Oct. 4, 1999
THE GAME -- The UCLA Bruins (2-3, 0-2) return to the Rose Bowl this Saturday to face the Oregon Ducks (3-2, 1-1). Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. and will be televised live throughout the nation by Fox Sports Net. It will also be broadcast live on the Bruin Radio Network (KXTA 1150 AM).
The game will also be syndicated nationally by Radio Sports Creations.
UCLA will be hosting an "I'm Going to College" day at the game. Children of all ages are selected by their schools to come to the Rose Bowl, receive counseling on how to prepare for college and attend the game.
UCLA IN THE POLLS - 1999 rankings: USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season: No. 15, Sept. 5: No. 13, Sept. 12: No. 21, Sept. 19: No. 18, Sept. 26, No. 30, Oct. 3: NR, Associated Press: Pre-season: No. 16, Aug. 29: No. 17, Sept. 6: No. 14, Sept. 12: No. 21, Sept. 19: No. 18, Sept. 26: No. 32, Oct. 3: NR.
LAST WEEK - On Saturday at Arizona State, the Bruins built a 21-7 halftime lead and led 24-14 entering the fourth quarter, only to see the Sun Devils score the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds remaining in a 28-27 loss. The big play returned to UCLA's offense. A 50-yard touchdown run by Keith Brown and an 85-yard pass play from Cory Paus to Danny Farmer, the sixth longest in UCLA history, gave the Bruins a 14-0 lead 14 seconds into the second quarter. ASU cut the lead in half on J.R. Redmond's 32-yard touchdown, but Brown scored from two yards out with 12 seconds remaining in the half for a 21-7 lead.
The Bruins still led 24-14 entering the fourth quarter. One of UCLA's three fourth-quarter turnovers enabled the Sun Devils to close the gap to three points (24-21), but Chris Griffith's 46-yard field goal with 53 seconds remaining put the Bruins ahead by six points. However, two ASU pass plays put the ball on the UCLA 49-yard line and from there Delvon Flowers took an inside screen and weaved 49 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds remaining.
On the afternoon, UCLA accounted for 426 yards, 235 passing and 191 rushing. Brown, a Phoenix native, started the game at tailback and rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns. Paus, returning to the lineup, completed 15 of 40 passes for 235 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Danny Farmer, who has been hampered by a sprained left ankle, had his best game of the season, making six catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. In the process, he became UCLA's career receiving yardage leader with 2,651 yards.
Defensively, UCLA allowed ASU 412 yards, however, 152 came in the fourth quarter and 80 of those were on the game-winning drive. Robert Thomas and Eric Whitfield each made nine tackles and Joey Strycula added eight. The Bruins sacked Sun Devil quarterbacks a season-high five times. For ASU, Redmond rushed for 185 yards and TDs of 80 and 32 yards and also caught a touchdown pass. Griffin Goodman came off the bench to complete eight of 17 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner.
NOTING THE DUCKS - Oregon is coached by Mike Bellotti, who is in his fifth season as head coach after serving as offensive coordinator for six years. He enters this week's game with a record of 33-19.
UCLA leads the series 36-17 and has won the last three meetings between the two schools. Last year, the two schools played a classic contest at the Rose Bowl which featured two of the top 12 picks in the 1999 NFL Draft (Oregon quarterback Akili Smith and UCLA quarterback Cade McNown) and the Bruins prevailed, 41-38 in overtime. UCLA accounted for 547 yards of total offense, including 395 in the air, while Oregon piled up 438, including 221 in the air and 217 on the ground.
UCLA lead 24-14 at halftime, only to see Oregon score 17 unanswered points to take a 31-24 lead with 12:13 remaining in the game. Two minutes later, Jermaine Lewis tied the game with a two-yard touchdown. With 2:36 left in the game, McNown and Danny Farmer hooked up for a 60-yard touchdown but Oregon rallied to tie the contest at 38 with just 22 seconds remaining. UCLA had one last shot in overtime when McNown's 53-yard pass was caught by Drew Bennett, but UCLA missed a field goal to force the game into overtime. The Bruins held the Ducks scoreless and Chris Sailer kicked a 24-yard field goal for the win.
McNown threw for 395 yards and three touchdowns while Smith passed for 221 yards and three scores. Oregon's Reuben Droughns rushed for 172 yards and one touchdown despite an ankle injury and UCLA's Keith Brown ran for a career-high 101 yards. Danny Farmer made seven catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
UCLA head coach Bob Toledo spent six years (1983-88) as Oregon's offensive coordinator. UCLA offensive coordinator Alan Borges performed the same duties at Oregon in 1995 and Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti spent 1998 as UCLA's defensive coordinator.
