Nov. 15, 1999
THIS WEEK -- The UCLA Bruins (4-6, 2-5) play their final game of the season when they travel to the L.A. Coliseum this Saturday afternoon to face the USC Trojans (4-6, 2-5). Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on a regional basis by ABC. Fox Sports Net West 2 will produce a delayed telecast of the game (Nov. 21 at 1:00 p.m.).
The game will be broadcast live on the Bruin Radio Network, led by Los Angeles flagship station KXTA (1150 AM). USC's broadcast will air on XTRA 690 AM.
LAST GAME - Thirteen seniors will make their final appearance in a UCLA uniform. The 1999 senior class includes: linebacker Ali Abdul Azziz, tailback Keith Brown, flanker Danny Farmer, center/offensive guard James Ghezzi, tight end Randy Hakes, defensive tackle Pete Holland, split end Brad Melsby, offensive guard/center Matt Phelan (injured), fullback Durell Price, cornerback Ryan Roques, safety Joey Strycula, defensive end Travor Turner (injured) and safety Eric Whitfield.
LAST GAME - UCLA snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating No. 22 Washington, 23-20 in overtime at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins pulled off the upset despite losing quarterback Cory Paus (left) and center Matt Phelan (right) for the year with fractured collarbones. Redshirt freshman Ryan McCann came off the bench and completed 12 of 23 passes for 146 yards despite missing on his first six attempts. DeShaun Foster scored both of UCLA's touchdowns in the first half and rushed for 69 yards and Chris Griffith kicked three field goals after halftime, including a 22-yarder in overtime for the victory. Danny Farmer made six catches for 80 yards. He became just the fourth player in Pac-10 history to record 3,000 career receiving yards and he also moved into second place on UCLA's career reception list with 157. Freddie Mitchell added 82 yards on four acrobatic receptions.
Offensively, UCLA outgained the Huskies, 320-236 and did not allow a sack despite having lost two starters on the offensive line (center Troy Danoff and guard Mike Saffer) during the bye week. In the game, Matt Phelan, starting his first game at center, suffered a broken collarbone and tackle Blake Worley, starting his first game at right tackle after starting all year on the left side, suffered a sprained knee. Senior guard James Ghezzi moved over to center and reserve Micah Webb, a converted nose guard, went in at right tackle and the line did not allow the Huskies to record a sack.
In the overtime period, UCLA won the coin flip and elected to play defense. Washington earned one first down but on third-and-15 at the 16-yard line, Joey Strycula intercepted Marques Tuiasosopo's pass at the four-yard line and returned it to the 30. On UCLA's possession, runs of three and 10 yards by Foster gave the Bruins a first down on the 12-yard line. A two-yard run by fullback Durell Price and an offsides penalty against the Huskies put the ball at the four-yard line. At that point, coach Bob Toledo elected to go for the win and sent Griffith in for the game-winning 22-yard kick.
Defensively, UCLA held the Pac-10 co-leaders to just 236 yards (3.5 average), 134 in the air and 102 on the ground. Washington entered the game averaging 410.8 yards of total offense per outing. Sophomore linebackers Robert Thomas and Ryan Nece led the Bruins with 11 and nine tackles, respectively. Ricky Manning Jr. added seven tackles, including two for losses, and Ryan Roques, Pete Holland and Lovell Houston all added six stops. Quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, leading the Pac-10 in total offense with an average of 271.2 yards per game, finished with just 149 -- 134 in the air and 15 on the ground.
THE USC SERIES - USC leads the series 34-27-7 with the first meeting held in 1929. The Bruins have captured the last eight games and lead the series 13-5-1 since the start of the 1980s. UCLA has won four straight at the Coliseum and has not lost there since 1987 (the two schools tied in 1989).
A Mike Grieb 38-yard catch and run was the key play the last time the Bruins played in the Coliseum (1997). Grieb, who had scored earlier in the game on a nine-yard play, caught a Cade McNown pass on the left sideline and broke five tackles on his way to the end zone. The TD play made the score 28-21 and the Bruins were never caught. Javelin Guidry and Wasswa Serwanga fourth-quarter interceptions thwarted USC's comeback attempts. McNown passed for 213 yards (15-24) and three TDs while running for another 48 yards.
Last season, UCLA extended its streak over the Trojans to eight with a 34-17 victory at the Rose Bowl. The win was UCLA's 20th straight, extending the school record. UCLA became only the fourth team in Pac-10 history to finish the conference schedule 8-0.
UCLA's defense played perhaps its best game of the year against the Trojans. The Bruins forced seven turnovers - five fumbles and two interceptions - and sacked quarterback Carson Palmer six times. Outside linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was a one-man wrecking crew with four quarterback sacks among his team-leading nine tackles. Larry Atkins was credited with seven tackles, made his fourth interception of the season and also recovered his fifth fumble of the year. Inside linebacker Ryan Nece made seven tackles, including one sack and recovered one fumble and cornerback Ryan Roques also made seven tackles and forced a fumble.
Offensively, tailback DeShaun Foster became the first true freshman in school history to score four touchdowns in a game, tying the overall school record held by several players. He caught a four-yard pass from Cade McNown to give the Bruins a lead (7-3) they never relinquished. He also ran for three scores, including a 65-yard TD two plays after USC had cut its deficit to four (14-10). On the day, he rushed for 109 yards on 15 attempts.
McNown became the only quarterback in the history of the series to end his career 4-0. He threw just 20 passes - only six in the second half - and completed 12 for 146 yards and one TD. Danny Farmer made three receptions for 91 yards, including one for 42 and another for 38.
Special teams also played a key role in the victory. Chris Sailer kicked field goals of 38 and 26 yards to give the Bruins a 27-10 halftime lead.
NOTING THE TROJANS - USC is averaging 395.6 yards per game, tied for fifth in the Pac-10 -- 273.9 in the air (fourth in the league) and 121.7 on the ground (seventh) -- and 28.6 points per game, fifth in the Pac-10. Defensively, the Trojans are allowing 25.2 points (fourth in the Pac-10) and 378.7 yards (fifth) per game -- 246.0 in the air (sixth) and 132.7 on the ground (second). Senior tailback Chad Morton ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in rushing (91.4) and fourth (tied) in scoring (7.2). Windrell Hayes is third in the league with 5.88 catches per game, Kareem Kelly ranks sixth (5.0) and R. Jay Soward is eighth (4.5). Kelly ranks third in receiving yards (86.3) while Hayes is fifth.
Paul Hackett is in his second season as head coach at USC and is 12-11. He is 0-1 versus UCLA.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Bruins, Bob Toledo owns a record of 29-16 (21-10 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .644. The 20-game winning streak snapped versus Miami last Dec. 5 was the longest in school history, twice as long as the previous streak (10, set in 1946 and tied in 1954-55).
Toledo is only the second coach in school history to win 10 regular-season games (Bert LaBrucherie in 1946) and only the second coach in school history to win 10 games in back-to-back seasons (Terry Donahue in 1987-88).
Under Toledo, UCLA is 24-5 when it scores at least 30 points and 13-1 when it scores at least 40. It is 5-11 when it scores 29 or fewer points. The Bruins are 24-3 when leading entering the fourth quarter, 2-0 when tied entering the final quarter and have won three times when trailing after three periods. UCLA is 20-3 when leading at the half and has won five times after trailing at the half and four when tied at the half.
Toledo is 8-0 in the UCLA-USC rivalry -- 3-0 as UCLA's head coach (1996-98), 2-0 as the Bruins' offensive coordinator (1994-95) and 3-0 as a Trojan assistant coach (1976-78).
DID YOU KNOW? - UCLA is now 3-0 in overtime, defeating USC in 1996, Oregon in 1998 and Washington in 1999.
The 85-yard touchdown pass play from Cory Paus to Danny Farmer against Arizona State was the sixth- longest in UCLA history and the longest since Farmer and Cade McNown combined for an 88-yard TD play against Tennessee in 1996.
