Oct. 22, 2001
GAME NO. 7 -
The UCLA Bruins (6-0 overall for the first time since 1998 and 3-0 in Pac-10 play) return to action this Saturday, Oct. 27, when they travel to meet the Stanford Cardinal (4-1, 3-1). Kickoff has been set for 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised regionally by ABC Sports with Keith Jackson and Tim Brant in the booth and Todd Harris on the sidelines.
The contest will be broadcast over Fox Sports Radio AM 1150 and the Bruin Radio Network, featuring Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens in the booth and John Ireland on the sidelines. Fox Sports AM 1150 broadcasts all Bruins games.
The Bruins are currently ranked fourth on the Associated Press poll and fifth on the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. The last time they were ranked higher was in 1998, when they were 10-0 and ranked No. 3 entering the Miami game (they were also No. 6 last season following the Michigan game).
This will be the Bruins' fifth game against a Top 25 opponent this season (Stanford is ranked No. 20 by AP and No. 22 by USA Today/ESPN) and they are 4-0 in the previous games.
LAST GAMES -
UCLA, trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, scored 49 consecutive points, including 14 in the second quarter, 21 in the third and 14 in the fourth, en route to a 56-17 victory Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
Offensively, the Bruins accounted for 531 yards, its highest total since the 1999 Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin (538 yards). The Bruins passed for 303 yards and added 228 yards on the ground. Five of their seven offensive touchdowns came at the end of drives of at least 75 yards.
Cory Paus played his best game of the year, completing 13 of 16 passes, including 11 straight, for a season-high 273 yards and three touchdowns (27 yards to Ryan Smith, four yards to Ed Ieremia-Stansbury and 34 yards to DeShaun Foster). In all, he completed passes to six different receivers (seven to wide receivers, four to backs and two to tight ends). His efficiency rating of 286.45 is the second-highest in a Division IA game this season.
DeShaun Foster continued his Heisman Trophy campaign by accounting for 178 all-purpose yards -- 117 rushing and 61 receiving -- and three touchdowns. He has now scored 10 touchdowns in the last three games. He was at his best late in the second quarter when he pulled a wobbly pass out of the air (Paus was hit as he threw the ball) and raced across the field for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Bruins a 21-10 lead just before halftime.
Ryan Smith (four receptions, one touchdown), Tab Perry (two receptions) and Craig Bragg (a 58-yard reception, UCLA's longest of the year, and a 42-yard touchdown on a reverse) all played well at wide receiver and the line, after a slow start, dominated the Golden Bears, allowing UCLA to roll up his highest yardage total in over two seasons.
Defensively, UCLA held the Golden Bears to 10 points until one second remained in the contest. California had just 198 yards until its final two series, on which it gained 130 of its 328 yards. UCLA has now held six straight opponents under 20 points for the first time since 1966.
Robert Thomas led the Bruins with eight tackles, including one for loss. Audie Attar and Marcus Reese came off the bench to make seven and six tackles, respectively. Marques Anderson added five tackles and Ricky Manning, Jr. made his third interception of the season.
UCLA trailed 10-7 early in the second quarter, but scored Foster touchdowns on both possessions (76 and 80-yard drives) to take a 21-10 halftime lead. Paus and Smith connected for a 27-yard score just 2:48 into the third quarter and UCLA increased its margin to 35-10 with 6:22 remaining when Marcus Reese blocked a punt for the second straight week and Devon Reese returned it 16 yards for a touchdown. Paus' four-yard scoring pass to Ed Ieremia-Stansbury and Foster's six-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter made the score 49-10. Akil Harris finished the Bruin scoring with a 48-yard run.
The Cardinal raised its record to 4-1 by overcoming a 14-point deficit to defeat previously unbeaten Oregon, 49-42, ending the Ducks' home winning streak at 23.
BRUINS IN THE 2001 POLLS -
AP: Pre-season, No. 15, Aug. 27, No. 15, Sept. 2, No. 14, Sept. 9, No. 14, Sept. 16, No poll, Sept. 23, No. 12, Sept. 30, No. 9, Oct. 7, No. 7, Oct. 14, No. 4, Oct. 21, No. 4. USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season, No. 17, Aug. 27, No. 17, Sept. 2, No. 14, Sept. 9, No. 12, Sept. 16, No poll, Sept. 23, No. 10, Sept. 30, No. 9, Oct. 7, No. 7, Oct. 14, No. 6, Oct. 21, No. 5.
DID YOU KNOW? -
On Thursday, October 18, seniors Ryan Nece and Robert Thomas were each selected to the 12-man list of semifinalists for the Butkus Award which honors the nation's best linebacker in college football. UCLA is the only school with two players on the list. The award will be presented on December 7 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, FL. A list of three finalists will be released on November 15.
UCLA has won 14 of its last 18 games versus ranked opponents dating back to a 1997 win at #11 Texas and has posted a 21-4 record in regular season games played in the Rose Bowl since that win over the Longhorns.
UCLA has not allowed a point in the third quarter, outscoring opponents 72-0 right after halftime.
The Bruins are 4-0 versus ranked teams this season, having defeated Alabama (No. 25-AP), Ohio State (No. 21-both polls) Oregon State (No. 19-both polls) and Washington (No. 10 AP/ No. 8 USA).
Since winning the national championship in 1954 with a 9-0 record, UCLA has opened the season 6-0 on seven occasions, including this season. Here are the other years (start/overall record): 1966 (7-0/9-1), 1967 (6-0/7-2-1), 1969 (6-0/8-1-1), 1980 (6-0/9-2), 1988 (7-0/10-2, Cotton Bowl win) and 1998 (10-0/10-2, Rose Bowl loss).
The Bruins are 3-0 on the road for the first time since 1998 when they won their first five games away from the Rose Bowl. In the last two seasons (1999-2000) UCLA was 1-8 on the road.
This is the fourth time in six seasons that Toledo's Bruins have been ranked in the Top Ten by Associated Press at least once during the year: (highest ranking - 1997: 5th, 1998: 2nd, 2000: 6th, 2001: 4th). It is also the third time in the last five years that UCLA has reached the Top Five.
Tailback Bob Toledo selects a fourth captain on a weekly basis.
UCLA's 531 yards of total offense against California is its highest total since the end of the 1998 season, when it gained 538 versus Wisconsin in the 1999 Rose Bowl.
UCLA's 56 points are the most since the 1997 season when it scored 66 against Houston (Oct. 4).
UCLA and Ohio are the only teams in Division IA that have not thrown an interception this season (Ohio has attempted just 69 passes).
DeShaun Foster has rushed for more yards (930 yards) through the first six games of a season than any other Bruin who has gone on to achieve 1,000 yards for a season. Karim Abdul-Jabbar had the previous best six-game total with 734 yards in the 1995 season.
Foster's total rushing yardage of 561 yards (117 vs. California, 301 vs. Washington and 147 vs. Oregon State) in the last three games is third only to Karim Abdul-Jabbar's total of 685 yards set in games vs. Stanford (261) and Cal (217) and ASU (207) in 1995 and Gaston Green's total of 590 yards set in 1986 (100 vs. Washington, 224 vs. USC and 266 vs. BYU).
Foster could become the first Bruin to reach 1,000 yards in seven games. Karim Abdul-Jabbar is currently the quickest Bruin to reach the 1,000-yard mark in a season. In 1995, he went over the milestone yardage total in the eighth game of that season against California.
UCLA has blocked a punt for a touchdown in each of the last two games (Washington and California). According to available records (1957 to present), it is the first time UCLA has scored twice in a season in this manner.
UCLA is averaging 69,822 fans for its three home games. The Bruins have had a crowd of at least 60,000 at each of their last five games.
SERIES NOTES -
UCLA leads the series with Stanford, which dates back to 1925, by a count of 38-29-3. The Bruins have won three of the last four meetings in the series, including a 37-35 win last season in the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal captured the last meeting at Stanford, in 1999, by a score of 42-32.
Last season's win over the Cardinal marked the sixth win of the 2000 season for UCLA and made the Bruins bowl eligible for the third time in four seasons (at that time). UCLA's offensive stars were all on their game as quarterback Cory Paus threw for 328 yards, DeShaun Foster ran for 159 yards and Freddie Mitchell caught seven passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. In all, the Bruins totaled 463 yards on offense for the game, but could not put the Cardinal away. Stanford totaled 495 offensive yards of its own to keep pace. UCLA led 30-21 entering the fourth quarter, but after Stanford pulled within two points, Paus hit Mitchell on a 41-yard scoring play. Just over two minutes later, Stanford had driven 80 yards to once again close to within two points. Paus and Mitchell connected on a 56-yard play with under two minutes to play which gave UCLA a first down of the Stanford 12-yard line. After a Bruin fumble, Stanford had one more chance, but was unable to sustain a drive.
