Sept. 7, 1999
THE 1999 SEASON - The UCLA Bruins (1-0) travel to Columbus for the first time since 1980 to face the Ohio State Buckeyes (0-1) on Sat., Sept. 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EDT and ABC will televise the game to 70% of the nation. The Bruins are ranked No. 13 on the current USA Today/ESPN poll while the Buckeyes are ranked No. 14.
UCLA is 3-3-1 all-time vs. Ohio State and 36-31-3 all-time vs. teams from the Big 10 Conference. The Bruins and the Buckeyes have not met since the 1980 season, a 17-0 UCLA win in Columbus.
The game will be broadcast live on XTRA 690 due to a conflict with a Dodger game on XTRA 1150.
WHO's IN and WHO's OUT - UCLA has suspended defensive backs Ryan Roques, Marques Anderson and Eric Whitfield, linebackers Ali Abdul-Azziz, Tony White, Ryan Nece and Robert Thomas, offensive linemen Oscar Cabrera and Jim Ghezzi and running backs Durell Price and Keith Brown for the first two games for wrongfully obtaining and misusing disabled parking placards (Anderson will not play the entire season).
UCLA IN THE POLLS - UCLA finished the 1998 season ranked No. 8 on the final polls of both USA Today/ESPN and Associated Press. It was never out of the Top Ten. The Bruins finished in the final AP Top Ten in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1987-88 and the final Top Ten of the coaches' poll in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1984-85. 1999 rankings: USA Today/ESPN: Pre-season: No. 15, Sept. 5: No. 13, Associated Press: Pre-season: No. 16, Aug. 29: No. 17.
PRE-SEASON HONORS - Senior flanker Danny Farmer, a pre-season first-team All-American, is on the pre-season list for the Belitnikoff Award, presented to the nation's top receiver. Sophomore outside linebacker Ryan Nece is on the pre-season list for the Butkus Award, presented to the nation's best linebacker.
LAST WEEK - The Bruins opened the 1999 season with a 38-7 victory over Boise State at the Rose Bowl. UCLA built a 24-0 halftime lead and extended it to 38-0 at the end of three quarters. Boise State was held to just 202 yards through three quarters and scored its only touchdown with two minutes remaining in the contest. The last time the Bruins held a team to single digits was the ninth game of the 1997 season, when UCLA defeated Stanford, 27-7.
Leading 3-0 after one quarter, UCLA's defense forced four turnovers - three interceptions and one fumble - and converted them into two touchdowns en route to a 24-0 halftime lead. Julius Williams returned one of the interceptions 53 yards for a touchdown, UCLA's longest since Abdul McCullough took one back 98 yards against Arizona State in 1994. UCLA made just 12 interceptions during the 1998 season.
Starting quarterback Drew Bennett (120) and Cory Paus (128), playing extensively for the first time in their careers, combined for 248 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Tailback DeShaun Foster and split end Brad Melsby each made three receptions and four other players made two catches each. The Bruins played without pre-season All-American wide receiver Danny Farmer (left ankle sprain). The Bruins rushed for 153 yards and two scores - 55 by Foster and 45 by tailback Jermaine Lewis.
Senior walk-on free safety Joey Strycula, making the first start of his career, led the Bruin defenders with nine tackles and an interception which set up UCLA's third touchdown of the second quarter. True freshman cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. came off the bench to make seven tackles, including one sack and two others behind the line of scrimmage. Junior outside linebacker Billy Pieper made his first start a good one, finishing with six tackles. Three other players - redshirt freshman cornerback Joe Hunter (an interception to halt a scoring drive at the 10-yard line), senior cornerback Jason Bell and sophomore middle linebacker Ed Stansbury added five stops each.
Boise State accounted for 360 yards (123 in the first half) to go with its seven points. Although the Broncos passed for 204 yards, they averaged just over five yards per attempt (40) and had an efficiency rating of just 86.1.
NOTING THE BUCKEYES - UCLA is meeting Ohio State in football for the first time since 1980. The Buckeyes are slated to return to the Rose Bowl on September 22, 2001.
