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Bruins Prepare For Pac-10 Showdown Against Beavers

Sept. 30, 2002

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Coach Toledo Weekly Press Conference

GAME # 5 - UCLA (3-1) travels to Corvallis, OR to open the Pac-10 Conference season against Oregon State (4-1, 0- 1) this Saturday afternoon, Oct. 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PST.

The game will be televised live on a regional basis by ABC Sports. Keith Jackson and Dan Fouts will call the action with Todd Harris on the sidelines.

Fox Sports Radio AM 1150 and the Bruin Radio Network broadcasts all games. Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens will call the action in the booth with John Ireland on the sidelines.

LAST WEEK - UCLA took control early and defeated San Diego State, 43-7, at Qualcomm Stadium to improve its record to 3-1 entering Pac-10 play at Oregon State.

UCLA forced five Aztec turnovers (two interceptions and three fumbles), held SDSU to 268 total yards, including just 208 in the air (SDSU entered the game averaging over 400 yards passing) and played efficiently on offense and special teams.

UCLA took a 7-0 first quarter lead when Marcus Reese intercepted a deflected pass at the Aztec six-yard line. Two plays later, Manuel White scored from the four-yard line. The Bruins increased the lead to 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter. Matt Clark blocked an Aztec punt and Jibril Raymo recovered the ball in the end zone for the second touchdown of his career (both on blocked punts).

On UCLA's next possession, Cory Paus hit Craig Bragg streaking down the right sideline for a 37-yard touchdown on third-and-28 to give the Bruins a 21-0 lead just 4:19 into the second quarter. On SDSU's next possession, a snap from punt formation went through the end zone for UCLA's first safety since 1997, giving the Bruins a 23-0 lead.

The Aztecs then mounted their only scoring drive of the day to make the score 23-7 but Paus responded with a 64-yard strike down the middle of the field to tight end Mike Seidman and Chris Griffith added a 33-yard field goal to build the lead to 33-7 at the half. Griffith's 46-yard field goal and a two-yard touchdown run by Tyler Ebell were the only scores of the second half.

Defensively, UCLA held the Aztecs to three of 15 on third-down conversions and zero for two on fourth down. SDSU netted just 68 yards on the ground to go with 208 yards in the air. J.R. Tolver entered the game leading the nation in receptions and receiving yards per game but finished with just three catches for 30 yards.

Spencer Havner led the defense with 10 tackles (nine solos), including two quarterback sacks. Matt Ware, playing cornerback instead of safety for the first time this year, had seven tackles, including one sack. Asi Faoa came off the bench to make six tackles, including one sack and Marcus Reese had six tackles, forced a fumble and made the interception that set up the first touchdown of the game.

Offensively, UCLA passed for 238 yards, ran for 153 and did not commit a turnover. Paus completed 12 of 21 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The scoring passes measured 37 yards to Bragg and 64 yards to Seidman.

Seidman set career highs with six receptions for 134 yards and his 64-yard catch-and-run was the longest play of his career. Bragg made four receptions for 60 yards, including the 37-yard touchdown, his team-leading fourth of the year. On the ground, Manuel White led the Bruins with a season-high 76 yards and one touchdown on 14 attempts and Tyler Ebell added 44 yards and one score on nine attempts.

On special teams, Ebell averaged 18.6 yards on five punt returns. His 53-yard return in the third quarter was UCLA's longest since the 1998 Washington game, when Ryan Roques scored on a 77-yard return. The Bruins blocked a punt (Matt Clark) and scored on the recovery (Jibril Raymo), Chris Griffith made two field goals and five PATs and Nate Fikse had just three of his punts returned for 20 yards.

UCLA IN THE RANKINGS - Associated Press: Pre-season, NR; Sept. 1, NR; Sept. 8, No. 23; Sept. 15, No. 20.; Sept. 22, NR; Sept. 29, NR. USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season, NR; Sept. 1, NR; Sept. 8, NR; Sept. 15, No. 22; Sept. 22, NR; Sept. 29, NR.

THE OREGON STATE SERIES - This will be the 53rd meeting between UCLA and Oregon State. The Bruins lead the series 35-13-4. UCLA captured the last meeting in the series, played last season in Corvallis, by a score of 38-7 in the conference opener for the Bruins. DeShaun Foster ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Cory Paus threw for 216 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Brian Poli-Dixon. Robert Thomas led the defense with nine tackles.

In 2000, Paus threw for a career-high 363 yards in a 44-38 loss to the Beavers at the Rose Bowl.

Bob Toledo is 3-2 versus Oregon State as UCLA head coach. Dennis Erickson is 2-1 vs. UCLA as OSU's head coach and 3-2 overall.

Oregon State ranks 4th in the Pac-10 and 25th nationally in total offense (269.0 in the air and 157.0 on the ground for a total of 426.0) and ranks 15th (4th in Pac-10) in scoring (38.0). Defensively, the Beavers are allowing 14.2 points (12th nationally and 2nd in Pac-10) and 272.2 yards (13th and 2nd, respectively) -- 164.6 in the air and 107.6 on the ground. They are sixth nationally and second in the Pac-10 in pass efficiency defense (80.36 rating) and have a league-high 12 interceptions.

