Sept. 27, 1999
THE GAME - The UCLA Bruins (2-2, 0-1), two-time defending Pac-10 conference champions, are on the road again this week, playing at Arizona State (1-2, 0-1) on Saturday, Oct. 2. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised on a regional basis on ABC. It will be broadcast live on the Bruin Radio Network (KLAC 570 due to a conflict with the L.A. Dodgers). The game will also be broadcast throughout the nation by the Westwood One Radio Network.
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, 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.
LAST WEEK - On Saturday at Stanford, the Cardinal totaled 672 yards in offense (No. 2 in Bruin opponent modern day records) to outgain and outscore UCLA 42-32 in Palo Alto. The Cardinal quarterbacks threw for a Bruin opponent record 465 yards on the day. The favorite target was flanker Troy Walters whose 278 yards receiving set another Bruin opponent record total and the third-most in Pac-10 history.
Stanford led 21-3 at halftime and 28-3 early in the third quarter. Stanford led 35-17 entering the final 15 minutes but the Bruins battled back with 15 unanswered points to close to 35-32 with 7:14 to play. The first UCLA score came on a DeShaun Foster one-yard run with 13:35 remaining. Drew Bennett then found paydirt on a four-yard run after UCLA had held Stanford on downs (fourth-down stop by Marcus Reese and Joey Strycula) and had taken possession on the Bruin 44-yard line. Stanford took the ensuing kickoff and drove 80 yards on nine plays in over four minutes to increase its lead to 10 points on a 13-yard pass to DeRonnie Pitts with 3:02 to play.
Foster reached the 100-yard plateau for the third time in his career, finishing with 100 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Bennett, starting in place of the injured Cory Paus, completed 19 of 31 passes for a career-high 207 yards.
NOTING THE SUN DEVILS - Arizona State is coached by Bruce Snyder, who is in his eighth season in Tempe. In 1996, he guided the Sun Devils to an undefeated conference season and a Rose Bowl berth. He owns a record of 47-35 at ASU. Last week at Berkeley, ASU lost to California, 24-23.
UCLA leads the series 10-5-1, but has lost the last two meetings. The last time the two teams played (1996), ASU outscored the Bruins 42-34 in the Rose Bowl. UCLA stormed out to a 28-7 first half lead thanks to a near flawless passing attack (sophomore Cade McNown started the game by completing his first seven passes for 142 yards) which totaled 244 yards and three TDs in the first half. McNown would finish with 395 yards passing, but turnovers would doom the Bruins. After a UCLA fourth-quarter fumble (botched handoff between Skip Hicks and McNown) at the Bruin 16-yard line, ASU found its way into the end zone two plays later (6:33 to play) for its first lead (35-34) of the game. UCLA fumbled on its next possession as well (freshman Durell Price) and ASU scored another touchdown on a short field for the clincher (1:18).
In the last meeting at Sun Devil Stadium (1995), the Sun Devils rallied to best the Bruins, 37-33. UCLA is 6-1 all-time in games played vs. ASU in Tempe. The last Bruin win in the series came in 1994 in Sun Devil Stadium (59-23).UCLA set a school record with 679 yards of total offense.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Bruins, Bob Toledo owns a record of 27-12 (19-6 in Pac-10 play). His winning percentage of .692 is the second-highest in UCLA history behind only Red Sanders, the coach of UCLA's national championship team, among coaches serving at least three years. 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 23-5 when it scores at least 30 points and 13-1 when it scores at least 40. It is 4-7 when it scores 29 or fewer points. The Bruins are 22-2 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 19-2 when leading at the half and has won four times after trailing at the half and four when tied at the half.
DID YOU KNOW? - 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.
The Bruin 60-man travel roster to Stanford included just 12 seniors and 12 juniors. Nineteen sophomores and 17 freshmen (five true freshmen) made the trip.
UCLA has committed just one turnover (an interception against Fresno State) in its last two games while causing four opponent miscues (two interceptions and two fumbles).
UCLA (19-6 in conference games) and Arizona State (18-7) own the best total records of any teams in Pac-10 play over the last three-plus seasons. The two teams also have the best winning percentages of any of the Pac-10 teams over the past three seasons (UCLA 27-12, .692, ASU 26-12, .684) overall.