The teams last met on Oct. 4, 1980 in the Ohio Stadium where UCLA shut out the No. 2 ranked home team 17-0. Defensive tackle Irv Eatman (four sacks) helped lead a Bruin defense which limited OSU quarterback Art Schlichter to just 59 net yards on 25 plays. Running back Freeman McNeil powered the UCLA attack with 118 yards and a TD. Ohio State was unable to get inside the Bruin 45-yard line until the fourth quarter. UCLA jumped to fifth in the polls following the game.
The Bucks are coached by John Cooper, who is in his 12th season in Columbus. The former UCLA assistant coach has guided OSU to three conference championships (1993-96-98) and the 1997 Rose Bowl game while finishing first or second in the conference the past seven seasons. His last four teams have won a total of 43 games, a school-record total. In the 1990s, his teams have produced a collegiate-best 15 first round NFL draft choices. A total of 27 OSU players have been selected in the last five NFL drafts.
OSU was 11-1 in 1998.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Bruins, Bob Toledo owns a record of 26-10 (19-5 in Pac-10 play). His winning percentage of .722 is the second-highest in UCLA history behind only Red Sanders, the coach of UCLA's national championship team, among coaches with at least three years on the job. The 20-game winning streak snapped versus Miami on 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 22-4 when it scores at least 30 points and 13-1 when it scores at least 40. The Bruins are 21-2 when leading entering the fourth quarter, 2-0 when tied entering the final quarter and have won three times when trailing after three periods. UCLA is 18-2 when leading at the half and has won four times after trailing at the half and four when tied at the half. UCLA is 7-6 versus ranked opponents under Toledo and had won six straight games prior to the 1999 Rose Bowl.
DID YOU KNOW? - UCLA's record of 21-4 in the last two-plus years is the best in the Pac-10, as is its league record of 15-1. Arizona is second in both categories with an overall record of 20-7 and a league mark of 11-5. UCLA's record of 26-10 under head coach Bob Toledo is tied for the best in the Pac-10 during the last three-plus years (Arizona State is second at 25-10). Arizona is 25-13 while Washington is 23-13. In league play, UCLA is 19-5, followed by ASU's 18-6 and Washington's 16-8.
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.
DeShaun Foster tied the school record for touchdowns in a game by scoring four times (three rushing, one receiving) against USC. He was the first true freshman to score four times in a game and his 12 TDs in 1998 were a school record for true freshmen.
Receiver Danny Farmer (school-record 1,274 yds) became just the fourth Bruin to go over the 1,000 yard mark in receiving yards at the Miami game. He gained 142 yards in the Rose Bowl to become UCLA's single-season leader for receiving yardage. Farmer's average per catch of 22.0 was the highest by any Bruin with at least 36 catches in a season.
DeShaun Foster set UCLA's all-time single season rushing mark by a true freshman. Foster finished with 673 yards (5.3 average). Shawn Wills was the previous record-holder with 622 in 1988. Foster also became the first true freshman since Skip Hicks in 1993 to lead the team in rushing.
Including the 88,080 fans who attended the USC contest, UCLA drew 368,547 fans to its five 1998 home games at the Rose Bowl. The average of 73,709 led the Pac-10 and set a new UCLA season record. The previous best was 69,812 in 1947.
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.
UCLA's regular-season scoring average of 40.5 ranked fifth in the nation and the overall average of 39.7 ranked third in school history behind 1997's 39.8 and 42.7 in 1973.
TEAM NOTES - UCLA has won six of its last seven games against ranked opponents. The Bruins had a six-game winning streak snapped against Wisconsin in last year's Rose Bowl after defeating Texas, Washington and Texas A&M in 1997 and Texas, Arizona and Oregon in 1998.
UCLA scored two of its four touchdowns on drives of 2:00 or less. UCLA scored 44 offensive touchdowns on drives of less than 3:00 in 1998, including 14 of less than 1:00.
UCLA has now scored at least 28 points in each of its last 16 games and at least 27 in each of the last 23 contests.
In 1998, UCLA ranked first in the league in fewest quarterback sacks allowed (10 in 11 regular-season games). The Bruins allowed just one in the 1999 opener against Boise State.