Redshirt freshman cornerback Lovell Houston's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Stanford, on his first- ever touch of the football as a Bruin, was the first by a Bruin since Jojo Townsell's 100-yard scoring effort vs. California in 1980.
UCLA has produced two Outland Trophy winners (Jonathan Ogden in 1995 and Kris Farris in 1998) and three first-team All-America tackles (Ogden, Chad Overhauser in 1997 and Farris) in the last four years.
In 1998, UCLA became only the fourth team in league history to win eight conference games in a season. The others were: USC - 1988, Washington - 1991, Arizona State - 1996. UCLA was also just one of three teams to win 15 Pac-10 games over two seasons (seven in 1997 and eight last year). The others include: USC in 1987 and 1988, UW in 1990 and 1991.
SPLIT END DANNY FARMER - UCLA's career receiving yardage leader moved into No. 2 on the career reception list against Washington, passing J.J. Stokes. Farmer, when healthy, is one of the nation's top wide receivers, as evidenced by his game against Oregon on Oct. 9. He was hampered during the season's first month by a high sprain of his left ankle.
The senior made seven catches for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns measuring 11 and 65 yards against the Ducks. His 196 yards rank No. 2 in UCLA history, trailing only J.J. Stokes' 263 yards versus USC in 1992. The seven receptions tied his career high, set last year against Oregon and Wisconsin. His 11-yard catch with just 38 seconds remaining in the first half gave UCLA a 20-10 lead and his 65-yard catch and run boosted the lead to 34-10. He also made a diving 48-yard catch on the first play of the second half to spark another Bruin scoring drive. Overall, four of his seven receptions measured at least 23 yards, and three accounted for at least 31 yards.
The following week against California, despite suffering a strained groin, he made three catches for 32 yards. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he played just three snaps due to his latest injury and did not make a reception. Against Arizona on Oct. 30, he made two receptions for 43 yards.
Last week, he led the Bruins with six receptions against Washington, accounting for 80 yards. He had two receptions of 25 yards each.
On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, Farmer made six receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown and became UCLA's all-time leader in receiving yardage. On his first touch of the game, he caught a pass, broke a couple of tackles and raced 85 yards for the sixth-longest touchdown reception in UCLA history to give the Bruins a 14-0 lead. Late in the second quarter, he made back-to-back receptions of 12 and 22 yards to put the ball at the two-yard line and set up Keith Brown's TD with 12 seconds remaining in the half. On the day, five of his six receptions accounted for a touchdown or a first down.
On the year, he has made 27 catches for 555 yards and three scores. His average of 20.6 yards per reception is the highest on the squad. He ranks first on the team in receiving yards (555) and second with his 27 catches.
Despite appearing in two games in which he did not catch a pass, he still ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in average yards per game (69.4) and his average of 20.6 yards per catch is first in the league.
Farmer's career totals are now 157 receptions for 3,002 yards and 19 touchdowns in just 43 games. His 3,002 yards rank No. 1 on UCLA's all-time list, while his 157 receptions rank No. 2 (he passed No. 2 J.J. Stokes against Washington. A big-play performer, he has made 23 receptions of at least 40 yards, including 13 last season and four in 1999. He has accounted for at least 100 yards 11 times in his career, including twice this year.
In addition, he ranks fourth on the Pac-10's career receiving yardage list behind Stanford's Troy Walters, former USC star Johnnie Morton and Arizona's Dennis Northcutt.
In 1998, Farmer was the team's leading receiver with 58 catches for 1,274 yards (22.0 average) and nine touchdowns. In the Washington game, he became only the fourth player in school history to record over 1,000 receiving yards in a season. His 1,274 yards set a new UCLA record, breaking Kevin Jordan's record of 1,228 yards, set in 1994, and he averaged 106.2 yards per contest. His average (22.0) was the highest in school history among players with at least 36 receptions in a season.
Farmer is a two-sport star who made major contributions to the volleyball squad, which won NCAA titles in 1998 and 1996 with him on the roster. Danny is not the only member of his family to have won a national championship. His father George was a Bruin footballer, as well, and also a member of the 1970 national championship basketball team. Uncle Dave Farmer was on the 1974 USC national championship football team. Both went on to play professional football.
Farmer is 7-0 versus USC - 3-0 in football and 4-0 in volleyball.
Thus far in 1999, Farmer has missed two full games (Boise State and Fresno State) due to a high sprain of his left ankle and saw limited action in three other contests. Against Ohio State, he tied for the team lead with three receptions for 56 yards. He did not make any receptions at Stanford or at Oregon State.
1999 FARMER Receiving
Game TCB Net Avg. TD LG BSU Did Not Play OSU 3 56 18.7 0 40 FSU Did Not Play STAN* 0 0 0.0 0 0 ASU* 6 148 24.7 1 85 ORE* 7 196 28.0 2 65 CAL* 3 32 10.7 0 12 OSU 0 0 0.0 0 0 ARIZ* 2 43 21.5 0 35 WASH 6 80 13.3 0 25 TOTALS 27 555 20.6 3 85
UCLA CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Years No. Yds Avg TD Danny Farmer 1996-98 157 3002 19.12 19 Kevin Jordan 1992-95 179 2548 14.23 12 J.J. Stokes 1991-94 154 2469 16.03 28 Jim McElroy 1994-97 101 2029 20.09 14 Sean LaChapelle 1989-92 142 2027 14.27 14
UCLA CAREER RECEPTIONS
Years No. Yds Avg TD Kevin Jordan 1992-95 179 2548 14.23 12 Danny Farmer 1996-98 157 3002 19.12 19 J.J. Stokes 1991-94 154 2469 16.03 28 Sean LaChapelle 1989-92 142 2027 14.27 14 Mike Sherrard 1982-85 128 1965 15.35 10
UCLA SEASON RECEIVING YARDS
Year No. Yds Avg TD Danny Farmer 1998 58 1274 22.0 9 Kevin Jordan 1994 73 1228 16.8 7 J.J. Stokes 1993 82 1181 14.4 17 Sean LaChapelle 1991 73 1056 14.5 11 Jim McElroy 1997 47 988 21.0 10
FARMER's CAREER 100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES
No. Yds TD LG 1999 Arizona State 6 148 1 85 Oregon 7 196 2 65 1998 Houston 4 100 0 41 Wash. State 5 100 0 51 Oregon 7 161 2 60 Oregon State 5 113 2 43 Washington 4 134 0 61 Miami 6 135 2 77 Wisconsin 7 142 1 44 1997 none 1996 Tennessee 5 115 1 88 Wash. State 5 121 1 38
RYAN McCANN - Redshirt freshman Ryan McCann, entered the 1999 season fourth on the depth chart and is now UCLA's third starting quarterback of the year. He made his debut against Oregon State, playing the final three series of the game and completed one of five passes for three yards. The following week against Arizona, he played UCLA's final series and completed three of six passes for 35 yards. Following that game, he was promoted from No. 3 (he had moved up when Drew Bennett was moved to receiver) to No. 2.
In last week's 23-20 victory over Washington, McCann became the Bruins' No. 1 quarterback when Cory Paus suffered a fractured left collarbone on the second play of the second quarter. Despite missing on his first six passes, he finished the game with 12 completions on 23 attempts for 146 yards and showed outstanding arm strength. His 43-yard strike to Freddie Mitchell in the fourth quarter was the longest completion of his career and he also hit Farmer for 25 yards on UCLA's second field goal drive of the third quarter. He also rushed for seven yards and was not sacked. In the second half, he completed 11 of 16 passes for 135 yards, including five for nine on third down.