Oregon quarterback A.J. Feeley ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency (154.6) and 16th in total offense (277.2). Oregon ranks 17th nationally in passing (301.4 yards) and 18th in total offense (434.6).
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Bruins, Bob Toledo owns a record of 27-13 (19-7 in Pac-10 play). His winning percentage of .675 is the third-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 4-8 when it scores 29 or fewer points. The Bruins are 22-3 when leading entering the fourth quarter, 2-0 when tied entering the final quarter and have won three times when trailing after three periods. UCLA is 19-3 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? - UCLA has won 12 straight regular-season home games at the Rose Bowl -- the final five of 1997, all five in 1998 and the first two in 1999. The Bruins have also won 10 straight Pac-10 home games (the final two in 1996 and all four in both 1997 and 1998).
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 Arizona State included just 12 seniors and 11 juniors. Nineteen sophomores and 18 freshmen (five true freshmen) made the trip.
UCLA (19-7 in conference games) and Arizona State (19-7) 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 (ASU 27-12, .693, UCLA 27-13, .675) 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. The Bruins had also won seven straight Pac-10 road games.
UCLA's overall record of 22-7 in the last two-plus years is the best in the Pac-10, as is its league record of 15-3. Arizona is second in both categories with an overall record of 22-8 and a league mark of 12-6.
The last time UCLA started Pac-10 play 0-2 was in 1995. The Bruins won four of their last six league games (five of seven overall) to finishing the regular season 7-4 and earning a berth in the Aloha 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 20 games. The Bruins have also scored at least 27 points in 26 of their last 27 contests, missing only against Ohio State (20) earlier this season.
The 85-yard touchdown pass play from Cory Paus to Danny Farmer against Arizona State was the sixth longest in UCLA history and the longest since Farmer and Cade McNown combined for an 88-yard TD play against Tennessee in 1996.
In 1998, UCLA ranked first in the league in fewest quarterback sacks allowed (10 in 11 regular-season games). The Bruins have allowed just eight in their first five 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 - Last week at Arizona State, Farmer, recovering from his sprained left ankle, flashed the form that made him a pre-season All-American. He made six receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown and became UCLA's all-time leader in receiving yardage. On his first touch of the game, he caught a pass, broke a couple of tackles and raced 85 yards for the sixth-longest touchdown reception in UCLA history to give the Bruins a 14-0 lead. Late in the second quarter, he made back-to-back receptions of 12 and 22 yards to put the ball at the two-yard line and set up Keith Brown's TD with 12 seconds remaining in the half. On the day, five of his sixth receptions accounted for a touchdown or a first down.
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.
Farmer's career totals are 139 receptions for 2,651 yards and 17 touchdowns in just 38 games. His 2,651 yards rank No. 1 on UCLA's all-time list while his 139 receptions rank No. 4. A big-play performer, he has made 21 receptions of at least 40 yards, including 13 last season and two in 1999. He has accounted for at least 100 yards 10 times in his career.
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.
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. He did not make any receptions at Stanford.
His average of 22.7 yards per reception is the highest on the squad as are his 204 receiving yards. He is tied for third on the team with his nine catches.
1999 FARMER Receiving
Game TCB Net Avg. TD LG BSU Did Not Play OSU* 3 56 18.7 0 40 FSU Did Not Play STAN* 0 0 0.0 0 0 ASU 6 148 24.7 1 85 TOTALS 9 204 22.7 1 85
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 1996-99 139 2651 19.07 17 Mike Sherrard 1982-85 128 1965 15.35 10
UCLA CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Years No. Yds Avg TD Danny Farmer 1996-98 139 2651 19.07 16 Kevin Jordan 1992-95 179 2548 14.23 12 J.J. Stokes 1991-94 154 2469 16.03 28 Jim McElroy 1994-97 101 2029 20.09 14 Sean LaChapelle 1989-92 142 2027 14.27 14
UCLA 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 five games to date. He enjoyed his best game of the season at Stanford when he romped for 100 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns. He produced seven runs resulting in first downs in addition to the two TDs. Foster also caught three passes for 33 yards. He has 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).
During the game, he sprianed his right ankle. Last week at Arizona State, he played briefly, carrying the ball twice for no yards. His status for this week is questionable.
On the year, he is the team's leading rusher with 236 yards and four touchdowns. He is also tied for third on the squad with nine receptions.
On Sept. 11 at Ohio State, he rushed for a team-high 51 yards on 17 carries and scored his second touchdown of the year, a seven-yard run that made the score 21-17 early in the second half. Against Boise State, he led the Bruins with 55 yards on 17 carries and scored UCLA's first touchdown.