In the opener, 18 different players either rushed, threw or caught the football on offense. Ten players were credited with a rush, 12 with a reception and two with a pass attempt. In 12 games a year ago, 24 players touched the football on offense.
The two-time Pacific-10 Conference champion Bruins concluded the 1998 season 10-2 overall and 8-0 in league play. They were ranked No. 8 on the final polls by both USA Today/ESPN and Associated Press. They were also No. 5 on the final BCS rankings. UCLA won 10 games in back-to-back seasons for only the second time in history and back-to-back league titles for the first time since 1982-83.
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.
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%).
SPLIT END DANNY FARMER - Danny Farmer, who did not play in the 1999 opener against Boise State due to a sprained left ankle, entered the season recognized as one of the nation's best wide receivers and a leading candidate for the Biletnikoff Award. He has been selected to the pre-season All-America teams of Street & Smith, Lindy's and Playboy. A fine all-around athlete who starred on the men's volleyball team, he possesses great size, deceptive speed, outstanding leaping ability and the knack of making the big catch in traffic. A former walk-on, Farmer earned a scholarship prior to the 1996 season and concluded it with a team-leading 31 catches.
Farmer's career totals are 130 receptions for 2,447 yards and 16 touchdowns in just 35 games and he could break both school records (179 receptions and 2,548 yards) by the end of his senior year. He ranks third on UCLA's career receiving yardage list and fourth on the career reception list (see career-best lists below). A big-play performer, he has made 19 receptions of at least 40 yards, including 13 last season.
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.
During the regular season, Farmer ranked second in the Pac-10 (16th in the NCAA) in receiving yards per game (102.91) and his average of 22.2 yards per catch was the highest in the league among players averaging at least 2.5 receptions per game.
Farmer is a two-sport star who made major contributions to the volleyball squad, which won NCAA titles in 1998 and 1996. 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.
1998 FARMER Receiving Game TCB Net Avg. TD LG TEX* 4 81 20.3 1 36 HOU* 4 100 25.0 0 41 WSU* 5 100 20.0 0 51 ARIZ 2 87 43.5 1 64 ORE* 7 161 23.0 2 60 CAL* 5 52 10.4 0 19 STAN* 6 78 13.0 0 20 OSU* 5 113 22.6 2 43 WASH* 4 134 33.5 0 61 USC* 3 91 30.3 0 42 MIAMI* 6 135 22.5 2 77 WISC* 7 142 20.3 1 44 1998 58 1274 22.0 9 77
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 1996-98 130 2447 18.82 16 Mike Sherrard 1982-85 128 1965 15.35 10
UCLA CAREER RECEIVING YARDS Years No. Yds Avg TD Kevin Jordan 1992-95 179 2548 14.23 12 J.J. Stokes 1991-94 154 2469 16.03 28 Danny Farmer 1996-98 130 2447 18.88 16 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, led the Bruin with 55 yards on 17 carries against Boise State. He scored UCLA's first touchdown in the second quarter on a four-yard run, his 13th TD in 12 career games. He has now led the team in rushing in five straight regular-season games. He also tied for the team lead with three receptions for 25 yards and returned one kickoff for 16 yards.
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 held by numerous players, including teammate Jermaine Lewis. On the afternoon, Foster led the team with 109 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries and made three receptions for 18 yards and one TD.
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. On the year, he was the team's leading rusher with his 673 yards and averaged a team-best 5.3 yards per attempt. He ranked second on the team with 12 touchdowns (10 rushing and two receiving), a new school record for true freshmen.
During the regular season, he ranked fifth (tied) in the conference in scoring (7.2), seventh in rushing (63.5) and 13th in all-purpose yards (105.5).
He played in 11 games in 1998, missing most of the Oregon game and all of the contest at California with a sprained knee. Foster also averaged 26.6 yards on eight kickoff returns and 7.1 yards on eight punt returns. He led the team in rushing five times, including each of the final four regular-season games.
Top UCLA True Freshman Rushing Totals Year 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 72QUARTERBACK DREW BENNETT - The redshirt junior from Northern California (Orinda, CA) made his first career start last week versus Boise State after spending the last two seasons backing up Cade McNown. Bennett came to UCLA as a walk on athlete from Miramonte High School where he threw for over 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for six more scores as a prep senior. He was awarded a scholarship prior to the start of the 1997 season. 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).