1999 Ryan McCann Passing
Game PA PC INT YDS TD LG OSU 5 1 0 3 0 3 ARIZ 6 3 0 35 0 21 WASH 23 12 0 146 0 43 Totals 34 16 0 184 0 43
CORY PAUS - The redshirt freshman quarterback started seven games this season. Last week against Washington, he suffered a fractured left collarbone on UCLA's second offensive play of the second quarter (a nine-yard run). At the time of his injury, he had completed one of three passes for 25 yards in a 7-7 tie.
Paus had the best game of his young career against Oregon. He completed 21 of 34 passes for a career-high 332 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He threw the ball well and hit several long passes, including 65 and 48 yards to Danny Farmer and 28 yards to Gabe Crecion.
His first TD pass to Farmer (11 yards) after an Oregon turnover gave the Bruins a 20-10 halftime lead. His second TD pass to Farmer measured 65 yards and gave UCLA a 34-10 lead. He also hit Farmer on a 48-yard strike on the first play of the second half to spark another scoring drive.
His 332 passing yards tied Tommy Maddox (1990 vs. Oregon) for the No. 3 effort among Bruin freshmen. Only Maddox (409 vs. USC and 353 at Michigan) ever threw for more yards as a freshman. His 324 yards total offense rank No. 4 on that list, trailing only Maddox's 445 versus USC and 356 vs. Oregon and Cade McNown's 326 at Arizona State in 1995.
Against California, Paus completed nine of 28 passes for 81 yards with one interception. He also led the team in rushing with 67 net yards on 11 attempts, including runs of 31 and 27 yards. Only Keith Brown and Freddie Mitchell have recorded a longer run this year. At Oregon State, he completed seven of 15 passes for 95 yards, one touchdown and one interception before leaving in the third quarter. He also suffered a subluxation of his left shoulder in the first half but did return to the contest.
On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he completed 13 of 27 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown, a 44-yard toss to Brad Melsby. Under a savage rush all night, he was sacked seven times before leaving the game midway through the fourth quarter.
On the year, Paus, who was named the starting quarterback on Sept. 13, completed 95 of 197 passes (48.2) for 1,336 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ranks eighth in the Pac-10 in total offense (145.2 yards) despite starting just seven of his nine games and playing into the second quarter twice due to injury (Fresno State and Washington).
On Oct. 2, Paus returned to action at Arizona State after missing the Stanford game due to bruised ribs suffered against Fresno State. On the afternoon, he completed 15 of 40 passes for 235 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His TD pass to Danny Farmer measured 85 yards, the sixth-longest in school history, and he had two other completions of at least 22 yards. In the first half, Paus engineered touchdown drives measuring 88, 86 and 63 yards.
Paus made the first start of his career against Fresno State on Sept. 18 and was playing extremely well when he suffered bruised ribs early in the second quarter. At that time, he had completed nine of 12 passes for 113 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown to Brad Melsby. He also led the Bruins to scores on the first two possessions to build a 10-0 first-quarter lead.
Paus saw action in both halves at Ohio State, completing eight of 20 passes for just 97 yards and threw one interception. The previous week, he completed 12 of 18 passes for 128 yards with one touchdown versus Boise State, a five-yard strike to Gabe Crecion to give the Bruins a 24-0 halftime lead, and two interceptions (one was a "Hail Mary" pass at the end of the first half). When he connected with Crecion in the Boise game, Paus became the first Bruin quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in his first game since Bret Johnson did it as a redshirt freshman in the 1989 opener.
1999 PAUS Passing
Game PA PC INT YDS TD LG BSU 18 12 2 128 1 28 Ohio St 20 8 1 97 0 40 Fresno* 12 9 0 113 1 24 Stanford Did Not Play (Bruised ribs) ASU* 40 15 2 235 1 85 Ore* 34 21 2 332 2 65 Cal* 28 9 1 81 0 13 OSU* 15 7 1 95 1 33 ARIZ* 27 13 0 230 1 44 WASH* 3 1 0 25 0 25 Totals 197 95 (.482) 9 1336 7 85 * indicates game started
THE QUARTERBACKS - On October 4, a decision was reached to switch Bennett, who started three of the first four games at quarterback, to wide receiver because of his athletic ability.
On Sept. 13, Bennett was informed that he would not start against Fresno State after starting the Bruins' first two games. Five days later, he came off the bench because of an injury to Cory Paus and helped rally the Bruins to a 35-21 victory over the Bulldogs. A week later, with Paus still sidelined, Bennett started at Stanford. He completed 19 of 31 passes versus the Cardinal for a career-best 207 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He also rushed 12 times for 20 yards (39 gross) and scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on a four-yard dash as the Bruins cut an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to three (35-32) before losing by 10.
On the final play of the game, he suffered a strained right elbow when hit by a defender and was unable to throw the football throughout Arizona State week. He played just one snap against the Sun Devils, pitching on an option play. Early the following week, he made the switch to receiver. Bennett played two snaps at quarterback against California (Oct. 16), throwing an interception on a trick play, and played a handful of snaps as a receiver against Oregon State (Oct. 23). Against Arizona on Oct. 30, he saw spot duty at quarterback, throwing two incompletions and running the option offense.
Against Fresno State, with UCLA trailing 21-20, Bennett led the Bruins to back-to-back touchdowns on throws to Brad Melsby and Brian Poli-Dixon. On the night, he completed 13 of 24 passes for 176 yards and two TDs and rushed for 36 net yards on eight attempts. He also completed six of eight passes for 120 yards on third down for two touchdowns and four first downs.
Bennett has completed 49 of 89 passes (55.1) for 641 yards and four touchdowns. At Ohio State, he completed nine of 15 passes for 138 yards and one touchdown (67 yards to fullback Matt Stanley). He also led a first-half field goal drive, however, he threw an interception and lost a fumble - both in the third quarter.
Bennett made his first career start on Sept. 4 versus Boise State after spending the last two seasons backing up Cade McNown. He came to UCLA as a walk-on athlete and was awarded a scholarship prior to the start of the 1997 season.
In his debut, Bennett started slowly, completing just two of nine passes for 12 yards in the first half. However, he completed six of seven passes for 108 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown to tight end Randy Hakes, in the third quarter. In that quarter, he directed back-to-back scoring drvies of 84 and 80 yards. He finished the night with eight completions on 16 attempts for 120 yards with one TD and one interception.
Sophomore Scott McEwan saw his first extensive action against Oregon State. He played one series in the second quarter following Paus' shoulder injury and ran the club for three series in the second half. On the day, he completed two of nine passes for 23 yards with one interception. The following week against Arizona, he played one fourth-quarter series and threw four incomplete passes.
1999 Drew Bennett Passing
Game PA PC INT YDS TD LG BSU* 16 8 1 120 1 65 OSU* 15 9 1 138 1 67 Fresno 24 13 1 176 2 57 STAN *31 19 0 207 0 25 ASU one play Oregon Did Not Play Cal 1 0 1 0 0 0 OSU 0 0 0 0 0 0 ARIZ 2 0 0 0 0 0 WASH Did Not Play Totals 89 49 (.551) 4 641 4 67 *indicates game started '98 total 5 3 0 24 1 12 '97 total 6 3 0 52 1 32
1999 Scott McEwan Passing
Game PA PC INT YDS TD LG Boise St. 0 0 0 0 (4 plays) Ohio St 1 0 0 0 (2 plays) Fresno Did Not Play Stanford Did Not Play ASU Did Not Play Oregon Did Not Play Cal 0 0 0 0 (1 play) OSU 9 2 1 23 0 23 ARIZ 4 0 0 0 0 0 WASH Did Not Play Totals 14 2 1 23 0 23 (played three snaps in '98 vs. Wash. St. / no passes)
TAILBACK KEITH BROWN - The senior tailback enjoyed the best afternoon of his career against Arizona State on Oct. 2. The Phoenix native started in place of injured DeShaun Foster and rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts. Brown opened the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown run right through the middle of the line, the second-longest run of his career. It is also UCLA's longest run from scrimmage this season. He also had runs of 38 and 35 yards and scored a two-yard touchdown with 12 seconds remaining in the first half to give UCLA a 21-7 lead.
