Bruin squad that went 10-2 and bested Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.
Karl Dorrell was named co-Coach of the Year in the Pac-10 for the 2005 season. He was the fourth UCLA coach to receive the honor, joining Bob Toledo (1998), Terry Donahue (1993, 1985) and Dick Vermeil (1975).
Redshirt senior linebacker Christian Taylor made a total of 83 tackles to rank second on the team in 2006 and also ranked third with 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He made eight tackles, including two for loss, in the Emerald Bowl. In the 2007 opener versus Stanford, he made six stops, including one for loss. He added six solo stops versus BYU, six tackles at Utah and four versus Washington.
Redshirt senior safety Dennis Keyes was third on the team with 79 tackles in 2006 and tied for the team lead in three of the last six games. He made six tackles in the 2007 opener versus Stanford. He led the Bruins with 10 tackles against BYU, had nine at Utah and five versus Washington. He also returned an interception 60 yards versus Washington for the first touchdown of his career. He leads the team with 30 tackles and his average of 7.50 is 15th in the Pac-10.
The interception return for a touchdown against Utah in the 2006 opener by Alterraun Verner was the first by a UCLA true freshman since 1989, when Carlton Gray returned one 65 yards for a score versus Washington. Verner's 89-yard scoring return versus Arizona made him one of just six Bruins, the only freshman, to have two scoring interception returns in the same season.
Karl Dorrell is the first Bruin head coach to lead his team into a bowl game in each of his first four years on the job (2003-Silicon Valley Classic; 2004-Las Vegas Bowl; 2005-Sun Bowl; 2006-Emerald Bowl).
Patrick Cowan's 78-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Breazell in the 2006 Emerald Bowl was UCLA's longest offensive play from scrimmage and UCLA's longest since the 2005 Arizona State game, when Drew Olson and Joe Cowan combined for a 91-yard touchdown.
Patrick Cowan's 329 passing yards at California rank 23rd on UCLA's single-game list and fourth among sophomores. His 351 yards of total offense rank 19th on that single-game list and third among sophomores. Both totals were 2006 season highs for the Bruins.
TEAM NOTES -
The crowd of 72,986 at the BYU game (Sept. 8) was the highest for a home opener since the 2001 opener versus Ohio State (73,723). It was also UCLA's best non-conference crowd since that Ohio State game. UCLA drew 72,124 against Washington on Sept. 22.
UCLA's 624 yards of total offense in the 2007 opener versus Stanford was the 11th highest total in school history. It is the most ever in a Bruin season opener and the most in any game since the 2005 Arizona State game (660 yards).
In two Pac-10 games, UCLA is averaging 580.5 yards of total offense, 335.5 on the ground and 245.0 in the air, and 44.5 points.
UCLA's 45 points versus Stanford were the most in a season opener since 1998 when it scored 49 to open the season versus Texas at the Rose Bowl. It is also the most points scored by UCLA in a season opener on the road (UCLA scored 44 at San Diego State in 2005). The last time the Bruins scored more points in a Pac-10 road game was the 1998 Arizona contest (52-28).
UCLA's 338 rushing yards against Stanford were the most by the team since the 2004 Washington contest (424 yards).
UCLA's six touchdown drives vs. Stanford measured 60, 92, 97, 80, 45 and 65 yards. Only one took longer than 2:20. One took 57 second and another just 1:19. The two touchdown drives versus BYU measured 47 (1:41) and 45 (3:40) yards. UCLA's three touchdown drives against Washington measured 76, 71 and 83 yards.
Against Washington, 18 of UCLA's final 19 offensive plays (all in the fourth quarter) were runs and those plays produced 157 yards, one touchdown and two field goals.
Eight of UCLA's 2007 opponents played in a bowl game following the 2006 season. Only Florida had more regular-season opponents earn bowl berths (10).
UCLA ended USC's streak of 63 straight games of scoring 20 or more points on Dec. 2, 2006 when it held the Trojans to nine points in a 13-9 victory.
Stanford converted just four of 18 third-down conversion attempts while BYU was six of 16 and Utah was five of 16. Washington converted just four of 16 attempts. In four games, opponents have converted 19 of 66 (28.8%) third down opportunites -- first in the Pac-10 and 17th (tied) in the nation. UCLA ranked fifth nationally in third-down conversion defense (28.4%) in 2006, having allowed 13 opponents to convert 50 of 176 third-down opportunities.
