Oct. 18, 1999
THE GAME -- The UCLA Bruins (3-4, 1-3) leave the city of Los Angeles for the last time during the regular season when they travel to Corvallis, OR to face the Oregon State Beavers (3-3, 0-3). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be the Pac-10/Fox Sports Net Syndicated Game of the Week (Channel 9 in Los Angeles). It will also be broadcast live on the Bruin Radio Network (KXTA 1150 AM).
LAST WEEK - The Bruins had trouble moving the football all afternoon against California and suffered their first shut out since the 1994 Washington State contest, 17-0 at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA accounted for just 168 yards of total offense, its lowest total since gaining 158 against Arizona State in 1992. The Bruins rushed for 87 net yards on 26 attempts and completed just nine of 29 passes for 81 yards. Defensively, the Bruins yielded 371 yards -- 248 on the ground and 123 in the air -- and intercepted three passes.
California scored midway through the first quarter on a 27-yard touchdown pass by Kyle Boller. Neither team scored again until 10:45 remained in the game when, on third-and-25 from the UCLA 33, S, Muhammad blew through the middle and raced to the end zone for a 14-0 Golden Bear lead. Cal added an 18-yard field goal with 2:42 remaining. On its final drive, UCLA reached the four-yard line but could not punch into the end zone.
Cory Paus completed nine of 28 passes for 81 yards and one interception. He was also the team's leading rusher with 67 net yards on 11 carries. Danny Farmer (32 yards) and Brad Melsby (31 yards) each made three receptions and Freddie Mitchell added two for 19 yards. Ryan Roques led the defense with 11 tackles and an interception. Robert Thomas added 10 tackles while Tony White contributed seven tackles, including two sacks and a third stop for loss.
NOTING THE BEAVERS - Oregon State is coached by Dennis Erickson, who is in his first year in Corvallis and owns a record of 3-3. Now in his 14th season as a collegiate head coach, his record is 116-43-1.
The Beavers lead the Pac-10 in total offense (488.8 yards) and passing offense (327.3) and rank fifth in rushing offense (161.5). Ken Simonton ranks first in the league and fifth in the nation in rushing (150.8 yards). Jonathan Smith ranks second in the Pac-10 and 18th nationally in total offense (273.3) and is 10th in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (124.5 rating).
UCLA leads the series 34-11-4 and has won two straight and six of seven meetings in the 1990s. The Bruins have won their last three trips to Corvallis, last losing in 1989 (18-17).
Last year in Corvallis (Nov. 7), UCLA won its 18th straight game, extending its school record that eventually reached 20. The Bruins needed 17 fourth-quarter points to defeat Oregon State, 41-34. The Bruins saw a 17-7 first-half lead disappear when Oregon State rattled off 17 unanswered points and took a 24-17 advantage with 5:13 to play in the third quarter. An 81-yard Bruin drive culminating in a Cade McNown to Danny Farmer seven-yard TD pass knotted the score at 24 each. McNown then hit Farmer again on a 43-yard scoring strike on the Bruins' second possession of the fourth quarter to conclude a 70-yard drive. After an OSU turnover and a Bruin punt, the Beavers mounted an eight-play, 87-yard drive which evened the score once again at 31 with 3:27 to play. The Bruins then moved 53 yards in seven plays to the OSU 14 yard-line, but settled for a Chris Sailer 30-yard field goal and 34-31 lead with 1:17 to play. Two passes gave the Beavers a first down at the Bruin 18-yard line, but the Bruins defensed two OSU passes and held them shy of a first down on the third, and the home team was forced to kick the tying field goal. The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds at the UCLA 39-yard line and on the first play from scrimmage. McNown hit a wide open Brad Melsby for the winning score with 21 seconds to play. A Larry Atkins interception ended the Beaver hopes. Cornerback Ryan Roques led the Bruins with 13 tackles. Linebacker Ryan Nece and safety Larry Atkins added eight tackles each. Atkins also had an interception and three pass breakups, while Nece had one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. Brian Poli-Dixon's nine-catch effort tied him for seventh on the all-time UCLA single-game reception list.
BRUIN HEAD COACH BOB TOLEDO - Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Bruins, Bob Toledo owns a record of 28-14 (20-7 in Pac-10 play). His winning percentage of .667 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 24-5 when it scores at least 30 points and 13-1 when it scores at least 40. It is 4-9 when it scores 29 or fewer points. The Bruins are 23-3 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 20-3 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 had won 13 straight regular-season home games at the Rose Bowl -- the final five of 1997, all five in 1998 and the first three in 1999 -- prior to the loss to California. The Bruins had also won 11 straight Pac-10 home games (the final two in 1996, all four in both 1997 and 1998 and the first one in 1999).
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.
Arizona State (20-7 in conference games) and UCLA (20-8) 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-plus seasons (ASU 28-13, .683, UCLA 28-14, .667) overall.
UCLA is 16-3 in its last 19 Pac-10 contests. It had won 15 straight league games, dating back to the Aug. 30, 1997 opener at Washington State, a three-point loss (37-34), before falling at Stanford on Sept. 25.