In 1999, UCLA's 15-game Pac-10 winning streak came to an end as Stanford totaled 672 yards in total offense to outscore the Bruins 42-32 in the conference opener. The Cardinal threw for 465 yards on the day, a Bruin opponent record total, including an individual receiving record 278 yards to Troy Walters.
UCLA scored 15 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter and narrowed the Stanford margin to 35-32 at the 7:14 mark in the game. However, the Cardinal proceeded to march 80 yards in nine plays for a clinching touchdown.
Only once in the last eight meetings between these teams have either one of the them failed to score at least 20 points in the game. That was a 27-7 UCLA win at Stanford in 1997. The Bruins held Stanford to a school record -34 yards rushing in that contest.
Bob Toledo is 3-2 overall vs. Stanford.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO -
The Bruin head coach owns a record of 41-23 (27-16 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .641 during his five-plus years on the job. Toledo guided the Bruins to a 20-game winning streak (starting on Sept. 13, 1997 vs. Texas and snapped at Miami on Dec. 5, 1998) which was the longest in school history and twice the length of the previous streak (10, set in 1946 and tied in 1954-55). His teams have won two Pac-10 titles (1997 and 1998) and played in bowl games in three of the last four seasons.
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 total games in back-to-back seasons (Terry Donahue in 1987-88).
Toledo's 41 victories have tied him with Tommy Prothro for fourth place on UCLA's career victory list. Red Sanders is No. 3 with 66 victories.
Under Toledo, UCLA is 31-8 when it scores at least 30 points and 15-1 when it scores at least 40. UCLA is 28-6 when leading at the half and has won nine times after trailing at the half and four when tied at the half. The Bruins are 3-1 in overtime games.
When ranked, the Bruins sport a 30-7 record under Toledo and are 15-3 when ranked in the Top 10.
Under Toledo, UCLA is 15-9 versus ranked teams. It has won four straight and eight of the last 10 (in 1999 versus Washington, in 2000 against Alabama, Michigan and Arizona and in 2001 versus Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon State and Washington) and is 14-4 in the last 18 games against Top 25 teams. The Bruins were 3-2 last year versus the Top 25, 2-1 versus the Top 10.
UCLA has not allowed any opponent to score more than once in a quarter this year (24 quarters).
UCLA held back-to-back opponents (Ohio State six, Oregon State seven) to single-digits points for the first time under Bob Toledo. The last time it happened was in the first two games of the 1995 season.
UCLA's defense has allowed only one of 11 turnovers to be converted into an opponent score (one touchdown at Kansas). Ohio State was unable to score after any of four Bruin turnovers, Oregon State did not convert its lone opportunity and Washington was unsuccessful after three Bruin miscues. UCLA did not commit a turnover versus Alabama or California.
Opponents have run 41 non-kicking plays from scrimmage in the red zone during the first six games of the 2001 season for a total of 72 yards. There have been 25 rushes for eight net yards and opponents have completed six of 16 passes for 64 yards. At-or-inside the 10-yard line, opponents have run 18 non-kicking plays from scrimmage and have netted just six total yards. The 14 rushing plays from the ten-yard line-and-in have netted six yards, while the opponents have failed to complete a pass in four attempts.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer than 77 points in the first six games of the season was 1980 (58) against Colorado, Purdue, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Stanford and California. Of those 77 points, only 43 have come against the first unit (Kansas scored a late touchdown with UCLA leading 41-10, Ohio State's touchdown came on a blocked punt, Oregon State's TD came against the second team with 6:52 remaining and UCLA leading 38-0, Washington's second touchdown came with 2:40 remaining and UCLA leading 35-6 and California scored its second touchdown with one second remaining and UCLA leading 56-10).
The last time UCLA allowed fewer than 77 points in any six-game span was in 1991 -- 74 versus Arizona, Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington State, Stanford and Oregon.
The last time the Bruins held six straight opponents under 20 points each in the same year was 1966.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer than Ohio State's 166 yards of total offense was in 1996, when the Bruins held Northeast Louisiana to 153 yards.
The last time the Bruins held a Pac-10 opponent to fewer than Oregon State's 220 yards of total offense was in 1991, when they held the Beavers to 216 yards - all on the ground.
The 1997 Texas game was the last time UCLA held an offense without a touchdown prior to this year's Ohio State game.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer passing yards than Ohio State's 45 was in 1994, when Oregon State failed to complete a pass.
The last time UCLA allowed fewer net yards rushing than Washington's minus eight was in 1997, when it held Stanford to a school record minus 34 yards rushing.
UCLA held Kansas, Ohio State and Oregon State to just 628 yards of total offense. In the games against Ohio State and Oregon State, the Bruins held them to just 386 yards of total offense. The last time the Bruins had a lower two-game total was in 1991, holding Arizona (155) and Oregon State (216) to 371 total yards.
UCLA's last four opponents have converted just 12 of 64 third-down situations (18.7%).
THE DEFENSEROBERT THOMAS - Robert, a 2001 Butkus Award semifinalist for the second straight season, is the anchor of the defensive unit at middle linebacker and the leading tackler in the Pac-10. He was all over the field in the victory at Alabama, finishing second on the squad and made 11 tackles -- five solos and six assists. He also recorded two sacks and another half-tackle for loss and deflected a pass.
In the win at Kansas, he led the team with 10 tackles (seven solos and three assists), including four for losses (one sack on which he forced a fumble). He was a key reason Kansas could run for just 37 yards through three quarters and 89 for the game.
In the win over Ohio State, he led the Bruins with nine tackles (six solos and three assists), including five behind the line of scrimmage (one sack). Time and again, he made key stops, helping to hold the Buckeyes to one conversion on 16 third or fourth down conversion attempts.
In the road win at Oregon State, Thomas again led the Bruins with nine tackles (seven solos), including one for loss. OSU's high-powered offense managed just 157 yards until its final play of the game and Thomas was a key in holding Ken Simonton to just 23 net yards on the ground.
Thomas was at his best in the victory over No. 8 (USA Today/ESPN) Washington. He led the Bruins with 12 tackles (11 solos), including four for losses, and also defensed two passes. No other Bruin was credited with more than five tackles. Every time the defense made a big play behind the line, Thomas seemed to be involved. In the first quarter, he tackled tailback Willie Hurst for a three-yard loss on a third-and two situation. In the fourth quarter, Washington had a first down at the Bruin two-yard line but Thomas knifed into the backfield and dropped Rich Alexis for a three-yard loss. On fourth down at the five, he broke up a pass at the goal line to give the Bruins possession. Two plays later, Foster raced 92 yards to give UCLA a 35-6 lead.
Against California, he again led the Bruins with eight tackles (five solos), including one for loss.
On the year, Thomas, whom coach Bob Toledo compares to a cobra because of his quick-strike ability, leads the Bruins with 59 tackles (41 solos and 18 assists). Eighteen of his tackles have been for losses, putting him on pace to shatter Marvcus Patton's school record of 22 tackles for loss in a season. He currently ranks fourth (tied) on the single-season list and the five players ahead of him all played successfully in the NFL (see list below). He is first in the Pac-10 in tackles (9.8) and tackles for loss (3.0) and tied for fourth in sacks (0.67).
In addition, he now has 33 tackles for loss during his career, placing him eighth (tied) on UCLA's career list. He has also made 241 tackles and needs 17 to break into the Top 20.
One of three season tri-captains for 2001, Thomas was a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award. On the year, he led the team with 88 tackles despite being hampered by a stress reaction in his left foot. He was tied for second on the squad with nine tackles for loss and led the Bruins and the Pac-10 with six fumbles forced. His regular-season average of 7.3 tackles per game ranked 11th in the Pac-10.
Thomas moved into the starting lineup in 1999 at middle linebacker. He made a team-high 14 tackles that year against Fresno State, the most by a Bruin since Brian Willmer made 15 versus Arizona on Nov. 16, 1996. For the season, Thomas ranked second on the squad with 68 tackles (he missed three games-the season's first two and the Arizona contest). He also had four tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks.
KENYON COLEMAN -
Senior defensive left end Kenyon Coleman, a Rotary Lombardi Award candidate, was credited with two solo tackles and five assists in the opener versus Alabama, helping hold the Crimson Tide to 159 net rushing yards on 46 attempts. Against Kansas, he made two solo tackles and two assists and helped the Bruins dominate the line of scrimmage.
In the win over Ohio State, he added two solo tackles and deflected a pass. Against Oregon State, he helped shut down Ken Simonton and made four tackles, including one sack and a second stop behind the line of scrimmage. In the win over Washington, he made two tackles, including one sack, and also recovered a fumble on the Husky 32-yard line to set up UCLA's first touchdown.