In 1998, Foster wrote his name into Bruin lore by scoring all four touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving) in UCLA's 34-17 victory over USC. He became the first true freshman in school history to score four TDs in one game and tied the overall school record.
Foster finished the year with 673 yards, the most ever by a UCLA true freshman. He was the first true freshman to lead the team in rushing since Skip Hicks in 1993 and was also the first true freshman since Hicks to rush for over 100 yards twice in the same season. He ranked second on the team with 12 touchdowns (10 rushing and two receiving), a school record for true freshmen. He played in 11 games in 1998, missing most of the Oregon game and all of the contest at California with a sprained knee.
Top UCLA True Freshman Rushing Totals
Game TCB Net Avg. TD LG DeShaun Foster, 1998 126 673 5.3 10* 65 Shawn Wills, 1988 94 622 6.6 5 50 Skip Hicks, 1993 100 563 5.6 5 43 Gaston Green, 1984 91 516 5.7 5 72 *12 total (two receiving)
CORY PAUS - The redshirt freshman quarterback returned to action at Arizona State after missing the Stanford game due to bruised ribs suffered against Fresno State. On the afternoon, he completed 15 of 40 passes for 235 yards -- all career highs -- with one touchdown and two interceptions. His TD pass to Danny Farmer measured 85 yards, the sixth longest in school history, and he had two other completions of at least 22 yards. In the first half, Paus engineered touchdown drives measuring 88, 86 and 63 yards.
Paus 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 44 of 90 passes (48.9) for 573 yards with three touchdowns and five 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.
On the final play of the game, he suffered a strained right elbow when hit by a defender and was unable to throw the football throughout Arizona State week. He played just one snap against the Sun Devils, pitching on an option play.
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 five games, the redshirt junior has completed 49 of 86 passes (57.0) for 641 yards and four touchdowns. In the last seven halves in which he has thrown the football, 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 and was awarded a scholarship prior to the start of the 1997 season.
In his debut, Bennett started slowly, completing just two of nine passes for 12 yards in the first half. However, he completed six of seven passes for 108 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown to tight end Randy Hakes, in the third quarter. In that quarter, he directed back-to-back scoring drvies of 84 and 80 yards.
He finished the night with eight completions on 16 attempts for 120 yards with one TD and one interception. 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 five games, the line has allowed just eight 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 third and fourth games of the year. 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 KEITH BROWN - The senior tailback enjoyed the best afternoon of his career against Arizona State. The Phoenix native started in place of injured DeShaun Foster and rushed for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 24 attempts. Brown opened the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown run right through the middle of the line, the second-longest run of his career. It is also UCLA's longest run from scirmmage this season. He also had runs of 38 and 35 yards and scored a two-yard touchdown with 12 seconds remaining in the first half to give UCLA a 21-7 lead.
Brown is averaging 78.0 yards per game and 6.3 yards per carry to lead the team in both categories. His 234 yards trail Foster by just two yards.
After missing the season's first two games, he made a successful debut against Fresno State. He led the team in rushing with 42 yards on 10 attempts and scored his first touchdown of the year on a two-yard run in the second quarter to give the Bruins a 17-7 lead. At Stanford, Brown carried three times for 10 yards and caught one pass for seven more. A year ago, Brown ran for at least 90 yards three times. and was the team's third-leading rusher with a career-high 423 yards. He rushed for a career-best (at the time) 101 yards versus Oregon in his second start.
TAILBACK JERMAINE LEWIS - The dependable Lewis has gained 109 yards on 32 attempts and has 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.
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.
Two weeks ago at Stanford, Price carried four times for 10 yards and caught one pass for seven more. Last week at Arizona State, he rushed once for six yards and caught one pass fro two yards. He was also open on a flanker reverse but was overthrown by Freddie Mitchell.
WIDE RECEIVERS - Senior Brad Melsby is enjoying a productive senior year. He has started each of the first five contests and is tied for the team lead with 14 receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He has accounted for two touchdowns and eight first downs with those 14 catches. At ASU, he made two catches for 14 yards. On Sept. 25 at Stanford, he grabbed three balls for 50 yards. On Sept. 18 against Fresno State, he made touchdown receptions of 24 and four yards to help defeat the Bulldogs.
In 1998, he made 16 receptions (tied for third on the squad) and averaged 20.7 yards per catch. On Nov. 7 at Oregon State, he made perhaps the catch of the year. With just 21 seconds remaining in the game and the score tied 34-34, Melsby broke free on the right sideline, caught a pass from Cade McNown and raced to the end zone (61-yard TD).