He started the following week against Oregon and led the Bruins with 69 yards on 27 carries. He also scored on runs of three and 10 yards to give him four touchdowns. On Oct. 16 against California, he started and gained 21 yards on eight attempts. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he started for the fourth straight game and gained 32 yards on eight attempts. The following week against Arizona, he had a team-high 20 yards on eight attempts. He has led the team in rushing in four of his eight games.
Last week against Washington, Brown suffered a bruised right shoulder and is doubtful for the USC contest. He had rushed for 45 yards on 10 attempts prior to his injury on UCLA's first series in the third quarter.
The team's leading rusher (421 yards), Brown is averaging 52.6 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry to lead the team in both categories. He is also second to DeShaun Foster with five touchdowns. His average of 52.6 yards ranks 11th in the Pac-10. He has now rushed for 1,265 yards and 16 touchdowns during his career.
After missing the season's first two games, he made a successful debut against Fresno State. He led the team in rushing with 42 yards on 10 attempts and scored his first touchdown of the year on a two-yard run in the second quarter to give the Bruins a 17-7 lead. At Stanford, Brown carried three times for 10 yards and caught one pass for seven more. A year ago, Brown ran for at least 90 yards three times and was the team's third-leading rusher with a career-high 423 yards. He rushed for a career-best (at the time) 101 yards versus Oregon in his second start.
TAILBACK JERMAINE LEWIS - The dependable Lewis has gained 208 yards on 59 attempts and has scored one touchdown. Last week against Washington, he gained seven yards on three carries. On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he gained 18 yards on four attempts and caught two passes for 14 yards. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he led the Bruins with 42 yards on seven carries and also made two receptions for 41 yards. Against California, he was held to minus-four yards on five attempts. Against Oregon, he ran for 36 yards on eight tries and his 13-yard run was UCLA's longest of the night. He also made three receptions for 27 yards.
On Sept. 19 of 1998, Lewis ran into the Houston end zone four times to tie the school record for rushing touchdowns and total TDs in a game. His career high is 113 yards at Texas in 1998. He finished the 1998 season as the team's second-leading rusher with 553 yards. He led the team in rushing five times and with 13 touchdowns, a TD total exceeded only seven times in school history.
TAILBACK DESHAUN FOSTER - True sophomore DeShaun Foster, a first-team Freshman All-American a year ago, has led the Bruins in rushing four times. He carried just five times in the month of October (he did not play against California and Oregon State and carried once versus Oregon and twice at Arizona State and against Arizona) due to a high sprain of his right ankle incurred at Stanford.
In last week's victory over Washington, he rushed for a team-high 69 yards on 24 attempts and scored UCLA's two touchdowns on runs of eight and three yards.
He enjoyed his best game of the season at Stanford when he romped for 100 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns. He produced seven runs resulting in first downs in addition to the two TDs. Foster also caught three passes for 33 yards. He has scored 16 touchdowns in his career. The 100-yard performance at Stanford was the third of his career (118 at Arizona in 1998, 109 vs. USC in 1998).
On the year, he is the team's second-leading rusher with 316 yards and leads the squad with six touchdowns. He is also fifth on the squad with 11 receptions.
On Sept. 11 at Ohio State, he rushed for a team-high 51 yards on 17 carries and scored his second touchdown of the year, a seven-yard run that made the score 21-17 early in the second half. Against Boise State, he led the Bruins with 55 yards on 17 carries and scored UCLA's first touchdown.
In 1998, Foster wrote his name into Bruin lore by scoring all four touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving) in UCLA's 34-17 victory over USC. He became the first true freshman in school history to score four TDs in one game and tied the overall school record.
Foster finished the year with 673 yards, the most ever by a UCLA true freshman. He was the first true freshman to lead the team in rushing since Skip Hicks in 1993 and was also the first true freshman since Hicks to rush for over 100 yards twice in the same season. He ranked second on the team with 12 touchdowns (10 rushing and two receiving), a school record for true freshmen. He played in 11 games in 1998, missing most of the Oregon game and all of the contest at California with a sprained knee.
Top UCLA True Freshman Rushing Totals
Game TCB Net Avg. TD LG DeShaun Foster, 1998 126 673 5.3 10* 65 Shawn Wills, 1988 94 622 6.6 5 50 Skip Hicks, 1993 100 563 5.6 5 43 Gaston Green, 1984 91 516 5.7 5 72 *12 total (two receiving)
FULLBACK DURELL PRICE - A year ago, senior Durell Price did a fine job in his first season as the starting fullback and saved his best for last. In the Rose Bowl contest against Wisconsin, he made three receptions for 102 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown from flanker Freddie Mitchell, all producing first downs. On the year, he contributed 141 yards on the ground and ranked sixth (tied) on the squad with 14 receptions for 222 yards.
On Sept. 25 at Stanford, Price carried four times for 10 yards and caught one pass for seven more. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, he rushed once for six yards and caught one pass for two yards. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he rushed for nine yards on four attempts and blocked very well. He carried just once (no gain) versus both California and Oregon State. Against Arizona (Oct. 30), he did not carry the ball but made a 34-yard reception on the first play of the game. In the win over Washington, he carried three times for 14 yards, including a two-yard run which proceeded Chris Griffith's game-winning field goal.
WIDE RECEIVERS - Senior Brad Melsby is enjoying a productive senior year. He has started nine of 10 contests and ranks third on the squad with a career-high 21 receptions for 253 yards and three touchdowns (tied for first on the team). He did not make a reception against Washington (Nov. 13). On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he made three receptions for a team-high 69 yards and scored UCLA's only TD, catching a pass at the 20 and racing up the right sideline to complete a 44-yard scoring play. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he did not make a catch. On Oct. 16 versus California, he tied for the team lead with three catches (31 yards). Against Oregon, he was hampered by the flu and did not start for the first time in 1999. He caught one pass for 12 yards. At ASU, he made two catches for 14 yards. On Sept. 25 at Stanford, he grabbed three balls for 50 yards. On Sept. 18 against Fresno State, he made touchdown receptions of 24 and four yards to help defeat the Bulldogs.
In 1998, he made 16 receptions (tied for third on the squad) and averaged 20.7 yards per catch. On Nov. 7 at Oregon State, he made perhaps the catch of the year. With just 21 seconds remaining in the game and the score tied 34-34, Melsby broke free on the right sideline, caught a pass from Cade McNown and raced to the end zone (61-yard TD).
Sophomore Freddie Mitchell, fully recovered from his fractured right femur (hurt last season at Houston during kickoff return), but bothered by a cartilage problem in his knee throughout 1999, is UCLA's leading receiver.
On the year, Mitchell has made 33 receptions for 445 yards (13.5 average). Twenty of his 33 receptions, including all four against Washington, have resulted in a Bruin first down. Mitchell was at his best in the 35-21 victory over Fresno State. He made nine catches for 149 yards to set career highs in both categories. His nine catches are tied for seventh on UCLA's single-game list, while the 149 yards are tied for 16th on that list. His 57-yard catch-and-run set up UCLA's final touchdown of the night. Seven of his nine receptions produced a new set of downs for UCLA. At Stanford, Mitchell caught three passes for 23 yards. Against Oregon, he made four receptions (three first downs) for 54 yards. Against California, he added two catches for 19 yards.
On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he led the team with five catches for 58 yards. He once again made the highlight reels with his one-handed reception he made while laying on his back on the artificial turf and shimmying himself into position to make the catch. The following week against Arizona, he again led the Bruins with four receptions for 42 yards.
Last week against Washington, he led the Bruins with 82 receiving yards on four catches. All four receptions produced first downs and he made three catches in the fourth quarter.
