UCLA players and coaches will be the primary focus of The Drive throughout the college football season, with Pac-12 Network film crews capturing the ins and outs of their lives, both on and off the field. Last season, the series split time between Arizona State and California.
“The high expectations, coupled with the talent and personalities surrounding the 2014 UCLA football team, creates an opportunity for the Pac-12 Networks to capture an incredible sophomore season of The Drive,” said Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans. “Coach Mora has brought UCLA back to prominence with a new, unique identity. And, the unpredictable stories that unfold throughout a football season will provide viewers with an inside look at a first-class football program in a most compelling way.”
Following a convincing 42-12 victory over Virginia Tech and a school record-tying 10-win season, the Bruins finished 2013 ranked 16th in the nation, and early polls place UCLA in the Top-10 to start the 2014 season.
Head coach Jim Mora’s squad returns quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley, who has taken full ownership of his role as a leader heading into the season. In addition to Hundley, the program returns an immense amount of talent on both sides of the ball, including the first-ever Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year in Myles Jack. With freshman All-Americans Eddie Vanderdoes and Alex Redmond, combined with defensive standouts Eric Kendricks and Kenny Clark, not to mention the return of Eldridge Massington and Owamagbe Odighizuwa from injuries that kept them out in 2013, the Bruins have all the key components to contend for a Pac-12 Title when their season opens Saturday, August. 30 at Virginia.
“Being part of The Drive is obviously a great way to showcase the program that we have been building here at UCLA,” said Mora. “But more importantly, this is an opportunity for our student-athletes to be part of a show that is dedicated to highlighting their hard work and effort while also giving them an opportunity to tell their story. Someday, when they’re old like me, they will have a copy of The Drive, sit their kids down and be able to share these memories with them in a very tangible way.”
Season one of The Drive redefined all-access sports programming, with Pac-12 Networks production teams mastering aggressive editing timelines to turn around 30 minutes of all-access content in a 3-5 day window. Each installment captured exclusive footage and sound from games and practices, as well as a glimpse of what life is like for players and coaches away from the field; From moments at home with family and friends to the time spent in the classroom and on campus, fans receive a complete picture of life during the college football season for individuals in and around the program.
“The debut season of The Drive hit all the right notes in showing fans the dedication and sacrifice, as well as the fulfillment student-athletes and coaches experience when building championship-caliber sport programs,” said Murphy-Stephans. “We were extremely grateful for the trust that California and Arizona State put in the Pac-12 Networks last season to give fans an honest look at what goes into a season, and we're very excited for the opportunity to partner with UCLA on season two.”
Pac-12 Networks’ Senior Coordinating Producer Michael Tolajian will again lead the production team that features Emmy Award-winning producer Jim Jorden and Pac-12 Networks analyst Yogi Roth.
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