In the victory over California, he made four solo tackles, including one sack.
On the year, he has 23 total tackles (15 solos and eight assists), most among the linemen and fifth (tied) overall, including five for losses (three sacks). He is second on the team in sacks and tackles for loss.
In 2000, he started the first three games of the season before suffering a knee injury (torn cartilage in his left knee) in the Michigan game and undergoing season-ending surgery.
One of the leaders of the defense, he enjoyed his best season in 1999 when he was one of just four Bruins to start all 11 games. He made 50 tackles, including nine at USC and seven at Stanford. Coleman ranked second on the squad with 3.5 sacks that season and had nine tackles for loss. He also broke up eight passes.
RYAN NECE -
Ryan, now a senior, was named a Butkus Award semifinalist on Oct. 18. Healthy after surgery on both shoulders during the off-season, he was involved in a team-high 13 tackles in the win over Alabama -- five solos and eight assists, including one for loss.
In the win at Kansas, he scored the first touchdown of his career, returning an interception 22 yards to give UCLA a 20-3 lead. He also recovered a fumble and was credited with two tackles.
In the victory over Ohio State, he ranked second (tied) on the defense with eight tackles (six solos and two assists) and also defensed one pass. In the win at Oregon State, he added two solo tackles. In the victory over Washington, he was second on the team with five tackles (two solos). In the win over California, he was credited with three tackles (one solo), including one behind the line of scrimmage.
On the season, he is tied for second on the squad and T-27th in the Pac-10 with 33 tackles (5.5 per game), including 17 solos and three for loss.
The California game was also his 27th consecutive start, tied for longest string on the team.
During his Bruin career, Nece has now made 261 tackles and ranks 19th on UCLA's career list.
In 2000, he ranked second on the team last season with 78 tackles. He started all 12 games at weak side linebacker and has a team-high 30 career starts entering the season. Nece played with an injured shoulder for most of the season and missed Spring practice following surgery. He was a 1998 first-team Freshman All-American and was credited with 85 tackles and six sacks that season. He ranked third on the team in tackles in 1999 with 65.
MARQUES ANDERSON -
A candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, senior free safety Marques Anderson is one of the nation's top big-play defenders. In the victory over Alabama, he was involved in seven tackles (six solos and one assist). He was also credited with one pass defensed. In the victory at Kansas, he ranked second with seven tackles (two solos and five assists) and deflected two passes.
The hard-hitting senior helped hold Ohio State to just five completions in 23 attempts for 45 passing yards. He tied for second on the squad with eight tackles (five solos), including one sack, made an interception and also defended two passes. In the win at Oregon State, he came off the bench to make four tackles, including one for loss, and he also recovered a fumble. In the victory over Washington, he missed substantial portions of the game due to heat cramps (he required an IV for hydration) and finished with two tackles, including one for loss, one pass deflection and several hard hits against would-be receivers. In the win over California, Anderson made five tackles (four solos) and was credited with two pass defenses.
On the year, he is tied for second on the squad with his 33 tackles (20 solos) and leads the team with nine passes defensed. He also has three tackles for loss, one interception and one fumble recovery. His average of 5.5 tackles is T-27th in the Pac-10.
In his 10 regular-season games a year ago, he was involved in seven turnovers to tie for No. 1 in the nation with a 0.7 turnovers per-game average. On the year, Anderson finished third on the team in tackles with 73 and led the squad with 11 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries. He shifted to free safety in the Spring after starting at strong safety last season.
RICKY MANNING -
True junior corner Ricky Manning Jr., one of two Bruins on the Jim Thorpe Award pre-season candidate list, earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors last season in the vote of league coaches. He has started in each of the last 27 games (tied for longest starting streak on the team) after making his first career start against Fresno State in 1999.
Manning was at his best in the 20-17 victory at Alabama. He made four solo tackles, including one for loss. He forced Ahmaad Galloway out of bounds at the two-yard line, helping the Bruins complete a fourth-quarter goal line stand. He also intercepted a pass that the Bruins turned into a Chris Griffith field goal and defensed two other passes.
Against Kansas, he made his second interception (UCLA converted it into a touchdown) and had four tackles (two solos and two assists), including one for loss. He was credited with one solo tackle and one pass defense in the victory over Ohio State. In the win at Oregon State, he recovered Jason Stephens' fumble of an interception and advanced it 17 yards to set up UCLA's first touchdown. The Beavers did not throw to his side often, so he was not credited with any tackles. In the win over Washington, he made four solo tackles, second only to Robert Thomas' 11 solos, and had one pass defensed. In the victory over California, he made his third interception of the year, defensed two passes and was credited with three tackles (two solos).
On the year, he leads the team with his three interceptions and has made 16 tackles, including two for losses, despite the fact that most teams don't throw the ball in his area.
Last season, he ranked fifth on the team with 65 tackles. His four interceptions led the team, as did his 14 pass defenses. As a freshman in 1999, he led the Bruins with 10 tackles for loss and ranked fourth on the team with 53 tackles.
He has also served as a punt returner throughout his career and had a good day versus Oregon State, averaging 8.7 yards on three returns.
True junior linebacker Marcus Reese, who has been a major contributor the last two seasons, continues to see action on the weak side and in the middle. In the win over Alabama, be played well off the bench and was credited with six tackles (three solos and three assists). He added one solo tackle at Kansas and one solo against Ohio State. In the victory at Oregon State, Reese was second on the team with six tackles (five solos), forced one fumble and recovered another.
In the victory over Washington, he made three tackles (two solos), including one-half sack, and blocked a punt that produced UCLA's third touchdown of the first quarter. It was the Bruins' first score on a blocked punt since the 1997 California contest.
In the win over California, he blocked a punt for the second straight week and it again produced a touchdown. He was also third on the squad with six tackles (three solos), including one for loss. On the year, he is tied for fifth on the squad with 23 tackles.
In 2000, he came off the bench to appear in all 12 games and finished with 34 tackles, ninth on the team.
True sophomore Brandon Chillar has started the last five games at strongside linebacker. He made one tackle versus Alabama. He made his first career start at Kansas and was credited with two tackles and one assist, including 0.5 sacks. He started versus Ohio State and was credited with one solo tackle. Against Ohio State, he made three tackles, including a nine-yard sack. He was credited with three tackles against Washington and four (three solos) versus California. In 2000 as a true freshman, Chillar saw action as a backup linebacker and special teams performer. He appeared in a total of seven games.
Redshirt freshman Mat Ball, who started four games at defensive end a year ago, was switched to strongside linebacker during Fall camp. He started versus Alabama and made one tackle at his new position. He came off the bench at Kansas and made three tackles, including one for loss, had one assist off the bench versus Ohio State, and two solo tackles in the win at Oregon State. He has played in all six games, the last five off the bench. In 2000, he made 14 tackles and had one interception.
DEFENSIVE LINE -
"That's clearly the best front we've played in a very long time. I'm trying to think of all the UCLA lines, or anybody in our league who's had that powerful a defensive front. I think back to Arizona when Dick Tomey was there with the Desert Swarm defense." -- Washington offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson.
Redshirt sophomore tackle Rodney Leisle has played like an All-American throughout the season. In the opener at Alabama he made seven tackles (three solos and four assists). Late in the third quarter with the Bruins leading 17-10, the Crimson Tide drove to the Bruin 33-yard line. Alabama then tried a reverse, but Leisle stripped the ball carrier and recovered the football to halt the drive. UCLA then converted the turnover into a field goal. At Kansas, he again stuffed the middle and made two solo tackles, including one for loss. In the win over Ohio State, he added three tackles (two solos) and was credited with one solo tackle, an eight-yard sack, in the win at Oregon State. In the victory over Washington, Leisle made two tackles, including one sack and a second for loss. His sack also caused a fumble at the Husky 32-yard line that set up UCLA's first touchdown of the day. He added one assist in the win over California.
On the year, he has made 16 tackles. He ranks third on the team with two sacks and tied for third with four for losses. He ranks second among the linemen and seventh (tied) overall with his 16 stops and has now started 18 consecutive games stretching back to the 2000 opener.
Leisle started all 12 games in 2000 and ranked first among the linemen with 36 tackles. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and was named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News.
At the other tackle position, senior Anthony Fletcher came off the bench and made two tackles against the Crimson Tide. At Kansas, he started and made one solo tackle, a sack for seven yards. He also started against Ohio State and made one tackle. He played off the bench versus Oregon State and Washington (one tackle).