In his debut a year ago against Texas, Mitchell made four receptions for 108 yards (79-yard TD), threw a 34-yard touchdown pass, gained 30 yards on a reverse and returned three kickoffs for 78 yards. He returned to action in the Rose Bowl and tossed a 61-yard touchdown to Durell Price off a fake reverse.
BRUIN TD CATCHES -
Boise State - Randy Hakes 65 yd. from Bennett, Gabe Crecion 5 yd. from Paus
Ohio State - Matt Stanley 67 yd. from Bennett
Fresno State - Brad Melsby 4 yd. from Paus, 4 yd. from Bennett, Poli-Dixon 15 yd. from Bennett
Stanford - none
Arizona State - Danny Farmer 85 yd. from Paus
Oregon - Danny Farmer 11 yd. from Paus, Farmer 65 yd. from Paus
California - none
Oregon State - Gabe Crecion 4 yd. from Paus
Arizona - Brad Melsby 44 yd. from Paus
Washington - None
OFFENSIVE LINE - In the victory over the Huskies, the Bruins reshuffled the offensive line due to bye-week injuries to Mike Saffer and Troy Danoff. Only left guard Oscar Cabrera started in his normal position. Matt Phelan, who had started four games at guard, made his first start at center. Brian Polak, who had started all nine games at right tackle, opened at right guard. Blake Worley, who had started all nine games at left tackle, shifted over to right tackle. True freshman Bryce Bohlander made his first career start at left tackle.
In the first quarter, Phelan (fractured right collarbone) and Worley (sprained knee) had to leave the game but James Ghezzi and Micah Webb replaced Phelan and Worley, respectively and did a fine job. The Bruins did not allow a sack, protected quarterback Ryan McCann well and helped the Bruins rush for 149 yards.
TIGHT ENDS - UCLA's tight end quartet played a key role in the team's 38-7 victory over Boise State, making five catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Junior starter Gabe Crecion made the first touchdown catch of his career, a five-yarder in the second quarter to give the Bruins a 24-0 lead. Sophomore Bryan Fletcher, who also started against the Broncos, made two catches for 34 yards, including a diving grab for 28 yards at the four-yard line to set up UCLA's first score. Senior Randy Hakes came off the bench to make two receptions for a team-high 66 yards, including a 65-yard catch-and-run for the second touchdown of his career (the first was a 12-yard pass from Drew Bennett last season against Washington State). Freshman Mike Seidman also participated in the victory.
Against Ohio State, the tight ends caught five passes for 50 yards. Crecion, coming off the bench, made two catches for 31 yards. Fletcher, who started, added two for 11 yards, and Seidman chipped in with an eight-yard reception, the first of his career.
Crecion, who started, and Fletcher each made one catch against Fresno State. Crecion made a diving 19-yard reception on UCLA's second-quarter touchdown drive.
At Stanford, Crecion led the group with four catches for 20 yards. Fletcher (19 yards) and Hakes (18 yards) each produced a first down with their one catch. At Arizona State, Crecion accounted for 39 yards with his one reception. Against Oregon, Fletcher made three receptions for 22 yards, and Crecion made a nice grab for 28 yards. At Oregon State, Crecion made two receptions for 22 yards, including the second touchdown of his career (four yards). Against Arizona, playing without Fletcher for a second straight game, Seidman made a 20-yard reception. Hakes started against Washington (Fletcher again did not play) and the tight ends blocked well throughout the afternoon.
Crecion is fourth on the squad with his 12 catches, and his average of 13.7 yards is No. 2 among players with at least six receptions. Fletcher is sixth on the team with his nine receptions.
DEFENSIVE END KENYON COLEMAN- Junior defensive left end Kenyon Coleman, one of the leaders of the defensive line, enjoyed a successful training camp and has played well throughout the 1999 season.
In last week's victory over Washington, Coleman made five tackles. On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he made six tackles, including five primaries. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he made four solo tackles. On Oct. 16 against California, he made four tackles, including one-half sack. On Oct. 9 versus Oregon, he made one tackle, broke up two passes and forced a fumble. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, Coleman made four tackles, including his third sack of the year and another tackle for loss. He also recovered a fumble. At Stanford, he had his most active game of the season with seven tackles, including one sack and a second stop behind the line. Against Fresno State, he made three tackles, including one for loss.
On the year, Coleman has made 41 tackles. He is tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss. He has also broken up seven passes with his leaping ability at the line.
A year ago, he earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention, making 23 tackles despite missing two full games (Washington State and Arizona) and most of a third (Houston) after suffering a sprained knee at Houston. He ranked third on the team with 4.5 sacks and was credited with seven tackles for loss.
DEFENSIVE END PETE HOLLAND - Senior right tackle Pete Holland, UCLA's defensive captain, made a career-high six tackles in the victory over Washington. He was credited with four tackles against Arizona (Oct. 30) after making three tackles at Oregon State and two stops against California. On Oct. 9, he made three tackles against Oregon. He has started nine of 10 games (did not play against Fresno State due to back problems). He returned to the starting lineup at Stanford and was credited with one tackle. On Sept. 11 at Ohio State, he made two tackles and also broke up two passes in the opener against Boise State.
On the year, he has made 21 tackles, including 15 primary stops.
Last year, he started 10 games (two at left end and eight on the right side), missing only against Washington State (nickel package) and Wisconsin (elbow injury). He made 18 tackles, including four each against Oregon and Oregon State.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE KEN KOCHER- The true sophomore, who made his first career start in the 1999 Rose Bowl, leads the defensive linemen with 41 tackles, including five for loss, and ranks sixth on the squad overall. He did not play last week against Washington due to his ankle injury and is doubtful for this week's contest. On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he suffered a sprained left ankle in the first quarter after making two tackles and did not return. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he was credited with three tackles. On Oct. 16 against California, he made four stops. On Oct. 9 versus Oregon, he made three tackles and broke up two passes. At Arizona State, Kocher made seven tackles, including one for loss. The previous week at Stanford, he added four tackles. Against Fresno State, he was credited with six tackles, including one for loss, and broke up one pass. Against the Buckeyes, he was credited with eight tackles (four primaries), including two for losses. He also recovered a fumble to end an OSU drive in the third quarter. In the opener against Boise State, he contributed four tackles.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE ANTHONY FLETCHER -The true sophomore made the third start of his career against Washington in place of injured Ken Kocher and was credited with two tackles. On Sept. 18, he made the second start of his career against Fresno State in place of injured Pete Holland and made the most of his opportunity. Fletcher made seven tackles to lead the defensive linemen. At Stanford, he had two stops, including one sack. The following week, he made three stops at Arizona State. He played sparingly the following week against Oregon due to an injured foot but rebounded the following week against California, making four tackles. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he was credited with two stops and made two the following week against Arizona. Against Ohio State, he came off the bench to make six tackles, including two for loss, after making three versus Boise State.
On the year he has made 31 stops, including four behind the line of scrimmage.
LINEBACKER ROBERT THOMAS - The true sophomore was one of the nation's top recruits as a prep senior and after a season as a reserve, Thomas has moved into the starting lineup. Making his 1999 debut as the starting middle linebacker, he made a team-high 14 tackles against Fresno State, the most by a Bruin since Brian Willmer made 15 versus Arizona on Nov. 16, 1996. At Stanford, he added nine tackles, including one for loss. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, he again tied for the team lead with nine stops, including 1.5 sacks and a third behind the line of scrimmage. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, Thomas made five tackles, one shy of the team lead. On Oct. 16 against California, he was credited with 10 tackles. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he suffered a concussion in the first half and did not return, finishing with a season-low three tackles. He did not play the following week against Arizona.
Thomas returned to the lineup in the victory over Washington and led the team with 11 tackles and also forced a fumble.
Thomas ranks second on the squad with his 61 tackles despite missing three games (the season's first two and the Arizona contest). His average of 8.7 tackles per game is No. 1 on the team and would rank No. 6 in the Pac-10 (he has not played 75% of UCLA's games). He also has four tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks.