UCLA had won 15 straight Pac-10 contests, dating back to the Aug. 30, 1997 opener at Washington State, a three-point loss (37-34), before falling at Stanford last Saturday. The Bruins had also won seven straight Pac-10 road games.
UCLA's overall record of 22-6 in the last two-plus years is the best in the Pac-10, as is its league record of 15-2. Arizona is second in both categories with an overall record of 22-8 and a league mark of 12-6.
The last time UCLA lost its Pac-10 opener (1997), it won its final seven games to tie for the league title and won the Cotton Bowl. This is the seventh time in the 1990s that UCLA has lost its Pac-10 opener. In four of the prior six times, the Bruins rallied to go to a bowl game, including the 1991 Hancock Bowl, the 1994 Rose Bowl, the 1995 Aloha Bowl and the 1998 Cotton Bowl.
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 this year). The others include: USC in 1987 and 1988, UW in 1990 and 1991.
TEAM NOTES - UCLA has scored at least 28 points in 18 of the last 19 games. The Bruins have also scored at least 27 points in 25 of their last 26 contests, missing only against Ohio State (20) earlier this season.
In 1998, UCLA ranked first in the league in fewest quarterback sacks allowed (10 in 11 regular-season games). The Bruins have allowed just seven in their first four games this season (one with less than two minutes left on the third-string quarterback at Ohio State) despite losing three starters from last year and a fourth for the season's first two games.
SPLIT END DANNY FARMER - The pre-season All-American saw some action last week at Stanford but did not catch a pass. 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 has seen limited action in the other two contests. Against Ohio State, he tied for the team lead with three receptions for 56 yards.
Farmer entered the season recognized as one of the leading candidates for the Biletnikoff Award. He was selected to the pre-season All-America teams of Street & Smith, Lindy's and Playboy. A former walk-on, Farmer earned a scholarship prior to the 1996 season and concluded it with a team-leading 31 catches.
Farmer's career totals are 133 receptions for 2,503 yards and 16 touchdowns in just 37 games, and he could break both school records (179 receptions and 2,548 yards) by the end of his senior year. He now ranks second on UCLA's career receiving yardage list, having passed J.J. Stokes against Ohio State, and fourth on the career reception list (see career-best lists below). He needs just 46 yards to break the yardage record. A big-play performer, he has made 20 receptions of at least 40 yards, including 13 last season and one in 1999.
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.
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
UCLA CAREER RECEPTIONS
Years No. Yds Avg TD Kevin Jordan 1992-95 179 2548 14.23 12 J.J. Stokes 1991-94 154 2469 16.03 28 Sean LaChapelle 1989-92 142 2027 14.27 14 Danny Farmer 1996-99 133 2503 18.82 16 Mike Sherrard 1982-85 128 1965 15.35 10
UCLA CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Years No. Yds Avg TD Kevin Jordan 1992-95 179 2548 14.23 12 Danny Farmer 1996-98 133 2503 18.82 16 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 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
TAILBACK DESHAUN FOSTER - True sophomore DeShaun Foster, a first-team Freshman All-American a year ago, has led the Bruins in rushing in three of the four games to date. He enjoyed his best game of the season at Stanford last Saturday 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 now scored 16 touchdowns in 15 career games. The 100-yard performance was the third of his career (118 at Arizona in 1998, 109 vs. USC in 1998).
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)
CORY PAUS - The redshirt freshman quarterback did not make the trip to Stanford and rested his sore ribs. His status for this week's game at Arizona State has not yet been determined. Paus had 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.
On the year, Paus, who was named the starting quarterback on Sept. 13, has completed 29 of 50 passes (58.0) for 338 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
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). He completed seven of nine passes for 78 yards in the first half, directing touchdown drives of 68 and 16 yards.
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.
QUARTERBACK DREW BENNETT - 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.
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.
In four games, the redshirt junior has completed 49 of 86 passes (57.0) for 641 yards and four touchdowns. In his last seven halves, he is 47 of 71 (66.2) for 629 yards with four TDs and two interceptions. At Ohio State, Bennett 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 from Miramonte High School, where he threw for over 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for six more scores as a prep senior. He 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. He also became the first UCLA quarterback since Wayne Cook in the 1992 opener to throw a touchdown pass in his first start (Rob Walker, John Barnes, Ryan Fien and Cade McNown started games between Cook and Bennett).