Senior Ken Kocher, who suffered a separated right shoulder in the first quarter of the Alabama game, did not play at Kansas. He came off the bench versus Ohio State and was a monster in the middle. He finished with five tackles (two solos and three assists), most among the linemen, and two of his stops were for losses. He returned to the starting lineup versus Oregon State and made one tackle while helping to plug the middle of the defense. In the win over Washington, he made four tackles, including one-half sack and a second stop for loss, and helped hold Washington to minus-eight net yards rushing. He has 10 tackles on the year and is tied for third on the squad with four tackles for loss.
In 2000, Fletcher ranked second among the linemen with 28 tackles and was a starter in seven games. Kocher battled through nagging injuries to see action in nine games.
The reserves have also played well this season. Junior Steve Morgan came off the bench to make two tackles, including a five-yard sack, against Alabama, two tackles, including 0.5 sacks, against Kansas, two tackles versus Washington and one against California.
Sophomore Dave Ball started at right end against Alabama and did a good job on his assignments, just missing a quarterback sack late in the game. Against Kansas, he made three tackles but was not credited with a stop versus Ohio State or Oregon State. In the win over Washington, he made three tackles, including a 14-yard sack and a second stop behind the line. His sack also created a fumble at the Bruin 13-yard line to halt a scoring threat in the third quarter. He was credited with two tackles versus California. A year ago as a redshirt freshman, he started three games at end and saw action in all 12 contests.
Junior Rusty Williams had a 22-game starting streak at defensive end stopped at the Sun Bowl. He missed that contest after undergoing shoulder surgery. He sat out Spring practice and reported to Fall camp ready for action and played at defensive right end versus Alabama. He also played well against Kansas with one solo tackle and added a solo tackle in the win over Ohio State. He was not credited with a tackle in the win at Oregon State or in the win over Washington. Against California, he was credited with two solo tackles.
JASON STEPHENS -
One of the most pleasant surprises of the year, the fifth-year senior has helped solidify the secondary with his inspired play. Through six games, he ranks fourth on the squad and second in the secondary with 24 tackles. He also has one interception and has forced one fumble. He was a key performer in the win at Alabama, making nine tackles (two solos). He made four tackles against both Kansas and Ohio State. The hard-hitter was at his best in the win at Oregon State. He made four tackles and his interception on the Beavers' first possession set up UCLA's initial touchdown. He also forced a fumble with a bone-jarring hit and UCLA immediately converted it into a touchdown for a 31-0 lead. In the win over Washington, he made one tackles, was credited with two pass defenses and made a recovery on the Huskies' onside kick to give UCLA its final possession of the game. He made two solos tackles and had one pass defensed in the win over California.
MATT WARE -
The only true freshman in the starting lineup, Ware gets better each week. In the win at Oregon State, he was credited with five tackles after making two tackles and his first career interception versus Ohio State. Against Washington, matched up against Reggie Williams much of the game, he was credited with three tackles (two solos), recovered a fumble, made his second interception of the year in the end zone to halt a scoring threat and had one pass defense. In the win over California, he made two tackles (one solo), including one for loss before leaving the contest with a sprained left ankle. On the year, Ware has made 14 tackles and is second on the team with his two thefts. He signed a baseball contract with the Seattle Mariners during Fall football camp and will play in their minor league organization this summer as an outfielder.
DESHAUN FOSTER -
The best running back in America and a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy, DeShaun Foster, the nation's leading rusher for the second straight week, enjoyed another outstanding night in the Bruins' 56-17 win over California.
The senior tailback scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving, to bring his total to 10 TDs in the last three games. Those scores also pushed him past Gaston Green and into second place on UCLA's career touchdown list with 42. On the night, he accounted for 178 all-purpose yards. Foster rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, he scored on a 34-yard play when he picked a wobbly pass out of the air (quarterback Cory Paus was hit just as he threw the ball) and sprinted across the field to give UCLA a 21-10 lead with 1:16 remaining in the first half. He also added a 27-yard reception near the end of the third quarter.
On his last possession of the game, he accounted for all 75 yards on six plays (five runs and one reception), culminating in his six-yard touchdown runon the first play of the fourth quarter. He then sat out the remainder of the game.
With his 117-yard effort against the Huskies, Foster has rushed for at least 100 yards 12 times in his career, including five of six games this season and nine times in his last 17 games. His 12 100-yard games tie him for fifth with Wendell Tyler on UCLA's all-time list.
In his last three games, Foster has recorded 563 yards rushing and nine touchdowns (plus one receiving TD) on 86 attempts (6.5 average).
Foster currently leads the nation in rushing (155.0) and ranks sixth in scoring (11.0) and eighth in all-purpose yardage (172.8). He leads the Pac-10 in rushing by over 56 yards per game and is first in scoring and all-purpose yards.
His three touchdowns gave him 42 in his career, moving him past Gaston Green (40) for second place on UCLA's all-time list. Skip Hicks holds the record with 55. Foster also ranks fifth in career scoring with 254 points.
He also broke the 3,000-yard barrier and is sixth on UCLA's career rushing list with 3,015 yards. He trails No. 5 Skip Hicks by 125 yards.
Foster is just the fourth player in school history to rush for 187 or more yards three times in a career. The others are Karim Abdul-Jabbar, Gaston Green and Freeman McNeil.
On Oct.13, Foster stepped squarely into the Heisman Trophy spotlight with his unbelievable effort against the No. 8 (USA Today/ESPN) Washington Huskies.
Against a defense that hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown all year (he was the last player to score a TD on the ground during the regular season), Foster ran through, over and around the Huskies for a school-record 301 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries (9.7 average) to lead the Bruins to the 35-13 victory. The four touchdowns also tied a school record for rushing touchdowns and touchdowns of any type (he is co-holder of the latter mark, having scored three on the ground and one through the air as a freshman versus USC).
He was named National Player of the Week by The Sporting News and USA Today and was also the Pac-10's Offensive Player of the Week.
On his first touchdown, he ran through a couple of would-be tacklers for a five-yard score. On his second TD, from 21 yards, he bounced off the pile to the outside and broke three tackles to reach the end zone. His one-yard score was set up by his 64-yard run on UCLA's first offensive play of the second half. His final touchdown came when he turned the right corner and ran by several Huskies for a 92-yard touchdown, the second-longest run from scrimmage in school history.
His 301 yards shattered the school record of 274, set by Theotis Brown versus Oregon in 1978. He also became only the third player in Pacific-10 Conference history to rush for over 300 yards in a game. He rushed for 65 yards (10 carries) and two scores in the first quarter, 38 yards (five carries) in the second quarter, 78 yards (10 carries) and one touchdown in the third quarter and 120 yards (six carries) and one touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sixteen of his 31 runs produced at least five yards, including eight straight in the first half. Seven of those runs gained at least double digits. His 64-yard run on UCLA's first play of the second half was the second-longest of his career (he had a 65-yard run in 1998) until the fourth quarter, when he raced 92 yards for a score.
On Sept. 29, in just three quarters of action against Oregon State, Foster rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries and earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors. In a hostile environment, he gave the Bruins a lead just 2:59 into the game, when he followed a 25-yard run with a three-yard touchdown. He had 87 yards at halftime and in the third quarter, he ran for 60 yards on 10 carries, including touchdowns of 17 and one yard. On his 17-yard TD, he bounced off a pile to the outside, broke at least four tackles and tightroped the sideline for the final yards to give the Bruins a 24-0 lead. His final TD with 50 seconds left in the third quarter, made the score 38-0.
On the afternoon, Foster had four double-figure runs, none longer than 25 yards. He produced nine first downs, including twice on third-down runs on UCLA's second-quarter field goal drive that made the score 10-0. Overall, he carried four times on third down and moved the chains on all four occasions.
In the victory over Ohio State, he rushed for 66 yards on 29 carries against a defense dedicated to stopping him.
Foster was at his spectacular best against Kansas. He ran over, around and through the Jayhawk defense for a career-high (at the time) 189 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries and retired for the day with 13:23 remaining in the game following his four-yard score that gave UCLA a 41-10 lead. Game reports listed him with 179 yards but the Kansas stat crew corrected that late Saturday night.
Nine of his runs measured at least 10 yards and he gained at least five yards on 18 occasions. Eleven times he produced a first down against the Jayhawks. He also made three receptions for 41 yards, including a 35-yard run after catching a shovel pass from Cory Paus.
In the season opener against Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Foster carried the ball 24 times for 110 net yards, including a 40-yard run in the fourth quarter and a 21-yard run in the first quarter.