*12 total (two receiving)
As a redshirt freshman in 1997, he appeared in six games and completed three of six passes for 52 yards and one touchdown (11-yarder to Ryan Neufeld vs. UH). He saw the most extensive action of his Bruin career to date when he played the entire second half of a 66-10 win over Houston.
Last season, he also appeared in six games. He completed three of five passes for 24 yards and a touchdown (a 12-yarder to Randy Hakes vs. WSU) and caught one pass for 53 yards (a "Hail Mary" at the end of regulation vs. Oregon).
CORY PAUS - The redshirt freshman quarterback had a successful debut while alternating with Drew Bennett. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 128 yards with one touchdown, 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. He had two completions of over 20 yards -- a 23-yard screen pass to DeShaun Foster and a 28-yard strike to a diving Bryan Fletcher -- on the 68-yard drive which gave UCLA a 10-0 lead.
When he connected with Crecion in the second quarter, 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.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE BRIAN POLAK - 1999 true junior Brian Polak is now the leader of a young offensive line. In the opener against Boise State, the line allowed just one sack and helped UCLA gain over 400 yards of total offense. 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, including four at Washington and three each versus Arizona, Stanford and Miami. He played at least 60 snaps in eight regular-season games (the last six straight).
TAILBACK JERMAINE LEWIS - The dependable Lewis gives UCLA a fine one-two punch at the tailback position. In the opener versus Boise State, he was the team's second-leading rusher with 45 yards on 10 attempts. His 21-yard run in the third quarter was UCLA's longest of the game and his five yard touchdown, his 14th in his last 12 games, gave the Bruins a 38-0 lead with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter.
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. The following week against Washington State, Lewis added two more rushing scores and finished with 94 yards on 15 carries, his second-highest total of the year. His career high is 113 yards at Texas in 1998.
He finished the 1998 season as the team's second-leading rusher with a career-high 553 yards and averaged 4.3 yards per attempt. He rushed for at least 45 yards in six games and led the team in rushing five times. He led the Bruins with 13 touchdowns, a total exceeded only seven times in school history. During the regular season, Lewis ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in scoring (6.60) and eighth in rushing (50.3).
FLANKER BRIAN POLI-DIXON - Brian Poli-Dixon, an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, came off the bench in the opener and made two receptions for 21 yards, including an 18-yard catch that put UCLA in the red zone on its final touchdown drive.
In 1998, he was the team's second-leading receiver with 44 receptions for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns, one of the best seasons ever by a Bruin sophomore. Only J.J. Stokes (728 yards in 1992) ever gained more yards as a sophomore and only Mike Sherrard (48) and Kevin Jordan (45) ever made more receptions. His 10 receiving touchdowns ranked first (tied) in the Pac-10. During his career, he has scored 12 touchdowns on 54 receptions.
His nine-catch performance at Oregon State tied for seventh on the all-time UCLA single-game receiving list. It was the most catches by a UCLA player since J.J. Stokes caught 14 balls in the 1994 Rose Bowl.
In 1997, he became only the fourth UCLA true freshman wide receiver since 1973 to catch a touchdown pass and the second to catch two in the same game (Houston).
WIDE RECEIVERS - Senior Brad Melsby started the opener against Boise State and tied for the team lead with three receptions for 24 yards. In 1998, he made 16 receptions (tied for third on the squad) and averaged 20.7 yards per catch, second-highest among players with at least five catches. On Nov. 7 at Oregon State, he made perhaps the catch of the year. With just 21 seconds remaining in the game and the scored tied 34-34, Melsby broke free on the right sideline, caught a pass from Cade McNown and raced to the end zone for the game-winning 61-yard touchdown.
Sophomore Freddie Mitchell, fully recovered from his fractured right femur, caught one pass for 11 yards, returned four punts for 33 yards and added one kickoff return for 15 yards in the opener. In his debut a year ago against Texas, Mitchell made four receptions for 108 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown reception. He also threw a 34-yard touchdown pass, gained 30 yards on a reverse and returned three kickoffs for 78 yards. He suffered a fractured right femur the following week at Houston while returning a kickoff 47 yards in the first quarter.