UCLA's overall record of 23-8 in the last two-plus years is No 2 in the Pac-10, but its league record of 16-4 ranks No. 1. Arizona is first in overall record (24-8) and second with a league mark of 13-6.
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 19 of the last 22 games. The Bruins have also scored at least 27 points in 27 of their last 29 contests, missing only against Ohio State (20) and California (0) 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 14 in their first seven games this season (one with less than two minutes left on the third-string quarterback at Ohio State) despite losing three starters from last year and a fourth for the season's first two games.
SPLIT END DANNY FARMER - The pre-season All-American and Biletnikoff Award candidate once again showed why he is perhaps the nation's top wide receiver against Oregonon Oct. 9. He was hampered during the season's first month by a high sprain of his left ankle.
The senior made seven catches for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns measuring 11 and 65 yards against the Ducks. His 196 yards rank No. 2 in UCLA history, trailing only J.J. Stokes' 263 yards versus USC in 1992. The seven receptions tied his career high, set last year against Oregon and Wisconsin. His 11-yard catch with just 38 seconds remaining in the first half gave UCLA a 20-10 lead and his 65-yard catch and run boosted the lead to 34-10. He also made a diving 48-yard catch on the first play of the second half to spark another Bruin scoring drive. Overall, four of his seven receptions measured at least 23 yards, and three accounted for at least 31 yards.
Last following week against California, he made three catches for 32 yards.
On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, Farmer 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 six receptions accounted for a touchdown or a first down.
In his last three games, Farmer has made 16 receptions for 376 yards (23.5 average) and three touchdowns. On the year, he has made 19 catches for 432 yards and three scores. His average of 22.7 yards per reception is the highest on the squad, as are his 432 receiving yards. He ranks second with his 19 catches. He does not yet qualify for NCAA or Pac-10 stats, but his average of 86.4 yards per game would be 31st in the NCAA and No. 4 in the Pac-10 and his 22.7 average per catch would be the best in the league.
Farmer's career totals are now 149 receptions for 2,879 yards and 19 touchdowns in just 40 games. His 2,879 yards rank No. 1 on UCLA's all-time list, while his 149 receptions rank No. 3 (he passed Sean LaChapelle against Oregon), just five behind No. 2 J.J. Stokes. A big-play performer, he has made 23 receptions of at least 40 yards, including 13 last season and four in 1999. He has accounted for at least 100 yards 11 times in his career, including two of the last three games.
In addition, he ranks third on the Pac-10's career receiving yardage list behind Stanford's Troy Walters (3,340) and former USC star Johnnie Morton (3,201).
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 saw 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.
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 ORE* 7 196 28.0 2 65 CAL* 3 32 10.7 0 12 TOTALS 19 432 22.7 3 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 Danny Farmer 1996-99 149 2879 19.32 19 Sean LaChapelle 1989-92 142 2027 14.27 14 Mike Sherrard 1982-85 128 1965 15.35 10
UCLA CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Years No. Yds Avg TD Danny Farmer 1996-98 146 2879 19.32 19 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
CORY PAUS - The redshirt freshman quarterback had the best game of his young career against Oregon. Paus completed 21 of 34 passes for a career-high 332 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He threw the ball well and hit several long passes, including 65 and 48 yards to Danny Farmer and 28 yards to Gabe Crecion.
His first TD pass to Farmer (11 yards) after an Oregon turnover gave the Bruins a 20-10 halftime lead. His second TD pass to Farmer measured 65 yards and gave UCLA a 34-10 lead. He also hit Farmer on a 48-yard strike on the first play of the second half to spark another scoring drive.
His 332 passing yards tied Tommy Maddox (1990 vs. Oregon) for the No. 3 effort among Bruin freshmen. Only Maddox (409 vs. USC and 353 at Michigan) ever threw for more yards as a freshman. His 324 yards total offense rank No. 4 on that list, trailing only Maddox's 445 versus USC and 356 vs. Oregon and Cade McNown's 326 at Arizona State in 1995.
Last week against California, Paus completed just nine of 28 passes for 81 yards with one interception. He also led the team in rushing with 67 net yards on 11 attempts, including runs of 31 and 27 yards. Only Keith Brown and Freddie Mitchell have recorded a longer run this year.
On the year, Paus, who was named the starting quarterback on Sept. 13, has completed 74 of 152 passes (48.7) for 986 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. He ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in total offense (169.8) despite starting just four of his six games. He ranks 14th in passing efficiency (103.5).
On Oct. 2, Paus 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 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 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.
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.
RECEIVER/QUARTERBACK DREW BENNETT - Two weeks ago, a decision was reached to switch Bennett, who started three of the first four games at quarterback, to wide receiver because of his athletic ability.
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. Early the following week, he made the switch to receiver. Bennett played two snaps at quarterback against California (Oct. 16), throwing an interception on a trick 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.
Bennett has completed 49 of 87 passes (56.3) for 641 yards and four touchdowns. At Ohio State, he 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.
OFFENSIVE TACKLE BRIAN POLAK - 1999 true junior Brian Polak is now the leader of a young offensive line. In seven games, the line has allowed 14 sacks -- half of them coming in two games (four against California and 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 on Oct. 2. 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 scrimmage 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.
