Aug. 30, 2010
UCLA OPENS 2010 SEASON AT KANSAS STATE
Kickoff at 2:30 CT/12:30 PT on Sept. 4 on ABC TV
Bruins have won last five season-openers
SEASON OPENER -- UCLA opens its 92nd season of football with a Sept. 4 game at Kansas State. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT/ 12:30 PT and the game will be televised regionally by ABC with Carter Blackburn, Brock Huard and Mike Bellotti in the booth. AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin ISP Radio Network (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook) will radio broadcast the contest. The game will also be broadcast nationally on SIRIUS XM (130 SIRIUS, 103 XM). It will be the season-opening contest for each team.
UCLA leads the series with Kansas State by a count of 1-0 after capturing the first meeting, 23-9, a year ago in the Rose Bowl. The Wildcats finished with a 6-6 record last season and tied for fourth in the Big12 North with a 4-4 mark. KSU won five of its six home games in 2009.K-State welcomes back five offensive and seven defensive starters. Rick Neuheisel is 3-3 vs. KSU, 1-1 on the road.
The Bruins are 60-26-5 overall in season-opening games. UCLA has begun its last five seasons with a win. It scored a 33-14 victory over San Diego State a year ago in the Rose Bowl. In 2008, it knocked off Tennessee in overtime, 27-24, in Pasadena. (2007, won 45-17 at Stanford; 2006, won 31-10 over Utah in Rose Bowl; 2005, won 44-21 at San Diego State). The last season-opening loss was in 2004, to Oklahoma State (20-31), in a game played in Pasadena.
UCLA is 3-1 in the decade of the 2000's when opening the season on the road and has won its last two road openers (at Stanford in 2007, W 45-17; at San Diego State in 2005, W 44-21). The last season-opening road loss came at Colorado in 2003 (14-16). The Bruins posted a 20-17 win at Alabama in the 2000 season-opener.
WHO's BACK -- UCLA returns:
*6 Offensive Starters (WR Taylor Embree-8, C Kai Maiava-, RG Eddie Williams-6, RT Mike Harris-13, QB Kevin Prince-11, RB Johnathan Franklin-8)
*5 Defensive Starters (FS Rahim Moore-12, LB Akeem Ayers-9, DE Datone Jones-5, CB Sheldon Price-8, SS Tony Dye-8)
*Three of theTop Four Rushers from 2009 (#1 Johnathan Franklin-566 yds.; #2 Derrick Coleman-244; #4 Kevin Prince-179)
*Top Passer (#1 Kevin Prince-2,050 yds. and 8 tds)
*Top Two Receivers (#1 Taylor Embree-45 catches; #2 Nelson Rosario-42)
*Top Two Receiving Yardage Leaders (#1 Nelson Rosario-723 yards; #2 Taylor Embree-608)
*Three of the Top Four Total Offense Leaders (#1 Kevin Prince-2,229 yards; #3 Johnathan Franklin-566; #4 Derrick Coleman-244)
*Three of the Top Four All-Purpose Yards Leaders (#2 Nelson Rosario-723 yards; #3 Johnathan Franklin-623; #4 Taylor Embree-608)
*Two of the Top Four Tacklers (#3 Akeem Ayers-75 tackles; #4 Tony Dye-73)
*Two of the Top FourTackles for Loss Leaders (#2 Akeem Ayers-14.5; #4 Datone Jones-11.0)
*Two of Top Three Scorers(#1 Kai Forbath-108 points;#3 Johnathan Franklin-24)
*Top Field Goal Kicker (Kai Forbath- 28-31 field goals made)
A LOOK AT THE 2010 SCHEDULE -- UCLA opens the season on Sept. 4 against Kansas State. It will mark UCLA's first trip ever to the Wildcat's home in Manhattan, KS. UCLA returns to the Rose Bowl on Sept. 11 to host Stanford in a 7:30 contest to be broadcast on ESPN. The Bruins go on to meet Houston, in game 3, for the first time since 1998. UCLA plays Texas for the first time since a 1998 encounter in Pasadena. UCLA topped the Longhorns 66-3 in their last trip to Austin in 1997. That win was the first of a school-record 20-straight victories for UCLA in a streak which stretched over the 1997 and 1998 seasons. There are six home games, five against Pac-10 Conference opponents, and six road matchups on the 2010 Bruin schedule. Eight games have been pre-selected for television, including three on ESPN (Stanford, Oregon, Washington). The Texas and Kansas State games will air on ABC. FSN wil broadcast the Houston and Arizona State contests. Prime will televise the Washington State game. Overall, the record of UCLA's 2010 opponents was 90-64 (.584) in the 2009 season. Eight of the schools (Texas 13-1, Houston 10-4, Oregon 10-3, USC 9-4, Arizona 8-5, Oregon State 8-5, Cal 8-5, Stanford 8-5) won at least eight games. The home opponents for 2010 posted a 44-34 (.564) record in 2009, while the road opponents compiled a 46-30 (.605) mark last season. The first four opponents on the schedule put together a 37-16 (.698) mark last season. Three teams on the 2010 schedule finished in the final 2010 USA Today Top 25 poll - No. 2 Texas, No. 11 Oregon, No. 20 USC. Eight of the 12 opponents played in bowl games following the 2009 campaign (Arizona in the Holiday Bowl; USC in the Emerald Bowl; Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl; Stanford in the Sun Bowl; Oregon in the Rose Bowl, Cal in the Poinsettia Bowl, Houston in Armed Forces Bowl, Texas in the BCS Championship Game). The Bruins will meet five of those bowl teams at home in Pasadena this season.