Sophomore Freddie Mitchell, fully recovered from his fractured right femur (hurt last season at Houston during kickoff return), is tied for the team lead in receptions. On the year, he has made 14 receptions for 190 yards and his average of 13.6 yards per catch is the second-highest among players with at least six receptions. Ten of his 14 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.
At Arizona State, Crecion accounted for 39 yards with his one reception.
Crecion is tied for third on the squad with his nine catches and is averaging 12.7 yards per reception.
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.
Last week at Arizona State, Coleman made four tackles, including his second sack of the year and another tackle for loss. He also recovered a fumble. At Stanford, he had his most active game of the season with seven tackles, including one sack and a second stop behind the line. Against Fresno State, he made three tackles, including one for loss. On the year, he has made 20 tackles. He is tied for the team lead with two sacks and is second with six tackles 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 returned to the starting lineup at Stanford and was credited with one tackle. On Sept. 11 at Ohio State, he made two tackles and also broke up two passes in the opener against Boise State. 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 29 tackles, including five for loss, and ranks third on the squad overall. At Arizona State, Kocher made seven tackles, including one for loss. The previous week at Stanford, he added four tackles. Against Fresno State, he was credited with six tackles, including one for loss, and broke up one pass. Against the Buckeyes, he was credited with eight tackles (four primaries), including two for losses. He also recovered a fumble to end an OSU drive in the third quarter. In the opener against Boise State, he contributed four tackles.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE ANTHONY FLETCHER -The true sophomore made the second start of his career against Fresno State in place of injured Pete Holland and made the most of his opportunity. Fletcher made seven tackles to lead the defensive linemen. At Stanford, he had two stops, including one sack. The following week, he made three stops at Arizona State. Against Ohio State, he came off the bench to make six tackles, including two for loss, after making three versus Boise State.
On the year he ranks fifth on the squad with 21 stops, including four behind the line of scrimmage.
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. Last week at Arizona State, he made the first interception of his career, leading to UCLA's third-quarter field goal. He was also credited with four tackles and now has 18 in his three games (6.0 average).
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. Last week at Arizona State, he played despite being ill most of the week and was credited with five tackle assists. At Stanford, he had five tackles, including one for loss. Against Fresno State, he made seven tackles and recovered a fumble to set up UCLA's go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter. On the year, he has made 17 stops in his three games (5.7 average).
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. Last week at Arizona State, he again tied for the team lead with nine stops, including 1.5 sacks and a third behind the line of scrimmage.
Thomas now ranks second on the squad with his 32 tackles but his average of 10.7 is No. 1 on the team.
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. Last week at Arizona State, he made five tackles, including one for loss, and broke up one pass. He also returned seven punts for 32 yards with a long of 15 yards.
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 five games, he is the Bruins' leading tackler with 42 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 and added eight at Arizona State.
True freshman corner Ricky Manning Jr. made his first career start against Fresno State and continues to make things happen. At Stanford, he had six stops, including one for loss, and added two at Arizona State. He ranks fourth on the squad with 27 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 22 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. At Arizona State, he accounted for five tackles, including one for loss.
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. Against Arizona State, he connected from 20 and 46 yards and has now made eight of nine field goals and all 16 of his PATs. He is the team's leading scorer with 40 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. Last week at Arizona State, he averaged 45.1 yards on eight kicks and just three were returned for a total of 27 yards. His 65-yard kick against the Sun Devils is the longest of his career. He also kicked off six times and the only one that was returned was a squib kick at the end of the first half.
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. At Arizona State, Randy Hakes made his first career start and Keith Brown and Eric Whitfield made their first starts of 1999.
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 (2/29), Brad Melsby (5/8), Brian Poli-Dixon (0/10) Freddie Mitchell (4/4), OL: Brian Polak (5/17), Matt Phelan (4/5), Troy Danoff (5/5), Blake Worley (5/5), Mike Saffer (3/3), Oscar Cabrera (3/10), James Ghezzi (0/4), TE: Gabe Crecion (3/3), Bryan Fletcher (2/2), Randy Hakes (1/1), QB: Cory Paus (2/2), Drew Bennett (3/3), RB: DeShaun Foster (4/4), Jermaine Lewis (0/9), Matt Stanley (1/1), Durell Price (2/12), Keith Brown (1/4), PK: Chris Griffith (5/5).