LINEBACKER RYAN NECE - The sophomore linebacker, a 1998 first-team Freshman All-American and an All-Pac-10 honorable mention choice, was on the Butkus Award pre-season 'Watch List.' Nece made his 1999 debut against Fresno State. Starting on the outside, he made 10 tackles, second on the squad, and broke up one pass. At Stanford, he was credited with four tackle assists. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, he made the first interception of his career, leading to UCLA's third-quarter field goal. He was also credited with four tackles. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he made two tackles, broke up one pass and blocked a punt with one hand. On Oct. 16 versus California, he was credited with six tackles.
He has played very well in his last three contests, averaging 9.7 tackles. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he led the Bruins with 10 tackles, including his first sack of the season. The following week against Arizona, he again made 10 tackles, including seven primaries. Last week against Washington, he recorded nine tackles and recovered a fumble. In his eight games, he has made 55 tackles and ranks third on the squad. He is averaging 6.9 stops per game, the second-highest average on the team.
In 1998, Nece had a career-high and team-best 12 tackles at Miami and enjoyed an outstanding day versus WSU with eight stops and two tackles for loss, including a sack. He was the team's No. 2 tackler behind All-American Larry Atkins with 85 and ranked second with six sacks and 10 tackles for losses. He also recovered two fumbles and forced one while defensing five passes. Nece started the final nine games of the year, moving into the lineup against Arizona.
LINEBACKER TONY WHITE - The true junior, who did not play in the team's first two games, is now starting at one of the outside spots after playing inside a year ago. However, on Oct. 30 against Arizona, he shifted back to the middle because of the absence of Robert Thomas and responded with a team-high 12 tackles, (11 primaries), including two for losses. Last week against Washington, he suffered a sprained right knee early in the game and did not record a tackle. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he came off the bench (the Bruins started two linebackers and five defensive backs) to make eight tackles. On Oct. 16 against California, he made seven tackles, including 1.5 quarterback sacks and a third stop behind the line of scrimmage. On Oct. 9 versus Oregon, he made two stops. At Arizona State, he played despite being ill most of the week and was credited with five tackle assists. At Stanford, he had five tackles, including one for loss. Against Fresno State, he made seven tackles and recovered a fumble to set up UCLA's go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter.
On the year, White has made 46 stops in his eight games, including six for losses (fourth on the squad). His 46 tackles are fifth on the team and he is averaging 5.8 tackles per contest.
In 1998, White started all 12 games and was the team's third-leading tackler with 69 stops and ranked third on the squad with two interceptions. At California, he recorded a career-best 10 tackles to lead the squad. At Miami, he matched his career high with 10 tackles.
BRUIN INTERCEPTIONS (17) -
Ryan Roques (4) vs. Stanford, Cal, Arizona (2)
Joey Strycula (3) vs. Boise State, Ohio State, Washington
Eric Whitfield (3) vs. Cal, Oregon, Arizona State
Joe Hunter (2) vs. Boise State, Cal
Ricky Manning (2) vs. Fresno State, OSU
Julius Williams vs. Boise State
Ryan Nece vs. Arizona State
Marcus Reese vs. Oregon
DEFENSIVE BACK RYAN ROQUES - One of the few seniors on the defensive unit, Roques did not play in the Bruins' first two games this season. In his debut against Fresno State, he returned three kickoffs for 71 yards, including one for 38 yards on the first play of the game. At Stanford, he made six tackles, recovered a fumble after stripping the receiver of the ball and also made the fifth interception of his career. At Arizona State, he made five tackles, including one for loss, and broke up one pass. He also returned seven punts for 32 yards with a long of 15 yards. Against Oregon, Roques made five tackles, one shy of the team lead, and broke up two passes. He also returned two punts for 10 yards. Against California, he led the team with 11 tackles and made his second interception of the year. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he made three tackles and returned one punt for 13 yards.
On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he made two interceptions to bring his team-leading total to four, the first time a Bruin had accomplished that feat since Larry Atkins picked off two passes at Texas in 1997. He also made four tackles and returned one punt for four yards. Last week against Washington, he made six tackles and helped hold the Huskies to just 134 passing yards. He has now made 41 tackles in his eight games (5.1 average).
In 1998, he started six of the final 10 games and was tied for sixth in the Pac-10 with his four interceptions. On the year, he made 59 tackles, fifth on the squad, and defensed nine passes. He made a career-high 13 tackles at Oregon State, the most by a Bruin that year.
Roques became an outstanding special teams weapon and earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention in that area. During the regular season, he averaged 12.5 yards (14th nationally) on 19 punt returns and 27.9 yards on 12 kickoff returns. His punt return average was the highest by a Bruin since 1995, when Paul Guidry averaged 15.1 yards on 25 returns. His kickoff return average was the highest by a Bruin with six or more returns since 1969, when Ron Carver averaged 31.9 yards on eight attempts. His 81-yard kickoff return at Washington was UCLA's longest since 1980 (Jojo Townsell, 100 yards vs. California) while his 77-yard punt return for a touchdown was UCLA's first TD of that kind since 1995 (Paul Guidry vs. Arizona State). He had 211 total return yards against the Huskies -- 120 on three kickoffs and 91 on three punts.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS - In the secondary, senior walk-on safety Joey Strycula has remained in the starting lineup because of his solid play. After 10 games, he is the Bruins' leading tackler with 65 stops and is also tied for second on the team with three interceptions. In the opener against Boise State, he led the team with nine tackles and an interception in his first career start. He led the team again at Stanford with 11 tackles and added eight at Arizona State. Against Oregon, he made four tackles and defensed four passes. Against California, he made five tackles and forced a fumble. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he was credited with six tackles and added three stops the following week against Arizona.
In the win over Washington, Strycula made four tackles and it was his interception in overtime that halted a possible score and enabled UCLA to win with a field goal. He was also the holder on the winning kick.
True freshman corner Ricky Manning Jr. made his first career start against Fresno State and continues to make things happen. At Stanford, he had six stops, including one for loss, and added two at Arizona State, four (one for loss) against Oregon and two versus California. At Oregon State, he made three tackles and his second interception of the season. On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he made seven tackles (third on the team).
Last week against Washington, Manning made seven solo tackles, including two for losses (one sack), in the win. He also forced a fumble, broke up a pass and returned four punts for 25 yards. He ranks fourth on the squad (second in the secondary) with 50 tackles and leads the Bruins with 10 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Near the end of the first half against Fresno State, he returned an interception 83 yards to UCLA's 11-yard line with 12 seconds remaining to set up a Bruin field goal. Against Ohio State, Manning made a career-high eight tackles, including two for losses, and also broke up two passes.
True freshman outside linebacker Marcus Reese, who is the lone linebacker in UCLA's dime package, came off the bench to lead the Bruins with nine tackles against Ohio State, including three behind the line of scrimmage. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he tied for the team lead with six tackles and made the first interception of his career to set up UCLA's final touchdown of the first half. Against California, he made four tackles and added three at Oregon State and one against Arizona and Washington. He has made 37 tackles, including four for losses. He had two tackles versus Fresno State and two at Stanford, including a big stop of a Stanford fourth-down attempt in the fourth quarter to set-up UCLA's final touchdown drive. At Arizona State, he accounted for five tackles, including one for loss.
Senior Eric Whitfield has appeared in eight of 10 games this year and is tied for second on the squad with three interceptions. He has also been credited with 31 tackles. He has made at least six stops in four contests.
Redshirt freshman Lovell Houston made his first career start at Oregon State on Oct. 23. Although he is learning on the job, he did enough things right to make nine tackles, one behind team leader Ryan Nece. Prior to his start, he had played just 11 defensive snaps, including six at Ohio State and just five in the previous five games. On Oct. 30 against Arizona, he added four tackles and broke up two passes. In the Nov. 13 win over Washington, Houston was credited with six tackles.