2009 RECORD -- UCLA wrapped up the 2009 season by winning four of its final five games, capped off with a 30-21 victory in the EagleBank Bowl. It ended the season with a 7-6 record after placing eighth in the Pac-10 Conference with a mark of 3-6.
BRUINS VS. THE BIG 12 -- UCLA has a 23-19-1 record in all-time games played vs. the members of the Big 12 conference. The Bruins bested Kansas State last season in the Rose Bowl and own a 4-4 mark in the decade of the 2000's v. Big 12 schools. UCLA topped Oklahoma 41-24 in the 2005 season; lost to Oklahoma State in the 2004 opener; lost at Oklahoma and Colorado in 2003; lost to Colorado and beat Oklahoma State in 2002;won at Kansas in 2001. The Bruins have played games against 10 members of the conference, never having met Texas Tech or Baylor.
LOOKING AHEAD -- UCLA will play its first home game of the 2010 season against Pac-10 rival Stanford on Sept. 11 in the Rose Bowl. Since it began Pac-10 play in 1978, the Bruins have played just four conference games earlier than this year's Sept. 11 Stanford date. UCLA won at Stanford on Sept. 1, 2007 (45-17); lost at Washington State on August 30, 1997 (34-37); lost v. Cal on Sept. 4, 1993 (25-27); won at Washington on Sept. 9, 1978 (10-7). The last time the Bruins opened the home schedule with a Pac-10 conference game was on Sept. 4, 1993 in that Cal game. UCLA went on to tie for first in the league and advance to the Rose Bowl game that season after finishing the 1992 campaign with a 6-5 record and in eighth place in the conference standings.
WATCH LIST US -- The following Bruins were on the list of players "To Watch" for the major national post-season awards: junior FS Rahim Moore -- Ronnie Lott Trophy (top defensive player), Bronco Naguski Trophy (best defensive player), Bednarik Award (best defensive player) Thorpe Award (top defensive back); senior LB Akeem Ayers--Lott Trophy, Naguski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Butkus Award (best linebacker), Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman); senior PK Kai Forbath-Groza Award (top place kicker); junior C Kai Maiava-Rimington Trophy (best center).
FORBATH ON TARGET-- Redshirt senior kicker Kai Forbath has connected on 37 straight field goal attempts from a distance of 50 yards and in during the past two seasons. After missing a 47-yard attempt in game 6 at Oregon in 2008, Forbath has been a perfect 37-37 on field goal attempts from inside 50 yards. He made his last 12 from that range in 2008 and sent all 25 kicks of the 2009 season (misses from 51, 52 and 51) through the uprights. Overall, he has made 41 of his last 44 attempts (a string of 16 straight was snapped on a 52-yard miss at Arizona). He was 28 of 31 this past season and No. 1 in the nation with 2.15 field goals per game. He was second with his .903 percentage (23 or more attempts).
MOORE ON INTERCEPTIONS -- Junior free safety Rahim Moore picked off an NCAA-leading 10 passes in 2009 (3 v. SDSU, 2 at Tennessee, 2 at Arizona, 1 vs. Washington, 1 vs. WSU, 1 vs. Temple) in 13 games last season. He was No. 2 on UCLA's single-season list, one shy of the school record of 11 (Carlton Gray, 1991). Moore now has 13 thefts in 25 career games. His 10 interceptions in `09 were the most by a player in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 2003 and he was second (tied) in the country in passes defensed (1.31).
GOOD HANDS TEAM -- Junior wide receiver Nelson Rosario made 30 catches for 526 yards in the last six games of 2009 for an average of 17.5 yards per catch. Junior wide receiver Taylor Embree hauled in 34 balls for 461 yards over the last nine contests of 2009 for an average of 13.6 yards per catch.
PRINCE 300 -- Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kevin Prince threw for at least 300 yards in three games (California, Oregon State, Washington State) in the 2009 season. He is the second freshman in school history to do so (Tommy Maddox did it three times in 1990). Prince's 390 yards of total offense versus Washington State ranks No. 9 (tied) on UCLA's single-game list and No. 2 among freshmen, trailing only Maddox's 445 versus USC in 1990.
100 FRANKLIN -- Redshirt sophomore running back Johnathan Franklin recorded two 100-yard rushing games in 2009 (Kansas State-119 and Cal-101). Only one player in school history has totaled more than two 100-yard rushing games during his freshman season. Tyler Ebell had six 100-yard rushing games in 2002. Other Bruin freshman backs with two 100-yard games include: DeShaun Foster - 1998, Skip Hicks - 1993, Eric Ball - 1985, Gaston Green - 1984, Kevin Nelson - 1980.