OFFENSIVE TACKLE BRIAN POLAK - 1999 true junior Brian Polak is now the leader of a young offensive line. In four games, the line has allowed just seven sacks (three at Ohio State) despite playing with four new starters for the first two games and losing starter Mike Saffer to injury for the last two. In 1998, Polak did an outstanding job in his first year as a starter at right tackle. The starter in all 12 games, he allowed just one sack and 9.5 hurries in 11 regular-season games, but just four in his final 10 games. He had 344 pass-blocking opportunities and 20 knockdown blocks.
TAILBACK JERMAINE LEWIS - The dependable Lewis has gained 91 yards on 27 attempts and scored one touchdown. 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 KEITH BROWN - Senior tailback Keith Brown, who missed the first two games of this season, 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 101 yards (19 carries) versus Oregon in his second start.
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. At Stanford, Price carried four times for 10 yards and caught one pass for seven more.
WIDE RECEIVERS - Senior Brad Melsby is enjoying a productive senior year. He has started each of the first four contests and ranks second on the team with 12 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He has accounted for two touchdowns and eight first downs with those 12 catches. 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 scored 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), is the Bruins' leading receiver with 13 receptions for 183 yards and his average of 14.1 yards per catch is the highest among players with at least five receptions. Nine of his 13 receptions 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 15th 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.
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.
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.
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 thus far in 1999. At Stanford, he had his most active game of the season with seven tackles, including his first sack of the year and a second stop behind the line. Against Fresno State, he made three tackles, including one for loss. 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, did not play against Fresno State due to back problems. He started 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. 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 22 tackles, including four for loss, and ranks fourth on the squad overall. 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 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 and now ranks fifth on the squad with 18 stops. At Stanford, he had two stops, including one sack. Against Ohio State, he came off the bench to make six tackles, including two for loss, after making three versus Boise State.
LINEBACKER RYAN NECE - The sophomore linebacker, a 1998 first-team Freshman All-American and an All-Pac-10 honorable mention choice, is one 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.
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. 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.
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.
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, and is averaging 11.5 tackles in his two outings.
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.
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 strong play. After four games, he is the Bruins' leading tackler with 35 stops and also leads the team with two 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.
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. He ranks second on the squad with 25 tackles and leads the Bruins with seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. Near the end of the first half against the Bulldogs, 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 came off the bench to lead the Bruins with nine tackles against Ohio State, including three behind the line of scrimmage. He ranks sixth on the squad with 17 tackles. 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.
JUST FOR KICKS - UCLA's new kickers have enjoyed some success in the year's first four games. Redshirt freshman place kicker Chris 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 and has converted all 13 of his PATs. He is the team's leading scorer with 31 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.
NEW STARTERS -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.
The starting lineup against Fresno State included five seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores, four redshirt freshmen and one true freshman. At Stanford, Danny Farmer made his first start of the year.
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 (1/28), Brad Melsby (4/7), Brian Poli-Dixon (0/10) Freddie Mitchell (4/4), OL: Brian Polak (4/16), Matt Phelan (4/5), Troy Danoff (4/4), Blake Worley (4/4), Mike Saffer (2/2), Oscar Cabrera (2/9), James Ghezzi (0/4), TE: Gabe Crecion (3/3), Bryan Fletcher (2/2), QB: Cory Paus (1/1), Drew Bennett (3/3), RB: DeShaun Foster (4/4), Jermaine Lewis (0/9), Matt Stanley (1/1), Durell Price (1/11), Keith Brown (0/3), PK: Chris Griffith (4/4).
Defense - DL: Pete Holland (3/20), Kenyon Coleman (4/13), Ken Kocher (4/5), Rusty Williams (4/4), Anthony Fletcher (1/2), Travor Turner (0/3), Stephen Sua (0/1), LB: Ed Stansbury (2/2), Billy Pieper (2/2), Asi Faoa (1/1), Tony White (2/14), Ryan Nece (2/11), Robert Thomas (2/2), Santi Hall (1/12), DB: Jason Bell (2/19), Jason Stephens (1/8). Joey Strycula (4/4), Joe Hunter (4/4), Ricky Manning Jr. (2/2), Julius Williams (1/1), Eric Whitfield (0/5), Ryan Roques (2/8), P: Nate Fikse (4/4).