Through hard work, he recovered in time to play a few snaps against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. On one of those plays, he tossed a 61-yard touchdown to Durell Price off a fake reverse, his second TD pass of the year.
Sophomore Cody Joyce, seeing his first extensive action, added two receptions for 29 yards and Dennis Fox made a 21-yard catch.
TIGHT ENDS - UCLA's tight end quartet played a key role in the team's 38-7 victory over Boise State. 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.
CORNERBACK JASON BELL - The most experienced player in the Bruin secondary, Bell made five tackles, including four primaries, in the opener against Boise State. A true senior who started every game in 1998, he led the squad with 14 passes defensed and made 38 tackles. He recorded a career-high eight tackles at California and added five stops versus Stanford. He was credited with four passes defensed at Houston, three against USC and two versus Texas and Arizona.
SAFETY JASON STEPHENS - Redshirt sophomore Jason Stephens, slowed by a sprained knee in fall camp, opened the season with four tackles against Boise State despite suffering a mild concussion in the first half. In 1998, he played well in his seven starts at strong safety. He had a career-high 11 tackles, including one for loss, in the game at Miami. In the Pac-10 finale against USC, he made four tackles, including one for loss. He also recovered two fumbles, returning one 27 yards to set up a field goal, forced a fumble and made the first interception of his career. On the year, he made 58 tackles, including five for losses, forced two fumbles and recovered a pair, and made one interception.
DEFENSIVE END KENYON COLEMAN - Junior defensive left end Kenyon Coleman, one of the leaders of the defensive line, enjoyed a successful training camp. He opened the season with two tackles, including one for loss, and broke up two passes. 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, started 10 games (two at left end and eight on the right side) a year ago, missing only against Washington State (nickel package) and Wisconsin (elbow injury). He made 18 tackles, including four each against Oregon and Oregon State. In the opener against Boise State, he broke up two passes.
THE DEFENSIVE LINE - Several young players performed well against Boise State. Sophomore tackle Ken Kocher led the linemen with four tackles, including one for loss, sophomore tackle Anthony Fletcher made three stops off the bench and redshirt freshmen Rusty Williams, a started at right end, and Steve Morgan, a reserve tackle, made two stops each. So did senior end Travor Turner, including one of UCLA's two sacks, before leaving the game with an injured right knee.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS - Due to the aforementioned suspensions, several players had a chance to contribute in the 1999 opener and many took advantage of the opportunity. In the secondary, senior walk-on safety Joey Strycula led the team with nine tackles and an interception in his first start, redshirt freshman corner Joe Hunter added five tackles and an interception while starting his first game, and true freshman corner Ricky Manning made seven tackles, including three for loss, off the bench. At linebacker, junior Billy Pieper, making his first start at one outside spot, accounted for six tackles while sophomore Ed Stansbury made five stops during his first start in the middle. True freshman Marcus Reese made four stops off the bench.
JUST FOR KICKS - UCLA's new kickers enjoyed some success against Boise State. Redshirt freshman place kicker Chris Griffith opened the year's scoring with a 37-yard field goal and also kicked five PATs. True freshman punter Nate Fikse averaged 33.0 yards on four kicks but had just one returned for -2 yards and a fumble (33.5 net). After kicking his first attempt just 33 yards, he averaged 36.7 yards on the final three. Fikse also handled the kickoff chores and Boise averaged just 15.4 yards on seven returns.
NEW STARTERS - UCLA had 14 position players make their first starts versus Boise State last week - eight on offense and six on defense - plus two kickers to start for the first time versus Boise State. Defensively, the new starters were CB Joe Hunter (redshirt freshman), OLBs Billy Pieper (redshirt junior) and Asi Faoa (true freshman), MLB Ed Stansbury (redshirt sophomore), FS Joey Strycula (redshirt senior), and DE Rusty Williams (redshirt freshman). Offensively, the new starters were FL Freddie Mitchell (redshirt sophomore), OT Blake Worley (redshirt freshman), OG Mike Saffer (redshirt freshman), C Troy Danoff (redshirt sophomore), TEs Gabe Crecion (redshirt junior) and Bryan Fletcher (redshirt sophomore), RB DeShaun Foster (true sophomore) and QB Drew Bennett (redshirt junior). Place kicker Chris Griffith (redshirt freshman) and punter Nate Fikse (true freshman) also made their debuts.