Defense - DL: Pete Holland (4/21), Kenyon Coleman (5/14), Ken Kocher (5/6), Rusty Williams (5/5), 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 (3/15), Ryan Nece (3/12), Robert Thomas (3/3), Santi Hall (1/12), DB: Jason Bell (2/19), Jason Stephens (1/8). Joey Strycula (5/5), Joe Hunter (4/4), Ricky Manning Jr. (3/3), Julius Williams (1/1), Eric Whitfield (1/6), Ryan Roques (3/9), P: Nate Fikse (5/5).
BRUINS IN 1999 PAC-10/NCAA RANKINGS -
Joey Strycula - interceptions (T-7th in Pac-10, 0.4), tackles (8th in Pac-10, 8.6)
Chris Griffith - field goals (T-13th in NCAA, 2nd in Pac-10, 1.60), scoring (46th in NCAA, 7th in Pac-10, 8.0), field goal percentage (2nd in Pac-10, .889), kick scoring (4th in Pac-10, 8.0), PAT percentage (T-1st in Pac-10, 1.000, 16 of 16)
DeShaun Foster - rushing (9th in Pac-10, 47.2)
Cory Paus - passing yards (7th in Pac-10, 143.3)
Drew Bennett - passing efficiency (40th in NCAA, 8th in Pac-10, 128.0), total offense (10th in Pac-10, 140.6)
Nate Fikse - punting (6th in Pac-10, 40.9)
Freddie Mitchell - punt returns (9th in Pac-10, 7.0)
Ricky Manning - tackles for loss (T-3rd in Pac-10, 7.0)
Kickoff Returns - 26th in NCAA, 1st in Pac-10, 24.0
Rush Offense - 61st in NCAA, 6th in Pac-10, 146.0
Pass Offense - 31st in NCAA, 6th in Pac-10, 246.4
Total Offense - 46th in total offense, 6th in Pac-10, 392.4
Scoring Offense - 36th in NCAA, 5th in Pac-10, 30.4
Scoring Defense - 6th in Pac-10, 28.0
Turnover Margin - T-4th in Pac-10, +0.0
Net Punting - 5th in Pac-10, 36.7
3rd Down Efficiency - 3rd in Pac-10, 43.8
Sacks Allowed - T-2nd in Pac-10, 8 in 5 games
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 five games, UCLA has reached the Red Zone on 18 occasions and has scored 17 times -- 11 touchdowns (eight rushing, three passing) and six field goals. The other drive ended in an interception. At ASU, UCLA was two-for two (one touchdown). Against Stanford, UCLA was four-for-four in the zone with three rushing touchdowns and a field goal. UCLA's four opponents have been in the Red Zone 18 times and have scored 14 times (six rushing touchdowns and eight passing touchdowns).
TURNOVERS - In five games, UCLA has created 13 turnovers (eight interceptions and five fumbles) and has converted them into 31 points (three TDs, a two-point conversion, two field goals and two conversions). The Bruins accounted for only 12 interceptions in 12 games a year ago. UCLA has turned the ball over 13 times (eight interceptions and five fumbles) and opponents have converted them into 21 points (three touchdowns).
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1997-99 (Two-plus Years)
Team Overall Pac-10 UCLA 22-7 15-3 Arizona 22-8 12-6 Oregon 18-11 9-9 USC 17-11 10-8 Arizona State 16-11 11-7 Washington 16-12 10-7 Wash. State 14-14 8-11 Oregon State 11-15 2-15 Stanford 11-16 8-11 California 10-16 5-13
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1996-99 (Three-plus Years)
Team Overall Pac-10 Arizona State 27-12 19-7 UCLA 27-13 19-7 Arizona 27-14 15-11 Washington 25-15 17-8 Oregon 24-16 12-14 USC 23-17 13-13 Wash. State 19-20 11-16 Stanford 18-21 13-14 California 16-22 8-18 Oregon State 13-24 3-22
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 Oregon will be televised live on a national basis by Fox Sports Net (Fox Sports Net West in Los Angeles). 71 of UCLA's last 76 games have appeared on live television, including four of five this season (two 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.
PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED - The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed - interviews with coaches and players regarding upcoming games and highlight footage. The one-half hour feed airs every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. PDT/MST (2:00 p.m. EDT) starting Sep. 8 and running through Nov. 24. Coordinates for the feed are GE2, Transponder 6 (C-Band).
PASADENA PARKING SHUTTLE - UCLA is again operating a free shuttle service from the Parsons Engineering Building in Pasadena to the Rose Bowl. However, there is a $4 charge for parking at the Parsons lot. Service from the supervised lot, located at Fair Oaks and Walnut, begins four hours prior to kickoff. Return service begins at the start of the third quarter and continues for up to one hour after the game.
NEXT - The Bruins host the California Golden Bears at the Rose Bowl on October 16. Game time has been set for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by ABC.