JUST FOR KICKS - UCLA's new kickers have enjoyed success in the year's first nine games. Redshirt freshman place kicker Chris Griffith made the biggest kick of his career against Washington, making a 22-yarder in overtime to give the Bruins a 23-20 victory. On the afternoon, he made three of four kicks (35, 28 and 22 yards) and added two PATs.
Griffith made his first five field goal attempts of the season (26 and 28 yards versus Fresno State, 35 and 33 yards against Ohio State and 37 yards against Boise State) before missing (partial block) from 49 yards at Stanford. He came back to boot a 32-yarder later in the game. Against Arizona State, he connected from 20 and 46 yards. In the Oregon game, he converted attempts of 47 and 48 yards but had two attempts blocked (36 and 32 yards). He did not get on the field against California and had just one PAT opportunity at Oregon State. Against Arizona (Oct. 30), he made his only PAT and had a 25-yard field goal attempt blocked.
Griffith has now made 13 of 18 field goals and all 24 of his PATs. He is the team's leading scorer with 63 points.
True freshman punter Nate Fikse had his best day at Stanford, averaging 47.0 yards on three punts. None of his punts were returned and one was downed at the Stanford two-yard line. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, he averaged 45.1 yards on eight kicks (one for 65 yards) and just three were returned for a total of 27 yards. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he averaged 42.0 yards on six kicks, including a then-career-long 69-yard punt, and just four were returned for a total of 15 yards. On Oct. 16 versus California, he averaged 44.0 yards on a career-high nine punts and twice pinned the Golden Bears inside the 20-yard line. On Oct. 23 at Oregon State, he averaged 46.9 yards on eight punts, including a career-best 76 yard kick. However, he also suffered his first block (credited as a team punt) in the fourth quarter. Against Arizona (Oct. 30), he averaged 36.9 yards on nine attempts. Against Washington (Nov. 13), he averaged 37.2 yards on five kicks and only one was returned for two yards.
On the year, Fikse is averaging 41.3 yards on his 62 punts, No. 2 in the Pac-10, and has forced opponents to start inside the 20-yard line on 10 occasions.
WHO'S MISSING - Several key performers from last year's squad have missed huge chunks of the 1999 season.
Senior wide receiver Danny Farmer, a pre-season All-American and UCLA's single-season and career receiving yardage leader, has missed two full games and most of two others because of a sprained ankle and a strained groin. He has caught passes in just six games and has made more than three receptions in a game just three times.
Sophomore tailback DeShaun Foster, a 1998 Freshman All-American, carried the ball just five times in October, missing two games, because of a sprained right ankle.
Junior wide receiver Brian Poli-Dixon, who caught 10 touchdown passes in 1998, suffered a fractured wrist in the year's third game and is done for the season.
The three offensive players listed above accounted for 31 touchdowns in 1998.
Senior cornerback Jason Bell, a 1998 starter, has not played since the year's second game due to pain in his heel following off-season surgery.
Junior cornerback Marques Anderson, a part-time starter in 1998, has missed the entire season due to off-season problems.
NEW STARTERS - In 1999, 42 different position players -- 23 on defense and 19 on offense -- have made at least one start. True freshman Bryce Bohlander became No. 42 when he started at left tackle. Three more players -- quarterback Ryan McCann, center James Ghezzi and offensive tackle Micah Webb -- will probably make their first starts of 1999 due to injuries suffered by Cory Paus, Matt Phelan and Blake Worley against Washington. Five players have started at the safety position opposite Joey Strycula. Twenty-six players, including both kickers, have made their first career starts this season.
In the first three games of the 1999 season, 19 position players plus both kickers made their first career starts. In the opener against Boise State, 14 position players - eight on offense and six on defense - made their first starts. Place kicker Chris Griffith (redshirt freshman) and punter Nate Fikse (true freshman) also made their debuts.
At Stanford, Danny Farmer made his first start of the year. At Arizona State, Randy Hakes made his first career start and Keith Brown and Eric Whitfield made their first starts of 1999.
At Oregon State, redshirt freshmen Lovell Houston and Paul Nelson made their first career starts in the secondary. Against Arizona (Oct. 30), senior Ali Abdul Azziz started at outside linebacker, bringing the number of first time starters to 25. Bohlander became No. 26 against Washington.
Only five players (excluding kickers) have started every game in 1999 -- offensive tackles Brian Polak and Blake Worley, defensive ends Kenyon Coleman and Rusty Williams and free safety Joey Strycula. Polak and Worley started at different positions against Washington. In 1998, 10 players started all 12 games and six more started at least nine times.
FIRST TIME - Nineteen Bruins made their varsity debut against Boise State - 13 redshirt freshmen and six true freshmen (linebackers Asi Faoa and Marcus Reese, cornerback Ricky Manning Jr., offensive tackle Bryce Bohlander, tight end Mike Seidman and punter Nate Fikse).
CAREER STARTS - Offense - WR: Danny Farmer (6/33), Brad Melsby (9/12), Brian Poli-Dixon (0/10) Freddie Mitchell (6/6), OL: Brian Polak (10/22), Matt Phelan (5/6), Troy Danoff (9/9), Blake Worley (10/10), Mike Saffer (7/7), Oscar Cabrera (8/15), James Ghezzi (0/4), TE: Gabe Crecion (7/7), Bryan Fletcher (3/3), Randy Hakes (3/3), QB: Cory Paus (7/7), Drew Bennett (3/3), RB: DeShaun Foster (4/4), Jermaine Lewis (0/9), Matt Stanley (1/1), Durell Price (5/15), Keith Brown (6/9), PK: Chris Griffith (9/9).
Defense - DL: Pete Holland (9/26), Kenyon Coleman (10/19), Ken Kocher (9/10), Rusty Williams (10/10), Anthony Fletcher (2/3), Travor Turner (0/3), Stephen Sua (0/1), LB: Ed Stansbury (2/2), Billy Pieper (2/2), Asi Faoa (1/1), Tony White (7/19), Ryan Nece (8/17), Robert Thomas (7/7), Santi Hall (1/12), Ali Abdul-Azziz (1/1), DB: Jason Bell (2/19), Jason Stephens (1/8). Joey Strycula (10/10), Joe Hunter (4/4), Ricky Manning Jr. (8/8), Julius Williams (1/1), Eric Whitfield (3/8), Ryan Roques (8/14), Lovell Houston (3/3), Paul Nelson (1/1), P: Nate Fikse (10/10).
BRUINS IN 1999 PAC-10/NCAA RANKINGS -
Chris Griffith - field goals (T-17th in NCAA, 1st in Pac-10, 1.44), scoring (6th in Pac-10, 7.0), kick scoring (2nd in Pac-10, 7.0), PAT percentage (T-1st in Pac-10, 1.000, 24 of 24)
Danny Farmer - receiving yards (7th in Pac-10, 69.4), average per reception (2nd in Pac-10, 20.6), receptions (15th in Pac-10, 3.4)
Keith Brown - rushing (10th in Pac-10, 52.6), scoring (19th in Pac-10, 3.8)
DeShaun Foster - rushing (14th in Pac-10, 39.5), scoring (17th in Pac-10, 4.3)
Drew Bennett - passing efficiency (8th in Pac-10, 121.4)
Cory Paus - total offense (9th in Pac-10, 145.2), passing efficiency (13th in Pac-10, 107.8),
Freddie Mitchell - receptions (16th in Pac-10, 3.3)
Nate Fikse - punting (48th in NCAA, 3rd in Pac-10, 41.3)
>Lovell Houston - kickoff returns (T-26th in NCAA, 6th in Pac-10, 24.2)
Ryan Roques - punt returns (9th in Pac-10, 6.9), interceptions (T-16th in NCAA, T-4th in Pac-10, 0.5)
Eric Whitfield - interceptions (6th in Pac-10, 0.38)
Joey Strycula - interceptions (T-8th in Pac-10, 0.30)
Robert Thomas - tackles (8th in Pac-10, 8.3)
Rushing Offense - 8th in Pac-10, 114.6
Passing Offense - 8th in Pac-10, 220.2
Total Offense - 9th in Pac-10, 334.8
Scoring Offense - 8th in Pac-10, 22.3
Rushing Defense - 10th in Pac-10, 187.3
Passing Efficiency Defense - 8th in Pac-10, 126.4
Total Defense - 9th in Pac-10, 446.1
Scoring Defense - 9th in Pac-10, 29.4
Kickoff Returns - 40th in NCAA, 4th in Pac-10, 21.5
Net Punting - 6th in Pac-10, 36.0
Turnover Margin - 5th in Pac-10, +0.1
ACADEMIC AWARD - UCLA is one of 26 football programs to graduate at least 70% of its 1993-94 freshman class, according to results released by the American Football Coaches Association. UCLA's percentage was 82.6%, with 19 of 23 student-athletes earning a degree. UCLA was the only Pac-10 school to earn a spot on the list.