The starting lineup included five seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores, four redshirt freshmen and one true freshman. Of the five seniors, one had never started a game, a second has started once and a third had started three times. Of the five juniors, three had never started a game. Of the seven sophomores, five had never started a game and a sixth had started once.
FIRST TIME - Eighteen Bruins made their varsity debut against Boise State - 12 redshirt freshmen (offensive linemen Blake Worley and Mike Saffer, quarterback Cory Paus, running backs Adam Geitner and Ken Pritchett, defensive linemen Sean Phillips, Steve Morgan, Rusty Williams and Saia Makakaufaki, defensive backs Joe Hunter and Paul Nelson and place kicker Chris Griffith) 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 (0/27), Brad Melsby (1/4), Brian Poli-Dixon (0/10) Freddie Mitchell (1/1), OL: Brian Polak (1/13), Matt Phelan (1/2), Troy Danoff (1/1), Blake Worley (1/1), Mike Saffer (1/1), Oscar Cabrera (0/7), James Ghezzi (0/4), TE: Gabe Crecion (1/1), Bryan Fletcher (1/1), QB: Drew Bennett (1/1), RB: DeShaun Foster (1/1), Jermaine Lewis (0/9), Durell Price (0/10), Keith Brown (0/3), PK: Chris Griffith (1/1). Defense - DL: Pete Holland (1/18), Kenyon Coleman (1/10), Ken Kocher (1/2), Rusty Williams (1/1), Anthony Fletcher (0/1), Travor Turner (0/3), Stephen Sua (0/1), LB: Ed Stansbury (1/1), Billy Pieper (1/1), Asi Faoa (1/1), Tony White (0/12), Ryan Nece (0/9), Santi Hall (0/11), DB: Jason Bell (1/18), Jason Stephens (1/8). Joey Strycula (1/1), Joe Hunter (1/1), Eric Whitfield (0/5), Ryan Roques (0/6), P: Nate Fikse (1/1).
BRUINS IN 1998 PAC-10/NCAA RANKINGS -
Jermaine Lewis - scoring (8th in Pac-10, 6.6), rushing (8th in Pac-10, 50.3).
Danny Farmer - receiving yards (2nd in Pac-10, 16th in NCAA, 102.9), receptions (11th in Pac-10, 4.6), all-purpose yards (105.8).
Ryan Roques - interceptions (T-6th in Pac-10, T-37th in NCAA, 0.4), punt returns (2nd in Pac-10, 14th in NCAA, 12.5).
DeShaun Foster - rushing (7th in Pac-10, 63.5), scoring (T-5th in Pac-10, 7.2), all-purpose yards (12th in Pac-10, 105.5).
Keith Brown - rushing (11th in Pac-10, 42.0).
Rush Offense - 2nd in Pac-10, 29th in NCAA, 188.1
Pass Offense - 3rd in Pac-10, 15th in NCAA, 294.5
Total Offense - 1st in Pac-10, 8th in NCAA, 482.6
KO Returns - 2nd in Pac-10, 11th in NCAA, 23.7
Punt Returns - 5th in Pac-10, 35th in nation, 11.1
Net Punting - 4th in Pac-10, 36.8
Scoring Offense - 1st in Pac-10, 5th in NCAA, 40.5
Turnover Margin - 1st in Pac-10, T-2nd in NCAA +1.5.
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.
RED ZONE - In its opener, UCLA converted three of four red zone opportunities, scoring three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing). The fourth drive ended with an interception. Boise State scored a touchdown (pass) and missed a field goal on its two trips into the red zone. In 1998, the Bruins converted their first 14 red zone opportunities in 1998 and finished the year 50 of 57 (38 TDs and 12 FG). A breakdown of the 38 touchdowns - 27 rushing and 11 passing. UCLA opponents scored 28 touchdowns(19 rushing and 9 passing) and 10 field goals on 44 trips into the red zone.