YOUNG BRUINS -- The 2010 tentative depth chart lists just six senior position starters -- right tackle Micah Kia, right guard Eddie Williams, center Ryan Taylor, left guard Darius Savage, left tackle Sean Sheller and defensive tackle David Carter. These five seniors have a combined total of 31 career starts, 15 by Kia, eight by Savage and six by Williams. Neither Kia (injured) or Savage started a game in 2009.
The tentative depth chart includes a large number of underclassmen on both sides of the line, including sophomores, redshirt freshmen and true freshmen who figure to contribute to the Bruins this season.
MORE FROSH / SOPHS -- Thirty-six players (24 freshmen, 12 soph.) with freshman or sophomore class standing saw action in the 2009 season. Thirty saw action in the 2009 opener against San Diego State. The Bruins played a total of 18 freshmen (eight true freshmen and 10 redshirt) and 12 sophomores (six true sophomores and six redshirt sophomores) in the 2009 season opener.
FIRST ACTION -- A total of 29 players saw their first career action during the 2009 season. Twenty-three players (13 offensive - eligible returning players listed in bold- WR Jerry Johnson, OL Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL Stan Hasiak, OL Kai Maiava, OL Eddie Williams, TE Morrell Presley, QB Kevin Prince, QB Richard Brehaut, RB Johnathan Franklin, RB Milton Knox, RB Damien Thigpen, WR Randall Carroll, OL Ryan Taylor; eight defensive - DL Damien Holmes, DL Sean Sheller, LB Donovan Carter, LB Patrick Larimore, DB Andrew Abbott, DB Aaron Hester, DB Dalton Hilliard, DB Sheldon Price) saw their first action as a Bruin during the season-opening game against San Diego State. In addition, two players on special teams, punter Jeff Locke and holder Danny Rees, also appeared in their first games vs. San Diego State.
Here is the breakdown of active returning players in bold, with debuts by class:
*10 true freshmen - OL Xavier Su'a-Filo, OL Stan Hasiak, TE Morrell Presley, RB Damien Thigpen, WR Randall Carroll, QB Richard Brehaut; DB Dalton Hilliard, DB Sheldon Price; DE Iuta Tepa; DB Brandon Sermons;
*14 redshirt freshmen - P Jeff Locke, WR Jerry Johnson, QB Kevin Prince, RB Johnathan Franklin, RB Milton Knox, DL Damien Holmes, LB Donovan Carter, LB Patrick Larimore, DB Andrew Abbott, DB Aaron Hester, LB David Allen, QB Nick Crissman, OL Brett Downey, LS/TE Kevin McDermott;
*1 redshirt sophomore - OL Kai Maiava;
*4 juniors - OL Eddie Williams, H Danny Rees, DL Sean Sheller, OL Ryan Taylor.
FIRST STARTS -- Fifteen positional players made their first career starts in the 2009 season (active returning players in bold). Seven (five offense - QB Kevin Price, TB Johnathan Franklin, OT Xavier Su'a-Filo, C Kai Maiava, OG Eddie Williams; two defense - DT Jerzy Siewierski, CB Aaron Hester) made their first career starts against San Diego State. In addition, P Jeff Locke and H Danny Rees made their first starts. At Tennessee, CB Courtney Viney became the eighth positional player to make his first career start. CB Sheldon Price made his first start versus Kansas State and TE/WR Morrell Presley became the 10th when he started against Oregon. TB Christian Ramirez and LB Sean Westgate became the 11th and 12th positional players, respectively, to make their first career starts at Arizona. WR Nelson Rosario and RG Ryan Taylor became the 13th and 14th positional players to make their first starts at Oregon State. CB Andrew Abbott became the 15th against Arizona State.
TAKE THAT RED SHIRT OFF -- Redshirt freshmen expected to see their first career action in 2010 include: Offense - WR Ricky Marvray, TE Jayson Allmond, OL Greg Capella; Defense - DB Stan McKay, DB Alex Mascarenas, LB Todd Golper, LB Isaiah Bowens, DL Keenan Graham.
RETURNING STARTS BY POSITION
Wide Receiver (22) ------junior Nelson Rosario 2, Junior Taylor Embree 20
F-Back (2) ------ soph. Morrell Presley 1 (TE), senior Christian Ramirez 1 (RB)
Offensive Line (61) ------ junior Kai Maiava 12, senior Eddie Williams 6, junior Mike Harris 18, senior Ryan Taylor 2, senior Micah Kia 15, senior Darius Savage 8
Quarterback (11) ------ soph. Kevin Prince 11
Running Back (10) ------ soph. Johnathan Franklin 8, junior Derrick Coleman 2
Tight End (11) ------ junior Cory Harkey 11
Defensive Line (20) ------ senior Reginald Stokes 5, junior Datone Jones 15
Linebacker (26) ------ junior Steve Sloan 9, junior Akeem Ayers 16, junior Sean Westgate 1
Cornerback (14) ------ junior Courtney Viney 1, soph. Aaron Hester 1, soph. Sheldon Price 11, soph. Andrew Abbott 1
Safety (39) ------ junior Rahim Moore 25, junior Tony Dye 14