"He runs inside. He runs outside. He delivers as big a wallop as any back in America. Basically, he's got it all - including an undefeated team - which is how he's muscled his way past all those quarterbacks in the Heisman race." - CBS SportsLine Heisman Hopefuls
"DeShaun Foster had a 300 yard rushing performance against a Top Ten team with a very good defense. The way he finishes runs is amazing - he dishes out blows when he runs with the football. He is, without exception, the best running back in college football." -- Rod Gilmore, ESPN.com
"All he wanted to do was "Show America." Well, DeShaun, we were left mesmerized. Move over QBs, this running back has sprinted right into the forefront of a race where nobody's early lead is safe." - ESPN Heisman Watch
It was your basic, 60-minute primer on "How to Win the Heisman." DeShaun Foster juked past Miami's Ken Dorsey here, straight-armed Nebraska's Eric Crouch there and sprinted off into the warm Pasadena sunset Saturday.
If UCLA's electric tailback isn't the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy now, he certainly has bullied his way into the top group, along with Dorsey and Crouch.
Foster did it with bust-out moves of 92 and 64 yards and an early 21-yard body cruncher he might come to remember as the single most impressive run of his collegiate career.
The 64-yarder in the third period was pretty, even if he did get nudged out at the 1. The 92-yarder in the final minutes was almost the icing on his Heisman-contending cake.
But the best one, the one you might want to tell your grandkids about some day, was the 21-yard jolt in the first quarter.
First, Huskies linebacker Ben Mahdavi had him in his grasp and lost him. Then cornerback Wondame Davis rushed up and must have thought he was leveled by an SUV. Next, it was corner Chris Massey's turn. When he wakes up today, Massey might still have Foster's cleat marks on his chest. -- Steve Bisheff, Orange County Register
DeShaun Foster is everything that I thought he would be. I have been saying all year that he is the best back in the country. On Saturday, he ran himself into the Heisman picture.
A lot of people in the East don't get to see him, so he hasn't received all the accolades. But he is the best back in the country. He certainly got the attention of the nation with his 301-yard, 4 TD effort in the Bruins' 35-13 win over No. 8 Washington.
Foster is the best in the country at yards after contact (YACs), but he showed against Washington that he is the entire special package of size, speed, power and balance. He did it all. He ran and scored every conceivable way a running back can run. Keith Jackson and I sat in amazement. We said during the telecast that you don't want to analyze the guy, you want to sit back and admire him.
- ABC analyst Tim Brant following the Washington game.
"You punch into a computer the prototype running back, somebody who looks very similar to DeShaun Foster will emerge. He is a gifted physical specimen. Obviously, he's very competitive. He's got great speed, he has great vision, it doesn't look like the first guy who gets to him ever gets him down. This is a very talented player." -- Washington coach Rick Neuheisel said.
"We face running backs every week that are pretty good, but we face the best running back in the country every day at practice. It's easy for us to go out there and play the other running backs, because they don't run as fast and as hard as DeShaun. It's a blessing to have him on our team and to face him every day. We go out and face other running backs and it seems like the scout team." -- UCLA linebacker Robert Thomas.
From the Los Angeles Times: Toledo has coached plenty of running backs in his 33 years in the business.
Karim Abdul-Jabbar and Skip Hicks at UCLA. Rodney Thomas and Greg Hill at Texas A&M. Derek Loville at Oregon. And Toledo was defensive backs coach at USC when Ricky Bell, Charles White and Marcus Allen were there.
But he puts DeShaun Foster in a class by himself.
"Nobody's better than he's been," Toledo said. "He reminds me more of Marcus than any of them. He looks nice running with the football. He's got great vision and he glides and he's powerful. The thing about him is he's faster than Marcus was. [Foster's] the best tailback I've ever coached."
CORY PAUS -
Junior Cory Paus enjoyed an outstanding year in 2000, becoming only the third sophomore in school history to pass for over 2,000 yards in a season.
This season, Paus has completed 68 of 122 passes (55.7) for 1,162 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. He currently ranks ninth in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (157.4).
Paus has moved into the career Top 10 lists in passing yardage (sixth with 4,652 yards), completions (sixth with 297) and touchdown passes (sixth with 32) after playing in just 24 games, including two in which he was injured and threw just five total passes before leaving the field.
His career average of 15.66 yards per completion is the highest among the quarterbacks in UCLA's career Top Six. Next is Cade McNown at 15.43, followed by Tom Ramsey (13.99), Tommy Maddox (13.72), Wayne Cook (13.42) and Troy Aikman (13.05).
Paus enjoyed an outstanding game against California. He passed for a season-high 273 yards and three touchdowns. He completed 13 of 16 passes, including 11 straight from late in the first quarter through the middle of the third quarter. Paus has not thrown an interception this season (122 attempts) and has now thrown 189 straight passes without an interception dating back to the 2000 Washington game (the Pac-10 record is 216).
He led UCLA to touchdowns on four straight possessions from the first quarter through the third quarter and completed 10 straight passes during that run. He completed long passes, midrange passes and touch passes before throwing his final completion, a four-yard touchdown to Ed Ieremia-Stansbury, with 3:36 remaining in the third quarter. In all, he completed passes to six different receivers (seven to wide receivers, four to backs and two to tight ends).
His efficiency rating of 286.45 versus California is the second-highest single-game rating in Division IA this year.
In the 2001 opener against Alabama, he completed eight of 22 passes for 123 yards, although several of his passes were dropped. In the third quarter, he hit sophomore Tab Perry along the left sideline for a 53-yard touchdown pass to give the Bruins their first lead, 14-10. The Bruin offense ran 60 plays and did not commit a turnover or a penalty.
At Kansas, he led the Bruins to a 41-10 lead before retiring early in the fourth quarter. On the afternoon, he completed 10 of 16 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown. For the second straight week, he hooked up with Perry for a long score, this time a 49-yard strike on the first play of the drive to give the Bruins a 27-3 lead with 3:20 left in the first half.
In the victory over Ohio State, he enjoyed his best game of the young season. Paus completed 16 of 25 passes for a season-high 262 yards and one touchdown. He gave the Bruins an early 7-0 lead when he connected with Ryan Smith on a 24-yard touchdown on UCLA's first possession of the game. Paus completed all three of his third-down passes on that drive, including a third-and-nine on the touchdown toss.
In the win at Oregon State, he overcame a slow start to complete 10 of his final 14 passes before retiring at the end of the third quarter with a 38-0 lead. On the afternoon, he completed 12 of 24 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Paus changed the complexion of the game on the final play of the first half. Leading 10-0 with nine seconds to play and UCLA at the OSU 38, Paus lifted a perfect strike to Brian Poli-Dixon in the left corner of the end zone for a 17-0 halftime lead. With just under five minutes left in the third quarter following an OSU turnover, Paus again hooked up with Poli-Dixon for a 39-yard touchdown and a 31-0 lead.
In the win over Washington, he completed nine of 19 passes for 128 yards, barely missing on several long attempts. Seven of his nine completions produced first downs, including three on third down.
BRIAN POLI-DIXON -
Last season, senior Brian Poli-Dixon became just the second receiver (joining Kevin Jordan, '92-95) in school history to catch at least 44 passes twice in a career. His 165-yard game against Washington ranks as the 11th-best single-game performance ever at UCLA.
A pre-season candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, he was the focus of the Crimson Tide secondary and did not catch a pass in the opener. The following week at Kansas, Poli-Dixon made three receptions for 41 yards, tying DeShaun Foster for the team lead. Against Ohio State, he made one reception for 17 yards.
Poli-Dixon had his best game of the year in the victory at Oregon State, leading the team with six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns (38 and 39 yards). He made outstanding catches on both of his touchdown receptions, catching the 38-yard strike on the final play of the first half in stride and outleaping a defender in the end zone on the 39-yard score.
Against Washington, he made four receptions for 69 yards, including a diving 33-yard grab on UCLA's second touchdown drive, before suffering a dislocated left shoulder that sidelined him for the California contest and maybe the next two games as well.
On the year, he is second on the team in receptions (14) and yardage (165) and is tied for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns.
Poli-Dixon is tied with Jojo Townsell for No. 2 in career touchdown receptions (20). Only J.J. Stokes (28) caught more touchdown passes as a Bruin. He has now moved into fifth place on UCLA's career receiving list with 129 catches, passing Mike Sherrard versus Washington. He also ranks ninth with 1,946 career receiving yards, passing Cormac Carney against Washington.
EXPERIENCE AT FULLBACK and TIGHT ENDS -
Senior fullbacks Ed Ieremia-Stansbury (6) and Matt Stanley (2) shared the starting assignment last season. Ieremia-Stansbury caught 10 passes for three touchdowns. Stanley, who started the Alabama and Michgan games, saw limited action after dislocating his shoulder against the Wolverines.