TURNOVERS - UCLA created four tunovers in the opener against Boise State - interceptions by Julius Williams, Joey Strycula and Joe Hunter and a fumble recovery by Paul Nelson on punt coverage. The Bruins converted the turnovers into 14 points (two touchdowns, one on a return, the other by the offense). UCLA accounted for only 12 interceptions in 12 games a year ago. UCLA also turned the ball over four times (three interceptions and one fumble) and Boise State converted one interception into its only seven points.
In 1998, the Bruins forced 34 turnovers (12 interceptions and 22 fumbles) and converted them into 92 points (11 touchdowns, five FGs and 11 PATs). Conversely, opponents converted 19 UCLA turnovers (12 interceptions and seven fumbles) into 76 points.
BRUINS IN THE NFL - As of Sept. 5, 29 former Bruins were listed on 1999 NFL pre-season rosters, including two on injured reserve. Including Cade McNown (No. 12 selection of the Bears) this past April, UCLA has had seven first-round selections in the last nine years and 16 in the last 21 years. In 1993, UCLA led the nation with former players on opening day rosters. Twelve former Bruins on active NFL rosters have played in 24 Super Bowls, including six-time performer Mike Lodish, Marvcus Patton with four appearances and Troy Aikman and Ken Norton with three each. Ten members of last year's team signed NFL contracts as draftees or free agents.
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1997-99 (Two-plus Years) Team Overall Pac-10 UCLA 21-4 15-1 Arizona 20-7 11-5 Arizona State 14-9 10-6 Oregon 15-10 8-8 USC 15-10 9-7 Washington 14-10 9-7 Wash. State 13-11 7-9 California 9-14 4-12 Oregon State 9-14 2-14 Stanford 8-15 5-11
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1996-99 (Three-plus Years) Team Overall Pac-10 UCLA 26-10 19-5 Arizona State 25-10 18-6 Arizona 25-13 14-10 Washington 23-13 16-8 Oregon 21-15 11-13 USC 21-16 12-12 Wash. State 18-17 10-14 Stanford 15-20 10-14 California 15-20 7-17 Oregon State 11-23 3-21
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.
Due to a conflict with a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, the Ohio State contest will be heard on XTRA 690, instead of XTRA 1150.
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.xtra1150.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 Ohio State will be televised to 70% of the nation by ABC-TV with Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson calling the action. Including last week's game on Fox Sports Net West 2, 68 of UCLA's last 72 games have appeared on live television.
Each of UCLA's first three games - Boise State, Ohio State and Fresno State (Fox Sports West 2) will be televised live.
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, featuring highlights and interviews, airs several times each week during the season. The first show is scheduled for Thurs., Sept. 9 at 4:00 p.m.
UCLA ON THE WEB - UCLA releases and results can be found on the school's official website - www.uclabruins.com. There is also special information on Belitnikoff Award candidate Danny Farmer, including a weekly diary, on the football page.
TOLEDO CONFERENCES - The weekly Bob Toledo media conferences are held every Monday of a game week. The conferences begin at 1:30 p.m. The opposing coach is usually interviewed on speaker phone at either 1:15 p.m. or 2:30 p.m., depending upon his schedule.
PAC-10 TELECONFERENCES - Beginning on Tues., Sept. 14, the Pac-10 will hold a Football Coaches Teleconference every other week through Nov. 9. The call will begin at 9:30 a.m. Bob Toledo is scheduled for a 10-minute segment at 10:55 a.m. Please call the Pac-10 Office or UCLA Media Relations for the telephone number.
PAC-10 SATELLITE FEED - The Pac-10 provides a weekly satellite feed - interviews with coaches and players regarding upcoming games and highlight footage. The half hour feed airs every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. PDT/MST (2:00 p.m. EDT) starting Sep. 8 and running through Nov. 24. Coordinates for the feed are GE2, Transponder 6 (C-Band).