RED ZONE - In 10 games, UCLA has reached the Red Zone on 34 occasions and has scored 26 times -- 17 touchdowns (12 rushing, five passing) and nine field goals. The other drives have ended with four blocked field goal attempts, two interceptions and twice on downs. UCLA scored two touchdowns and three field goals in six trips against Washington after being blanked in two trips against Arizona. Against Oregon State, UCLA scored a passing TD on its only red zone trip. Against California, the Bruins reached the red zone once and the drive ended on downs. Against Oregon, UCLA was just three-of-six (three touchdowns), with one interception and two blocked field goals. At ASU, UCLA was two-for two (one touchdown). Against Stanford, UCLA was four-for-four in the zone with three rushing touchdowns and a field goal.
UCLA's opponents have been in the Red Zone 40 times and have scored 30 times (15 rushing touchdowns, 11 passing touchdowns and four field goals).
TURNOVERS - In 10 games, UCLA has created 27 turnovers (17 interceptions and 10 fumbles) and has converted them into 55 points (six TDs, a two-point conversion, four field goals and five conversions). One interception ended an overtime possession. The Bruins accounted for only 12 interceptions in 12 games a year ago.
UCLA has turned the ball over 26 times (14 interceptions and 12 fumbles) and opponents have converted them into 42 points (seven touchdowns, four PATs and two field goals).
Only eight of UCLA's 12 fumbles have been on offense. The others have been on special teams (three) and defense (one after an interception).
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1997-99 (Two-plus Years)
Team Pac-10 Overall UCLA 17-6 24-10 Arizona 14-9 25-11 Washington 14-9 20-14 Arizona State 14-9 19-14 Oregon 13-10 22-12 USC 11-12 18-16 Stanford 11-12 14-17 Wash. State 8-15 15-18 California 7-16 12-20 Oregon State 6-17 15-17
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1996-99 (Three-plus Years)
Team Pac-10 Overall Arizona State 22-9 30-15 UCLA 21-10 29-16 Washington 21-10 29-17 Arizona 17-14 30-17 Oregon 16-15 28-17 Stanford 16-15 21-22 USC 14-17 24-22 Wash. State 11-20 20-24 California 10-21 18-26 Oregon State 7-24 17-26
BRUINS IN THE NFL - As of Oct. 23, 30 former Bruins were listed on 1999 NFL rosters, including three on injured reserve and two on practice squads.
NCAA GRADUATION RATES - In the 1998 NCAA Graduation Report, UCLA earned the following rankings among schools in the 1998 Final USA Today Top 25 poll: first (tied) in grade-point average for the incoming freshman classes of 1994-97 (3.15), second in SAT scores for the incoming freshman classes of 1994-97 (990), seventh in graduation rate for the 1991 freshman class (65%) and 11th in graduation rate for the 1988-91 freshman classes (57%).
CLASSROOM STANDOUTS - Senior wide receiver Brad Melsby has been selected to the 1999 GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII second team.
Twenty members of the 1999 team earned a spot on the Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or higher GPA) during the 1998-99 school year. Ten of them earned a spot during two or more of the three quarters.
In 1998, center Shawn Stuart was selected first-team GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American. Punter/place kicker Chris Sailer and offensive guard Andy Meyers were selected to the 1998 GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII team.
UCLA's football program has produced 15 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners (50 in all sports, including three in 1997-98 and two -- center Shawn Stuart and kicker Chris Sailer, in 1998-99), 16 Academic All-Americans (13 first-team selections), four NCAA Today's Top Six honorees, one NACDA/Disney Scholar-Athlete and two Academic All-America Hall of Fame inductees.
RADIO - The 1999 season is UCLA's third on XTRA 1150 Sports. The Los Angeles all-sports station broadcasts the Bruins' games, including a two-hour pre-game show and a post-game show. In addition, XTRA 1150 provides ancillary programming during the week, including Bob Toledo shows.
Chris Roberts, a four-time Golden Mike Award winner, is in his eighth season as the voice of the Bruins. The on-air team also includes former Arkansas All-American and San Diego Charger standout Billy Ray Smith as analyst and former Bruin quarterback Matt Stevens as sideline reporter / pre-game host. Stations on the Bruin network include: KNZR 1560AM (Bakersfield, CA), KMET 1490AM (Banning, CA), KCBL 1340AM (Fresno, CA), KAVL 610AM (Lancaster/Palmdale, CA), KBAD/KENO 920/1460AM (Las Vegas, NV), KAOI 1110AM (Maui, HI), KCKC 1350AM (Riverside/San Bernardino, CA), KXXT 1340AM (Santa Barbara, CA), KBET 1220AM (Santa Clarita, CA), KRKO 1380AM (Seattle/Tacoma, WA), KLYF 850AM (Thousand Oaks, CA), KVEN 1450AM (Ventura/Oxnard, CA), KVBL 1400AM (Visalia, CA).
UCLA games are also available via the internet at (www.uclabruins.com), (www.xtrasports1150.com) and (www.broadcast.com) or by dialing 1-800-846-4700 (ext. 5929) to listen to the broadcast on the telephone.
TELEVISION - This week's game against USC will be televised live on a regional basis by ABC, UCLA's fifth appearance of the year. 76 of UCLA's last 81 games have appeared on live television, including nine of 10 thus far this season (four on ABC, one on Fox Sports Net, one on Fox's Pac-10 syndicated package and three on Fox Sports Net West 2).
Fox Sports Net West 2 will televise the game on a delayed basis (Nov. 21 at 1:00 p.m.) with Tom Kelly and Craig Fertig calling the action.
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, featuring highlights and interviews, airs on Fox Sports Net West 2 several times each week during the season, beginning on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
UCLA IN THE POLLS - 1999 rankings: USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season: No. 15, Sept. 5: No. 13, Sept. 12: No. 21, Sept. 19: No. 18, Sept. 26, No. 30, Oct. 3: NR, Oct. 10: NR, Oct. 17: NR, Oct. 24: NR, Oct. 31: NR, Nov. 7: NR, Nov. 14: NR, Associated Press: Pre-season: No. 16, Aug. 29: No. 17, Sept. 6: No. 14, Sept. 12: No. 21, Sept. 19: No. 18, Sept. 26: No. 32, Oct. 3: NR, Oct. 10: NR, Oct. 17: NR, Oct. 24: NR, Oct. 31: NR, Nov. 7: NR, Nov. 14: NR.
PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED - The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed - interviews with coaches and players regarding upcoming games and highlight footage. The one-half hour feed airs every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. PDT/MST (2:00 p.m. EDT) starting Sep. 8 and running through Nov. 24. Coordinates for the feed are GE2, Transponder 6 (C-Band).
1999 UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE