Sept. 21, 2009
BYE WEEK -- UCLA is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2005 season, when it won the first eight games of that campaign. The team will practice three times this week before gearing up for the opening of the Pacific-10 season on Oct. 3 at Stanford. The Bruins will then play nine straight weeks against conference opponents to close out the regular season.
GAME 4 -- UCLA (3-0) will open the Pac-10 schedule with an Oct. 3 meeting at Stanford (2-1, prior to its Oct. 26 meeting with Washington). Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. on ABC with Terry Gannon and David Norrie calling the action. The UCLA /ISP Sports Radio Network (KLAC 570 AM, the Los Angeles flagship station) will broadcast the contest with Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook mikeside. That radio feed will also be carried live on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Channel 91 on Sirius).
SERIES WITH STANFORD -- UCLA owns a 45-31-3 edge in the series with Stanford which dates back to 1925. The Bruins lead the series 19-18-2 in games played at Stanford. The Bruins have won the last five meetings overall, including a 23-20 verdict a year ago in the Rose Bowl. The last series win by the Cardinal came at Stanford (21-14) in the 2003 season. A Kevin Craft scoring pass to Cory Harkey with 10 seconds left gave the Bruins a dramatic victory in game seven of the 2008 season. UCLA trailed 14-6 at the half before Craft connected with Terrence Austin on a two-yard scoring pass to narrow the gap to a single point. A field goal put UCLA ahead 16-14 at the 14:57 mark of the fourth quarter.The Cardinal answered with two field goals to take a 20-16 lead with 2:31 left in the game. The Bruin two-minute drill was capped off by a seven-yard scoring pass from Craft to Harkey. The UCLA defense held Stanford to 51 yards passing on the day. Craft threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns.
WATCH US -- The following Bruins are on the list of players "To Watch" for the major post-season awards: senior DT Brian Price -- Chuck Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player), Bronco Nagurski Award (nation's top defensive player), Outland Trophy (top interior lineman), Rotary Lombardi Award (nation's top lineman); senior CB Alterraun Verner--Ronnie Lott Trophy (nation's top defensive player), Bednarik Award, Nagurski Award, Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back); senior LB Reggie Carter--Lott Trophy, Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi; senior DE Korey Bosworth-- Rotary Lombardi; senior LB Kyle Bosworth--Rotary Lombardi; senior TE Ryan Moya--John Mackey Award (nation's top tight end); senior TE Logan Paulsen--Mackey; junior PK Kai Forbath--Lou Groza Award (nation's top place kicker).
AUSTIN RANKS -- For his career, senior wide receiver Terrence Austin ranks fourth in kickoff returns (51), fourth in punt returns (69), 18th in all-purpose yards (2,937) and 24th in receptions (81).
MOORE ON INTERCEPTIONS -- Sophomore free safety Rahim Moore has picked off five passes (3 v. SDSU, 2 at Tennessee) in the first three games of the season. The last Bruin to make more interceptions in a season is Larry Atkins, who had six in 1997. Moore now has eight in 15 career games. He leads the nation with his five interceptions and 1.67 average and also leads the country in passes defensed (3.00).
MOYA ON THE LIST -- Senior tight end Ryan Moya has 64 career catches which ranks as the sixth-most catches ever by a Bruin tight end.
PRICE FOR A LOSS -- Junior defensive tackle Brian Price has recorded 17 tackles for loss in his last 12 games, including 4.0 at Tennessee. He has 5.0 in three games in 2009.
PRINCE OUT -- Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Prince, who had started the first two Bruin games of the 2009 season, is expected to be out three to four weeks after an x-ray examination on Sunday, Sept. 13 revealed he suffered a fractured jaw during the Tennessee game.
TEAM NOTES * UCLA lost last year's Pac-10 opener to Arizona in Pasadena. It opened the 2007 season with a win at Stanford.
* UCLA is off to a 3-0 season start for the first time since 2005. * The last time a Bruin team opened a season surrendering less points (38 in 2009) after three games was in 1992 (31---14 v. Cal State Fullerton, 10 at BYU, 7 v. San Diego State).
* With the win at Tennessee, the Bruin non-conference road record in the decade of the 2000's is now 7-5 --- 2000 -none; 2001-W Alabama, W Kansas; 2002-W Oklahoma State, W San Diego State; 2003-L Colorado, L Oklahoma; 2004-W Illinois; 2005-W San Diego State; 2006-L Notre Dame; 2007-L Utah; 2008 L BYU; 2009- W Tennessee.
* The win at Tennessee on Sept. 12 improved UCLA's record in the decade of the 2000's to 4-0 versus teams from the SEC. The Bruins swept a series with Alabama, winning at home in 2000 and in Tuscaloosa, AL in 2001. The win in Knoxville completed a sweep of the Vols.
* A total of 23 players,13 offensive and eight defensive, saw their first action as a Bruin during the season-opening game against San Diego State. Redshirt freshman linebacker David Allen saw action on special teams at Tennessee to up the season total to 24.
*UCLA is 27-3 (9-1 in last 10 games) when it wins the turnover battle over the past six-plus seasons. It was 3-1 (won vs. WSU, Stanford, Washington, lost vs. USC) in 2008 and is 1-0 (Tennessee) in 2009.
*It is 15-33 when it ties or loses the turnover battle over the last six-plus seasons, including (2-0) in 2009.
*The Bruins have qualified to play in a bowl game in 10 of the last 12 seasons (not in 1999, 2008).
*The UCLA defense has held each of its three opponents to fewer than 300 yards total offense (SDSU - 277, Tennessee - 208 and Kansas State - 268). It has allowed just four touchdowns in the three games and just two in the last two games (one of those was on an 11-yard drive at Tennessee).
*The Bruin defense has held 18 opponents (13-5 record) over the last three-plus seasons to less than 100 yards of rushing offense. In 2009, it has held SDSU to 39 net rushing yards, Tennessee to 115 and Kansas State to 69. In 2008, it limited three opponents to less than 100 yards on the ground (26-Wash. St., 96-Washington, 21-Ariz. St.). It held six opponents to under the century mark in 2007 (52-Stanford, 44-BYU, 46-Notre Dame, 67-Cal, 43-Oregon, 34-BYU/bowl). In 2006, the Bruin defense limited seven opponents to less than 100 yards rushing (Rice-53, Washington-49, Stanford-49, Arizona-minus 13, Notre Dame-51, Oregon St.-85, USC-55).
*The Bruin defense has limited opponents to less than 300 yards of offense in 18 contests (14-4 record) over the last three-plus seasons. In 2009, it has held SDSU to 277 total yards, Tennessee to 208 and Kansas State to 268. In 2008, it kept three teams to under 300 yards of offense (Wash. St.-177, Washington-133, Ariz. St.-122). It held five opponents short of 300 in 2007 (Oregon St.-248, Notre Dame-140, Cal-299, Oregon-148, BYU bowl-265). In 2006, the Bruins held seven opponents under 300 (Utah-287, Rice-184, Washington-249, Stanford-166, Arizona-222, Oregon St.-260, Ariz. St. -264).
*In the last nine seasons (2000-2008), 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 17 years (1992-2008), just five fewer than USC and seven more than No. 3 Arizona.
* UCLA's defense allowed opponent offenses to convert just 33 of 108 (30.6%) third down conversion attempts in the final eight games of 2008. In three games this season, it has allowed opponents to convert just 26.7% (12 of 45) - T-14th in NCAA and second in the Pac-10. In the last 11 contests, that adds up to a total of 45-153 (29.4).