Ieremia-Stansbury is one of the unsung stars of the team. An outstanding blocker, he started against Alabama and scored the Bruins' first touchdown of 2001 on a tackle-breaking 10-yard run. On the afternoon, he carried five times for 31 yards. He also recovered Alabama's onside kick attempt with 2:13 remaining in the game with UCLA leading by three. He suffered a sprained left ankle at Kansas and did not touch the ball, although he blocked well when he was in the game, and missed the Ohio State contest because of the injury. He returned to action versus Oregon State and blocked well for DeShaun Foster. Against Washington, he made two receptions for 20 yards, carried three times for four yards and was a devastating lead blocker on DeShaun Foster's record-breaking day.
Against California, Ieremia-Stansbury made three receptions for 22 yards, including a four-yard touchdown in the third quarter, carried once for two yards and did another fine job as a blocker.
Against Kansas, Stanley made a contribution by running four times for 22 yards, his first carries since 1999 (Arizona) and caught one pass for 18 yards. He started against his hometown Ohio State Buckeyes and ran for 19 yards on three carries and added a 25-yard reception. He carried once for seven yards at Oregon State. He sat out the Washington and California games with an ankle injury.
Senior Bryan Fletcher and junior Mike Seidman provide a one-two punch at tight end capable of rivaling any school in the country. Fletcher made 10 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns last season. Seidman caught six passes and scored one touchdown. Each player saw action in all 12 games. Seidman underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee to repair cartilage damage on August 10th. He returned to practice on August 24 and played in the opener at Alabama.
Against Kansas, Fletcher made one reception for 16 yards and just missed connections with Cory Paus on a few other passes.
In the win over Ohio State, Seidman made two receptions for 39 yards while Fletcher made two catches for 35 yards. At Oregon State, Seidman caught a pass for 17 yards one play before Foster's second touchdown run while Fletcher made a 15-yard catch in the first quarter. Both started versus Washington and blocked well as the Bruins rushed for 325 yards on the ground.
In the win over California, Seidman made two receptions for 59 yards. He made a 19-yard catch on UCLA's first touchdown drive and his 40-yard reception was followed immediately by Ryan Smith's touchdown catch.
Seidman's average of 23.0 per catch leads the team among players with at least four receptions.
OFFENSIVE LINE -
Three veterans, each in his third season as a starter, return to the unit. Senior Troy Danoff has started 27 games (18 straight) at center, including the first nine games of 1999, all 12 games last season and four this year. He is a candidate for the Rimington Award, presented to the nation's top center. Junior Bryce Bohlander has started 20 straight contests at left tackle, including the final two games of 1999, all 12 last season and four this year. Junior Mike Saffer has started 25, including 18 straight at right tackle stretching back to the 2000 opener (he started seven times at right guard in 1999). Redshirt sophomore Shane Lehmann won the starting job at right guard while redshirt freshman Eyoseff Efseaff emerged from Fall camp as the No. 1 left guard. They both made their first starts at Alabama. Efseaff has started all six games while Lehmann had started five straight prior to missing the California game with a sprained ankle. Three redshirt freshmen -- left tackle/guard Paul Mociler, right tackle/guard Steven Vieira and center John Ream -- and senior Ed Anderson are the top reserves. Vieira started the California game in place of the injured Lehmann.
In the opener against Alabama, the line enabled the Bruins to average 4.4 yards on 38 rushing attempts (168 total) after averaging 2.6 yards in 2000. Saffer had the top grade among the linemen at 92% and he and Bohlander both had six KO blocks.
Against Kansas, the Bruins rushed for 292 yards, its best total with the 1998 Arizona game (298 yards). Danoff graded at 92% and Saffer and Bohlander both finished at 89%. Efseaff had six KO blocks while Bohlander and Danoff each had five.
Against Ohio State, Saffer and Lehmann each graded at 88% while Bohlander had six KO blocks and and Efseaff had five.
At Oregon State, UCLA's offense produced 496 yards, including at least 200 rushing and 200 throwing for the first time this year. UCLA controlled the ball for over 35 minutes, averaged 6.0 yards per play and allowed just two sacks on 82 scrimmage plays. Among the starters, Bohlander graded at 89% and Danoff, Efseaff and Saffer were all at 88%. Efseaff led the unit with seven KO blocks and Bohlander had six.
In the victory over Washington, the line helped DeShaun Foster set a school rushing record with 301 yards. On the day, UCLA had 453 yards of total offense, including 325 on the ground. Saffer graded at 97% and Bohlander at 95%. Efseaff led the unit with seven KO blocks and Lehmann added six.
In the win over California, UCLA compiled a season-high 531 yards total offense, including 303 in the air and 228 on the ground, while dominating the line of scrimmage after the first few series. Vieira graded at 92% while Bohlander and Efseaff finished at 90%. Efseaff had nine KO blocks, followed by Vieira (eight) and Danoff (seven).
JUST FOR KICKS -
Redshirt junior Chris Griffith, a candidate for the Lou Groza Award and a former walk-on, handled the place kicking chores in 1999 and earned a scholarship for the 2000 season. A second-team All-Pac-10 team selection last year, Griffith ranks among the all-time leaders at UCLA in career field goals.
In the 2001 opener against Alabama, he converted field goals of 30 and 45 yards to help build a 20-10 lead and also pinned the Tide at its seven-yard line with a 28-yard punt from field goal formation. Against Kansas, he made second-quarter field goals of 31-and 36 yards and converted five PATs. In the win over Ohio State, he kicked a career-best 49-yard field goal in the second quarter and added a 33-yard field goal in the third period. However, he also missed from 40 and 38 yards, the first time since his freshman year that he was unsuccessful twice in the same game. He was back to normal at Oregon State, kicking a 42-yard field goal with 1:22 remaining in the first half to give UCLA a 10-0 lead and converting all five PATs. In the win over Washington, he made all five PATs and he converted all eight PATs versus California.
Griffith ranks second on the team with 47 points, making seven of nine field goal attempts and all 26 PATs. He is sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring (7.8) and tied for third in the Pac-10 and T-36th in the NCAA in field goals (1.17).
Griffith has now made 13 of his last 16 field goals over two seasons. His career percentage of 75.6 ranks third in school history behind John Lee and Alfredo Velasco. He ranks fifth (tied) on the school's career field goal list with 31.
True junior punter Nate Fikse, a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, enjoyed a spectacular night at Alabama. He averaged 44.2 yards on eight punts with a long of 56 yards. Three times, he forced the Crimson Tide to start at their own 10-yard line or deeper, including a 46-yard punt that pinned Alabama at its 10-yard line with 21 seconds remaining in the game. Against Kansas, he averaged 42.0 yards on three kicks with a long of 49 yards.
In the win over Ohio State, he averaged 45.8 yards on his four punts and only one was returned for nine yards. However, due to a missed blocking assignment, a first quarter punt at the Bruin 17-yard line was blocked and recovered in the end zone of the only Buckeye touchdown of the day.
At Oregon State, he averaged 42.1 yards on seven punts and his longest of the day was 59 yards. Only two were returned for a total of 16 yards.
Against Washington, he averaged 47.2 yards on six attempts. He put one inside the 20-yard line and only two were returned for a total of seven yards. In the win over California, he averaged 33.0 yards on three kicks, twice pinning the Golden Bears inside their 20-yard line.
On the year, he is averaging 43.2 yards on 21 punts and is ranked first in the Pac-10 and 25th in the nation.
In 2000, he earned second-team all-conference honors a season ago after averaging 43.3 yards per kick. He had 19 kicks of at least 50 yards and 17 of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. His regular-season average of 43.3 ranked first in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation and he averaged at least 45.0 yards in five games with a high of 48.1 yards against Michigan.
His total of 3,246 yards on his 75 punts set a new school record, breaking the mark of 3,130, set by Matt McFarland in 1978. Fikse's current career average of 42.78 would rank No. 2 on UCLA's all-time list, trailing only Kirk Wilson's record of 44.60 and ahead of No. 3 Zenon Andrusyshyn (42.63).
WIDE RECEIVER -
True sophomore Tab Perry, redshirt sophomores Ryan Smith, redshirt freshman Craig Bragg and seniors Cody Joyce and Devon Reese emerged from Fall camp with the best chances to compete for time in the receiver rotation with senior Brian Poli-Dixon.
Perry made his first start a very successful one. The true sophomore made five receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown, catching a long strike along the left sideline and finishing the play for a 53-yard score, the first of his career.
Against Kansas, he made just one catch -- a 49-yard touchdown on a well-executed post route -- for his second long score in as many weeks. In the win over Ohio State, he made four catches for 83 yards, including a 46-yarder on the right sideline. At Oregon State, he made one catch for 13 yards midway through the second quarter but suffered a concussion when hit after the catch and was finished for the day. Against Washington, he made two receptions for 29 yards and added two catches for 31 yards versus California.