1999 UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Oppt. (TV) Pacific Time Sept. 4 Boise State (FSNW2) 38-7 Sept. 11 @ Ohio State (ABC) 5:00 p.m. Sept. 18 Fresno State (FSNW2) 7:00 p.m. Sept. 25 @ Stanford 2:00 p.m. Oct. 2 @ Arizona State 12:30 / 7:00 p.m. Oct. 9 Oregon 12:30 / 7:15 p.m. Oct. 16 California 12:30 / 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23 @ Oregon State 1:00 p.m. Oct. 30 Arizona 12:30 / 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13 Washington 12:30 / 3:30 p.m. Nov. 20 @ USC TBA
PRE-SEASON HONORS FOR UCLAUCLA Team
USA Today/ESPN: No. 15 in nation, AP: No. 16 in nation, Sports Illustrated: No. 14 in nation, The Sporting News: No. 10 in nation, No. 2 in Pac-10, Athlon: No. 22 in nation, No. 3 in Pac-10, Lindy's: No. 17 in nation, No. 2 in Pac-10, GamePlan: No. 14 in nation, No. 2 in Pac-10, Phil Steele: No. 17 in nation, No. 3 in Pac-10, Preview Sports: No. 25 in nation, No. 3 in Pac-10, Street & Smith's: No. 22 in nation, No. 2 in Pac-10, Sport: No. 16 in nation, No. 3 in Pac-10.
Wide receivers ranked No. 1 in the nation by Lindy's and The Sporting News, No. 3 by Phil Steele and No. 4 by Street & Smith's, Running backs rated No. 7 in the nation by Phil Steele.
Wide Receiver Danny Farmer
First-team All-American: Playboy, Lindy's, Street & Smith's, Sport
Second-team All-American: GamePlan, Preview Sports
Third-team All-American: Athlon
Fourth-team All-American: Phil Steele
Rated nation's No. 2 wide receiver by Lindy's and No. 7 by The Sporting News
First-team All-Pac-10: Athlon, Lindy's, Phil Steele, Street & Smith's, The Sporting News
Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year: Street & Smith's
Defensive Back Ryan Roques
Honorable mention All-American: Phil Steele, Street & Smith's (kick returns)
Rated nation's No. 10 kick returner by Lindy's
First-team All-Pac-10: Athlon, Phil Steele, Preview Sports (kick returns)
Third-team All-Pac-10: Phil Steele (kickoff returns)
Tailback DeShaun Foster
Third-team All-American: Phil Steele
Honorable mention All-American: Street & Smith's
Rated nation's No. 14 tailback by The Sporting News and No. 15 running back by Lindy's
First-team All-Pac-10: Phil Steele
Second-team All-Pac-10: Lindy's
Rated No. 5 'talent' in Pac-10 by Lindy's
Fullback Durell Price
Rated nation's No. 6 fullback by Lindy's
Offensive Tackle Brian Polak
Rated nation's No. 9 tackle by Lindy's
First-team All-Pac-10: Lindy's, Street & Smith's
Second-team All-Pac-10: The Sporting News
Outside Linebacker Ryan Nece
Honorable mention All-American: Street & Smith's
Rated nation's No. 17 outside linebacker by Lindy's
First-team All-Pac-10: Preview Sports
Second-team All-Pac-10: Lindy's
Cornerback Jason Bell
Rated nation's No. 15 cornerback by Lindy's
First-team All-Pac-10: The Sporting News
Second-team All-Pac-10: Lindy's
Wide Receiver Freddie Mitchell
Second-team All-Pac-10: Lindy's (all-purpose)
Rated No. 3 'talent' in Pac-10 by Lindy's
Defensive End Kenyon Coleman
Honorable mention All-American: Street & Smith's
First-team All-Pac-10: The Sporting News
Second-team All-Pac-10: Lindy's
Defensive Tackle Ken Kocher
Second-team All-Pac-10: Phil Steele
Wide Receiver Brian Poli-Dixon
Honorable mention All-American: Street & Smith's
Rated nation's No. 14 wide receiver by The Sporting News
Third-team All-Pac-10: Phil Steele
Offensive Guard Oscar Cabrera
First-team All-Pac-10: The Sporting News