UCLA has held its four opponents to 342 net rushing yards on 120 attempts (2.8 average) and ranks 17th in the nation (85.5). The Bruins allowed Stanford 52 net yards rushing on 26 attempts (2.0 average), BYU just 44 net yards on 25 attempts, Utah 122 on 37 attempts and Washington had 124 on 32 attempts. In 13 games in the 2006 season, UCLA allowed 91.1 yards per game (tied for ninth in the NCAA and tied for first in the Pac-10) and just nine touchdowns on the ground.
Under Karl Dorrell, UCLA's home record is 22-5 (.808). The .815 percentage ranks 19th in Football Bowl Subdivision for home record during the last four-plus years (2003-2007). UCLA's 10-game home winning streak in 2005-06 was its longest since 1997-1999, when it won 13 consecutive home games. The Bruins have captured wins in 14 of the last 15 games played at home in the Rose Bowl (loss 10/28/06 - Washington State).
UCLA's 31-0 shutout of Stanford on Sept. 30, 2006 was its first since 2004, when it shut out Stanford, 21-0.
UCLA is 20-2 when it wins the turnover battle under head coach Karl Dorrell, including 2-0 (Stanford, BYU) in 2007. It is 12-20 when it ties or loses the turnover battle, including 1-1 (Utah, Washington) in 2007.
UCLA is 6-1 all-time in overtime, including a couple of 2005 wins in extra time --- a 30-27 single overtime win at Stanford and a 44-41 single overtime win at Washington State. Head coach Karl Dorrell is 3-0 in overtime, defeating California in 2003 and Washington State and Stanford in 2005.
In the last seven seasons (2000-2006), UCLA has produced seven consensus All-Americans (2000, WR Freddie Mitchell; 2001, LB Robert Thomas; 2003 DE Dave Ball; 2005 TE Marcedes Lewis and KR Maurice Drew; 2006 DE Justin Hickman and PK Justin Medlock). Only one other school (USC) in the Pac-10 has produced more and UCLA's total is two ahead of third-place California. UCLA has produced 16 consensus All-America selections in the last 15 years (1992-2006), just two fewer than USC and eight more than No. 3 Arizona. UCLA was one of eight schools to have two or more consensus All-Americans (Justin Hickman and Justin Medlock) in 2006 and the only school not ranked in the final Top 25. The others schools were: Michigan and Ohio State, three each; California, Tennessee, Texas, USC and West Virginia, two each.
FRESHMEN - Two true freshman, long snapper Christian Yount and defensive tackle Brian Price, have played thus far in 2007. Eight true freshmen played for the Bruins in the 2006 season. Seven played in the opener against Utah (DB Alterraun Verner, DB Jeremy McGee, WR Terrence Austin, WR Dominique Johnson, DB Christian Ramirez, RB Chane Moline, OL Micah Kia). DL Jerzy Siewierski made his debut against Stanford.
Thirty-six true freshmen have now played for coach Karl Dorrell during his four-plus seasons as head coach. A school-record 12 played for the Bruins in 2004. Nine played in the 2005 season and five saw the field in 2003.
FIRST ACTION - Ten players saw action in their first game in the 2007 season-opener at Stanford (DL Tom Blake, LB Joshua Edwards, PK Kai Forbath, TE Tyler Holland, DB Chris Meadows, WR Osaar Rasshan, LS Christian Yount, DT Darius Savage, DB Matt Culver, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson). DT Brian Price made his debut versus Washington.
FIRST STARTS - Place kicker Kai Forbath, offensive tackle Micah Kia and tight end Scott Glicksberg made the first starts of their careers in the 2007 opener at Stanford. Cornerback Alterraun Verner made his first non-nickel back start versus BYU. Fullback Brian Theriot, defensive end Tom Blake, defensive tackle Jess Ward and cornerback Michael Norris all made their first career start at Utah. Offensive guard P.J. Irvin, tailback Kahlil Bell and defensive end Korey Bosworth made their first starts versus Washington.