BRUINS IN 1999 PAC-10/NCAA RANKINGS -
Joey Strycula - interceptions (T-5th in Pac-10, 0.67), tackles (8th in Pac-10, 8.8)
Chris Griffith - field goals (T-19th in NCAA, 2nd in Pac-10, 1.50), field goal percentage (3rd in Pac-10, 85.7), scoring (6th in Pac-10, 7.8), kick-scoring (3rd in Pac-10, 7.8)
DeShaun Foster - rushing (8th in Pac-10, 59.0), scoring (10th in Pac-10, 6.5)
Drew Bennett - passing efficiency (8th in Pac-10, 128.0), passing yards (7th in Pac-10, 160.3), total offense (6th in Pac-10, 175.8)
Freddie Mitchell - punt returns (6th in Pac-10, 7.0)
Nate Fikse - punting (7h in Pac-10, 38.9)
Ricky Manning Jr. - tackles for loss (T-1st in Pac-10, 7.0)
Kickoff Returns - 23rd in NCAA, 4th in Pac-10, 25.3
Punt Returns - 5th in Pac-10, 8.5
Pass Offense - 6th in Pac-10, 249.3
Total Offense - 6th in Pac-10, 384.0
Scoring Offense - 5th in Pac-10, 31.3
Scoring Defense - 6th in Pac-10, 28.0
Turnover Margin - 5th in Pac-10, +0.5
First Downs - 3rd in Pac-10, 80
Third-Down Conversions - 4th in Pac-10, 45.2
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 four games, UCLA has reached the Red Zone on 16 occasions and has scored 15 times -- 10 touchdowns (seven rushing, three passing) and five field goals. The other drive ended in an interception. Against Stanford, UCLA was four-for-four in the zone with three rushing touchdowns and a field goal. UCLA's four opponents have been in the Red Zone 17 times and have scored 13 times (six rushing touchdowns and seven passing touchdowns).
TURNOVERS - In four games, UCLA has created 10 turnovers (six interceptions and four fumbles) and has converted them into 28 points (three TDs, a two-point conversion, one field goal and two conversions). The Bruins accounted for only 12 interceptions in 12 games a year ago. UCLA has turned the ball over eight times (six interceptions and two fumbles) and opponents have converted them into 14 points (two touchdowns). UCLA has committed just one turnover (an interception against Fresno State) in its last two games.
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1997-99 (Two-plus Years)
Team Overall Pac-10 UCLA 22-6 15-2 Arizona 22-8 12-6 Oregon 18-10 9-8 USC 16-11 9-8 Arizona State 15-11 10-7 Washington 15-12 9-7 Wash. State 13-14 7-11 Oregon State 11-14 2-14 Stanford 11-15 8-11 California 10-15 5-12
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1996-99 (Three-plus Years)
Team Overall Pac-10 UCLA 27-12 19-6 Arizona State 26-12 18-7 Arizona 27-14 15-11 Washington 24-15 16-8 Oregon 24-15 12-13 USC 22-17 12-13 Wash. State 18-20 10-16 Stanford 18-20 13-14 California 16-21 8-17 Oregon State 13-23 3-21
BRUINS IN THE NFL - As of Sept. 22, 28 former Bruins were listed on 1999 NFL rosters, including two 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 - 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-8 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.
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 Arizona State will be televised live on a regional basis by ABC. 70 of UCLA's last 75 games have appeared on live television, including three of four this season (one on ABC and two on Fox Sports Net West 2).
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, featuring highlights and interviews, airs several times each week during the season, beginning on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
1999 UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Date Oppt. (TV) Pacific Time Sept. 4 Boise State (FSNW2) W, 38-7 Sept. 11 @ Ohio State (ABC) L, 20-42 Sept. 18 Fresno State (FSNW2) W, 35-21 Sept. 25 @ Stanford (no live tv) L, 32-42 Oct. 2 @ Arizona State (ABC) 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9 Oregon 12:30 / 7:15 p.m. Oct. 16 California 12:30 / 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23 @ Oregon State 1:00 p.m. Oct. 30 Arizona 12:30 / 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 Washington 12:30 / 3:30 p.m. Nov. 20 @ USC TBA??