Individually, quarterback Derek Anderson is ninth nationally in passing efficiency (156.93 rating) and is averaging 256.2 passing yards (4th in the Pac-10) while Steven Jackson leads the Pac-10 and is 15th nationally in rushing (120.6). James Newson is averaging 75.8 receiving yards (7th in Pac-10) and 5.0 receptions (8th in Pac-10) per game. Terrell Roberts is averaging 14.0 yards on punt returns and 24.7 yards on kickoff returns to rank fourth in the Pac-10 in both.

Mitch Meeuwsen and Lawrence Turnereach have three interceptions in five games to rank third in the Pac-10.

BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - The Bruin head coach owns a record of 45-28 (28-20 in Pac-10 play) and a winning percentage of .616 during his six-plus years on the job. The 20-game winning streak in 1997-98 was the longest in school history, twice as long as the previous streak (10, set in 1946 and tied in 1954-55). His teams have won two Pac-10 titles (1997, 1998) and have qualified to play in a bowl game in four of the past five 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 45 wins put him in fourth place on UCLA's career victory list. Under Toledo, UCLA is 35-8 when it scores at least 30 points and 17-1 when it scores at least 40. UCLA is 31-6 when leading at the half and has won 10 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 31-12 record under Toledo and are 15-5 when ranked in the Top 10.

Under Toledo, UCLA is 16-12 versus ranked teams. It has won nine of the last 14 and is 15-7 in the last 22 games versus Top 25 teams.

DID YOU KNOW? - This season, UCLA is 2-0 when its opponent scores first and 1-1 when it draws first blood. In 2001, the Bruins were 3-1 when they scored first and 4-3 when the opponent scored first.

Tyler Ebell's 53-yard punt return against San Diego State was UCLA's longest since the 1998 season, when Ryan Roques returned one 77 yards for a touchdown at Washington.

UCLA has now scored three touchdowns on blocked punts in the last two years and Jibril Raymo has scored two of them. Marcus Reese blocked both last year and Matt Clark did the honors against San Diego State.

UCLA has fumbled the ball eight times this year and has not lost a single one. Three are on kickoff returns, three on offense, one on a punt return and one on an interception.

UCLA has won 15 of its last 22 games versus ranked oppo-nents dating back to a 1997 win at #11 Texas and has posted a 23-6 record in regular season games played in the Rose Bowl since that win over the Longhorns.

The Bruins lead the series against the Beavers, 35-13-4.

UCLA has won 10 of its last 11 non-conference regular-season games dating back to 1999 (following a loss at Ohio State, the Bruins have defeated Fresno State in 1999, Alabama, Fresno State and Michigan in 2000, Alabama, Kansas and Ohio State in 2001 and Colorado State, Oklahoma State and San Diego State in 2002).

This will be the fourth straight season that the Bruins have started the conference schedule on the road. It is the fifth time in Bob Toledo seven seasons as UCLA head coach in which his team has opened league play away from home. The Bruins are 3-3 in Pac-10 openers under Toledo. The winning team has scored at least 34 points in the last five meetings with the Beavers.

Sixteen Bruins made their varsity debut versus Colorado State, including eight true freshmen J.D. Groves, Marcedes Lewis, Justin London, Glenn Ohaeri, Drew Olson, Jarrad Page, Junior Taylor, Wesley Walker; six redshirt freshmen Tyler Ebell, Jason Harrison, Spencer Havner, Wendell Mathis, Mike McCloskey and James Jessen; and two juniors Ryan Boschetti and David Tautofi. All of those players also saw action against Oklahoma State, all but Olson and Mathis played versus Colorado but they all played vs. SDSU. Numerous players made their debuts at San Diego State. Redshirt freshman Ed Blaton started at right tackle for injured Mike Saffer in his first career game. Tight end Keith Carter, linebacker Matt Chastain, quarterback John Sciarra, offensive guard Robert Cleary, wide receiver Jacques Lazarus, wide receiver Brett Mitchell, offensive tackle Matt Mosebar, offensive guard Jason Nitz, wide receiver Josh Roenicke all saw the first action of their careers. True freshman strong safety Jarrad Page made the first start of his career, as did Blanton.

The eight true freshmen, who saw action against Colorado State and Oklahoma State, are the most to play in a single game since at least 1980. UCLA had eight true freshmen earn letters in 1994.

UCLA's nine bowl wins in the last 20 years rank No. 1 (tied) in the Pac-10. Only six schools (Florida State, Tennessee, Penn State, Alabama, Miami, Michigan) have won more bowl games in that span.

During the last 20 years, UCLA has been ranked in the final Associated Press Top 25 on 11 occasions. No other school in the Pac-10 has been ranked more than 10 times.

In the last 20 seasons (1982-2001), UCLA has more Top 10 rankings (seven) than any other Pac-10 school. In fact, only six schools (Florida State, Nebraska, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Tennessee) have been ranked in the AP Top 10 more often than UCLA during this period.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
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at Texas A&M
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Saturday, Sep 10 - 5:00 PM PST
vs. UNLV
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Saturday, Sep 17 - TBA PST
at Brigham Young
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Saturday, Sep 24 - TBA PST
vs. Stanford
Pasadena, CA