On the year, he is leading the team with 15 receptions and 318 yards. He is tied for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns and his average of 21.2 is second only to Mike Seidman's 23.0 average. He has made one reception of at least 40 yards in three games. A year ago, he made six catches for 58 yards and excelled as a kickoff returner, setting school records with 29 returns for 598 yards.
Bragg saw the first action of his career in the Alabama game and made his presence felt. He had a 27-yard kickoff return, a 21-yard punt return and two runs for 23 yards, including one for 22 yards. At Kansas, he ran a reverse for a 37-yard touchdown and made the first reception of his career (five yards). Against Ohio State, he made one catch for 15 yards and had a 14-yard punt return. At Oregon State, he made two catches for 21 yards, ran one reverse for five yards and returned two punts 13 yards. Against Washington, he averaged 10.0 yards on four punt returns, including one for 26 yards, made one reception for 10 yards and gained four yards on a reverse.
In the win over California, he scored UCLA's first touchdown on a 42-yard double reverse run, laid out for a 58-yard catch, UCLA's longest pass play of the year, to set up a score and added one eight-yard punt return.
On the year, he is averaging 18.2 yards on six receptions and is the team's No. 4 rusher with 102 yards (14.6 average) and two touchdowns and is averaging 9.5 yards on punt returns.
Smith had a breakout game versus Ohio State. He tied for the team lead with four receptions for 49 yards and scored the only UCLA touchdown of the game on a 24-yard strike in the end zone from Cory Paus. He had his best game against California, making a team-high four catches for 69 yards, including a leaping 27-yard touchdown, in his first start in place of injured Brian Poli-Dixon. Joyce caught two passes at Kansas (nine yards) but has been sidelined the last few weeks due to a concussion. Reese scored on a 16-yard return with a blocked punt against California and he also had a four-yard catch against Kansas.
RUNNING BACK -
Sophomore Akil Harris and redshirt freshman Manuel White each demonstrated during practice that they are capable performers. Last season, Harris ran for 100 yards versus Arizona State after Foster went down with an injury. On just the second carry of his career, he went around right end for a 23-yard touchdown. At Alabama, he carried once for eight yards on UCLA's first touchdown drive, setting up Ed Ieremia-Stanley's scoring run. At Kansas, he carried five times for eight net yards. He netted five yards on four carries versus Ohio State. At Oregon State, he was the team's second-leading rusher with 74 yards on seven carries. His 54-yard run to the one-yard line set up DeShaun Foster's final touchdown of the game. He did not carry against Washington. In the win over California, he carried twice for 49 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown. White, a big, tough back with speed, made his debut against Alabama, carrying four times for no yards. He was the team's No. 2 rusher versus Kansas, carrying nine times for 44 net yards while keeping the clock moving. He did not have a rushing attempt versus Ohio State. At Oregon State, White made two receptions for 50 yards (his 41-yard catch and run set up a field goal and his nine-yard reception was the first play of a three-play drive that resulted in Brian Poli-Dixon's touchdown on the last play of the half) and he carried the ball eight times for 38 yards on UCLA's final two possessions to keep the clock moving (he produced four first downs). Against Washington, he carried four times for 36 yards on UCLA's final possession of the game and added 35 yards on five carries in the win over California.
NEW STARTERS AND DEBUTS --
Four Bruins made their first career starts versus Alabama - LG - Eyoseph Efseaff, RG - Shane Lehmann, WR - Tab Perry and CB - Matt Ware. Eleven Bruins made their varsity debut versus Alabama, including true freshmen Ware, Jibril Raymo and Matt Clark, redshirt freshmen Craig Bragg, Efseaff, Ben Emanuel, Patrick Norton, Steve Vieira, Manuel White, sophomore Blane Kezirian and senior Adam Peters.
Against Kansas, OLB Brandon Chillar made his first career start. Redshirt freshmen Ray Cassaday, Paul Mociler, John Ream and Tim Warfield and sophomore Nick Carey made their varsity debuts. Norton and Cassaday had their first career carries while tailback Ken Pritchett carried for the first time since 1999. Emanuel, Peters and Raymo saw their first action on defense (they played on special teams against Alabama) while Kezirian saw his first offensive action.
Against Washington, Mike Seidman made his first career start in a double tight end formation.
In the win over California, wide receiver Ryan Smith and guard Steve Vieira made their first starts due to injuries.
RED ZONE -
UCLA entered the Red Zone twice against Alabama and scored twice (one rushing touchdown, one field goal) for 10 points. At Kansas, UCLA reached the Red Zone five times and scored four times (two rushing touchdowns, two field goals) for 20 points. The other possession ended in a fumble. Against Ohio State, two Red Zone trips resulted in one field goal for three points and one missed field goal. At Oregon State, three Red Zone trips produced three rushing touchdowns (21 points). Against Washington, six Red Zone trips produced two rushing touchdowns (14 points), three lost fumbles and one end of game. In the win over California, the Bruins converted all three Red Zone trips for 21 points (two rushing touchdowns and one passing TD. Overall, UCLA has scored 15 times (10 rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown and four field goals) for 89 points on 21 tries.
Alabama was in the Red Zone twice and settled for one field goal for three points. The other possession ended on downs at the two-yard line. Kansas reached the Red Zone three times and scored 14 points (two rushing touchdowns). The third possession ended with a fumble. Both of Ohio State's opportunities resulted in missed field goals. Oregon State did not run a play in the Red Zone. Washington reached the Red Zone three times, resulting in one rushing touchdown, one fumble and one fourth down non-conversion. California reached the Red Zone three times, resulting in two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing) and one fourth down non-conversion. Overall, opponents have scored six times (four rushing touchdowns, one passing touchdown and one field goal) for 38 points on 13 tries.
Last year, UCLA was in the Red Zone 47 times and scored 38 times (16 rushing touchdowns, 13 passing touchdowns and nine field goals) for 227 points.
Bruin opponents entered the Red Zone 45 times and scored on 38 occasions (13 passing touchdowns, 17 rushing touchdowns and eight field goals) for 232 points.
In the season opener, UCLA recovered two turnovers (an interception by Ricky Manning Jr. and a fumble recovery by Rodney Leisle) and scored six points (two field goals). UCLA did not have a turnover.
Against Kansas, UCLA forced three turnovers (interceptions by Manning and Ryan Nece and a fumble recovery by Nece) and scored 21 points (three touchdowns), including one by the defense. UCLA turned the ball over three times on fumbles (two by Cory Paus and one by Manuel White) and Kansas scored seven points (one touchdown). The other turnovers led to a fumble and a punt.
Against Ohio State, UCLA forced two turnovers (interceptions by Marques Anderson and Matt Ware) but they resulted in a punt and a missed field goal. UCLA turned the ball over four times on fumbles (two by DeShaun Foster, one by Bryan Fletcher and one by Craig Bragg on a punt return) but the defense kept the Buckeyes from scoring on any of them (two missed field goals and two stops on fourth down).
At Oregon State, UCLA produced three turnovers (fumble recoveries by Marques Anderson and Marcus Reese and an interception by Jason Stephens) and converted them into 14 points (two touchdowns). UCLA turned the ball over once but the Bruins forced the Beavers to punt.
Against Washington, UCLA produced three turnovers (fumble recoveries by Matt Ware and Kenyon Coleman and an interception by Ware) and converted them into seven points. UCLA lost three fumbles but kept the Huskies from converting any of them into points. Versus California, UCLA created one turnover (a Ricky Manning interception) but it resulted in a punt. UCLA's offense did not have a turnover.
On the year, UCLA has converted eight of 14 turnovers into 48 points (six touchdowns and two field goals). Opponents have converted just one of 11 Bruin turnovers into seven points.
Last year, UCLA recovered 30 turnovers (17 fumbles, 13 interceptions) and scored 69 points (nine touchdowns and two field goals). The Bruins turned the ball over 23 times (11 fumbles and 12 interceptions) and they were converted into 59 points (eight touchdowns, including three on interception returns, and one field goal).
BRUINS IN THE PAC-10 STATS --
DeShaun Foster: Rushing - 1st in Pac-10, 1st in NCAA (155.0), All-Purpose Yards - 1st in Pac-10, 8th in NCAA (172.83), Scoring - 1st in Pac-10, 6th in NCAA (11.0), Cory Paus: Passing Efficiency - 2nd in Pac-10, 9th in NCAA (157.38), Passing Yards - 7th in Pac-10 (193.7), Chris Griffith: Field Goals - T-3rd in Pac-10, 36th in NCAA (1.17), Scoring - 6th in Pac-10, 40th in NCAA (7.83), Kick-Scoring - 4th in Pac-10 (7.83), Nate Fikse: Punting - 1st in Pac-10, 25th in NCAA (43.23), Ricky Manning: Interceptions: T-3rd in Pac-10, T-25th in NCAA (0.5), Matt Ware: Interceptions: T-9th in Pac-10 (0.33), Tab Perry: Receiving Yards - 16th in Pac-10 (53.0), Craig Bragg: Punt Returns - 6th in Pac-10 (9.45), Robert Thomas: Tackles - 3rd in Pac-10 (9.8), TFL - 1st in Pac-10 (3.0), Sacks - T-4th in Pac-10 (0.67), Ryan Nece: Tackles - T-27th in Pac-10 (5.5), Marques Anderson: Tackles - T-27th in Pac-10 (5.5). Team: Total defense - 1st in Pac-10, 15th in NCAA (291.0), scoring defense - 1st in Pac-10, 5th in NCAA (12.83), rushing defense - 2nd in Pac-10, 14th in NCAA (99.8), passing defense - 2nd in Pac-10, 37th in NCAA (191.2), pass efficiency defense - 1st in Pac-10, 4th in NCAA (85.88 rating), rushing offense - 1st in Pac-10, 13th in NCAA (223.7), passing offense - 10th in Pac-10 (204.5), passing efficiency offense - 2nd in Pac-10 (153.7 rating), total offense - 5th in Pac-10, 26th in NCAA (428.2), scoring offense - 5th in Pac-10, 22nd in NCAA (33.8), net punting - 1st in Pac-10, 25th in NCAA (38.21).
PRE-SEASON HONORS -
Senior tailback DeShaun Foster is on the list of pre-season candidates for the Doak Walker Award. Senior free safety Marques Anderson and junior cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. are both listed on the pre-season Jim Thorpe Award list. There are six defensive backs from the Pac-10 on the list, including the two Bruins. Placekicker Chris Griffith is a pre-season nominee for the Lou Groza Award. Linebackers Robert Thomas and Ryan Nece are on the Butkus Award pre-season watch list. Defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman joins Thomas on the Rotary Lombardi award list. Wide receiver Brian Poli-Dixon is on the Biletnikoff Award pre-season list. Punter Nate Fikse has been selected to the Ray Guy Award watch list. Center Troy Danoff is on the pre-season watch list for the Rimington Award.
THIS AND THAT -
Four Bruins on the 2001 roster are the sons of former Bruin football players - TE Blane Kezirian (dad, Ed played offensive line in 1972-73 for coach Pepper Rodgers and posted a 17-5 record), WR/Holder Garrett Lepisto (dad, Vic played defensive end in 1964-66-67 for coaches Bill Barnes and Tommy Prothro), FB Matt Stanley (dad, Steve played fullback in 1965-67 and was a member of the 1966 Rose Bowl team), QB John Sciarra (dad, John played 1972-75 and quarterbacked the Bruins to a win over No. 1 Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl game)...Cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. played this past summer for the Minnesota Twins' minor league team at Elizabethton, TN in the Appalachian League (rookie level). Manning, an outfielder, hit .253 in 22 games with a .364 on base percentage and four stolen bases. He played on the same team as the nation's number one selection in this past summer's Major League Baseball draft, Joe Mauer ... Offensive lineman Mike Saffer's dad, Don, played on the 1967 UCLA national championship basketball team for coach John Wooden ... Tight end Bryan Fletcher's brother, Terrell, plays for the San Diego Chargers ... Several Bruins have fathers who played in the NFL - Ryan Nece's dad, Ronnie Lott, was one of the top safeties in NFL history with the 49ers, Jibril Raymo's dad, Halim Muhammad, played with the Raiders, John Sciarra's dad, John, played for the Eagles ... Some have dads who played at colleges other than UCLA - Kevin Brant's dad, Tim, played at Maryland, Ryan McCann's dad, John, played at Arizona, Ryan Nece's dad, Ronnie Lott, played at USC, Robert Thomas' dad, Stan, played major league baseball ... UCLA is home to the only three-time consensus All-Americans in Pac-10 history - linebacker Jerry Robinson (1976-78) and safety Kenny Easley (1978-80) ... UCLA is the school that produced the only player to participate in six Super Bowls (Mike Lodish), the only quarterback to win three Super Bowls in four years (Troy Aikman) and the only man to play on three straight Super Bowl champions (Ken Norton) ... After winning four NCAA titles during the 2000-2001 year, UCLA still ranks No. 1 with a total of 86 NCAA team championships.
NCAA GRADUATION RATES -
In the 2000 NCAA Graduation Report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen earned their degrees - 71.4%. In addition, three other freshmen who entered in the Winter or Spring quarters of 1993-94 also earned their degrees, raising the mark to 76.5%. In the 2000 NCAA Division I Graduation Rates report, which analyzed the freshman class of 1993, 10 of 14 Bruin freshmen earned degrees - 71.4%. In addition, three other freshmen who entered in the Winter or Spring quarters of 1993-94 also earned their degrees, raising the percentage to 76.5% (13 of 17).
UCLA ON THE RADIO -
The 2001 season is UCLA's fifth on Fox Sports Radio AM 1150. The Los Angeles all-sports station broadcasts the Bruins' games, including a two-hour pre-game show and a one-hour post-game show.
Chris Roberts, a four-time Golden Mike Award winner, is in his 10th season as the voice of the Bruins. Former Bruin quarterback Matt Stevens is in his fifth year on the broadcast team and his first as the analyst in the booth. John Ireland, who is a sportscaster for KCAL-TV, is in his first season as the sideline reporter.
Stations on the Bruin radio network include: KDFO 800AM (Bakersfield), KCBL 1340AM (Fresno), KAVL 610AM (Lancaster), KSDO 1130AM (San Diego, CA), KSHP 1400AM (Las Vegas, NV), KAOI 1110AM (Maui), KPTT 630AM (Reno, NV), KBET 850AM (Thousand Oaks), KVEN 1450AM (Ventura), KIXW 960AM (Victorville), KVBL 1400AM (Visalia), KDEF 1150 AM (Albuquerque, NM), KEWS 1350 AM (Riverside).
Fox Sports Radio provides ancillary programming during the week, including Bob Toledo interviews during the week of the games.
In addition, Fox Sports Radio airs the one-hour Bruin Roundtable show every Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.
UCLA games are also available via the internet at www.uclabruins.com and www.foxsports1150.com. Fans can also hear the game for as little as 10 cents per minute by dialing 1-800-846-4700 (ext. 5929) to listen to the broadcast on the telephone.
In 2000, 11 of UCLA's 12 games were televised live (four ABC-TV, three on Fox Sports Net West 2, two on the Pac-10's Fox Sports Net package, one on the Pac-10's Fox Syndicated package and one on CBS-TV).
Ten of UCLA's 11 games this season have already been televised or have been selected for live television. The Alabama game was broadcast nationally by ESPN. ABC televised the Ohio State (national), Washington (split national) and Oregon State (regional) contests and will also carry the Stanford and Oregon games. Fox Sports Net televised the game at Kansas and California games and will also carry the USC game. The Arizona State game will be televised locally by Fox Sports Net West.
Entering the Stanford game, 94 of UCLA's last 100 games have been televised live.
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, produced by Fox Sports Net West 2, airs every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m or 7:30 p.m. during the season.
UCLA ON THE WEB -
UCLA releases, player information and results can be found on the school's official website - www.uclabruins.com.
For more detailed information on Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award candidate DeShaun Foster, including articles, quotes and video highlights, click on the special DeShaun Foster, Heisman Trophy logo on the right side of the front page.
TOLEDO PRESS CONFERENCE -
Bruin head coach Bob Toledo hosts a weekly press conference every Monday. It is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Morgan Center Press Room adjacent to the new Hall of Fame. The opposing coach is usually available by speaker phone at either 1:15 or 2:30 p.m. A few players are usually available prior to 1:15 p.m.
PAC-10 TELECONFERENCES -
The Pac-10 holds a weekly teleconference with all 10 head coaches every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Each coach has a 10-minute window. Bob Toledo is on the call at 11:30 a.m. Please call the Pac-10 office or a Pac-10 SID to obtain the telephone number.
PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED -
The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed containing interviews with coaches and players and game highlight footage. The half-hour feed airs every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. PT, beginning on Sept. 5. Coordinates for the feed are Telstar 6, Transponder 9 (C-Band).
ASU GAME UPDATE -
The Arizona State game, which was scheduled for Sept. 15, will be played on Dec. 1 in the Rose Bowl. The kickoff time has been set for 2:00 p.m. and the game will be televised locally by Fox Sports Net West. UCLA will honor all tickets which were intended for the Sept. 15 date. If fans have questions, they can call (310) UCLA - WIN. Check the UCLA web site at uclabruins.com for additional information.