He started the following week against Oregon and led the Bruins with 69 yards on 27 carries. He also scored on runs of three and 10 yards to give him four touchdowns. Last week against California, he started his third straight game and gained 21 yards on eight attempts. He has led the team in rushing in three of his five games, including two of the last three.
The team's leading rusher (324 yards), Brown is averaging 64.8 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry to lead the team in both categories. He also leads the squad with five touchdowns. His average of 64.8 yards would rank eighth in the Pac-10, but he is still one game shy of qualifying for the rankings. He has now rushed for 1,168 yards and 16 touchdowns during his career.
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 141 yards on 45 attempts and has scored one touchdown. Last week, he was held to minus-four yards on five attempts. Against Oregon, he ran for 36 yards on eight tries and his 13-yard run was UCLA's longest of the night. He also made three receptions for 27 yards.
On Sept. 19 of 1998, Lewis ran into the Houston end zone four times to tie the school record for rushing touchdowns and total TDs in a game. His career high is 113 yards at Texas in 1998. He finished the 1998 season as the team's second-leading rusher with 553 yards. He led the team in rushing five times and with 13 touchdowns, a TD total exceeded only seven times in school history.
TAILBACK DESHAUN FOSTER - True sophomore DeShaun Foster, a first-team Freshman All-American a year ago, led the Bruins in rushing in three of the first four games of the year. He has carried just three times in the last three contests (he did not play against California) due to a high sprain of his right ankle incurred at Stanford.
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).
On the year, he is the team's second-leading rusher with 247 yards and four touchdowns. He is also tied for fifth 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)
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.
On Sept. 25 at Stanford, Price carried four times for 10 yards and caught one pass for seven more. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, he rushed once for six yards and caught one pass for two yards. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he rushed for nine yards on four attempts and blocked very well. He carried just once (no gain) versus California.
WIDE RECEIVERS - Senior Brad Melsby is enjoying a productive senior year. He has started six of seven contests and ranks third on the squad with a career-high 18 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns. He has accounted for two touchdowns and 10 first downs with those 18 catches. Last week versus California, he tied for the team lead with three catches (31 yards). Against Oregon, he was hampered by the flu and did not start for the first time in 1999. He caught one pass for 12 yards. 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 UCLA's leading receiver. On the year, he has made 20 receptions for 263 yards, and his average of 13.1 yards per catch is the third-highest among players with at least six receptions. Fourteen of his 20 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 16th 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. Against Oregon, he made four receptions (three first downs) for 54 yards. Last week versus California, he added two catches for 19 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. Against Oregon, Fletcher made three receptions for 22 yards, and Crecion made a nice grab for 28 yards.
Crecion is fourth on the squad with his 10 catches, and his average of 14.2 yards is No. 2 among players with at least six receptions. Fletcher is tied for fifth on the team with his nine receptions.
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 against California, he made four tackles. On Oct. 9 versus Oregon, he made one tackle, broke up two passes and forced a fumble. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, Coleman made four tackles, including his third 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 26 tackles. He is tied for the team lead with three sacks and is second with seven tackles for loss. He has also broken up five 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, was credited with two tackles against California. On Oct. 9, he made three tackles against Oregon. He has started six of seven games (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 36 tackles, including five for loss, and ranks third on the squad overall. Last week against California, he made four stops. On Oct. 9 versus Oregon, he made three tackles and broke up two passes. 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. He played sparingly the following week against Oregon due to an injured foot. Last week against California, he made four tackles. 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 has made 25 stops, including four behind the line of scrimmage.
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. On Oct. 2 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. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, Thomas made five tackles, one shy of the team lead. Last week against California, he was credited with 10 tackles.
Thomas ranks second on the squad with his 47 tackles despite missing the first two games of the year. His average of 9.4 tackles per game is No. 1 on the team and would rank No. 6 in the Pac-10 if he had enough games played to qualify for the listing.
LINEBACKER RYAN NECE - The sophomore linebacker, a 1998 first-team Freshman All-American and an All-Pac-10 honorable mention choice, is on 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. On Oct. 2 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. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he made two tackles, broke up one pass and blocked a punt with one hand. Last week versus California, he was credited with six tackles. In his five games, he has made 26 tackles (5.2 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 against California, he made seven tackles, including both of UCLA's sacks and a third behind the line of scrimmage. On Oct. 9 versus Oregon, he made two stops. 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 26 stops in his five games (5.2 average), including four for losses (two sacks).
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.
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. 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. Against Oregon, Roques made five tackles, only shy of the team lead, and broke up two passes. He also returned two punts for 10 yards. Last week versus California, he led the team with 11 tackles and made his second interception of the year. He now ranks sixth on the squad with 28 tackles in five games (5.6 average).
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 seven games, he is the Bruins' leading tackler with 52 stops and is also tied for second on 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. Against Oregon, he made four tackles and defensed four passes. Last week versus California, he made five tackles and forced a fumble.
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, four (one for loss) against Oregon and two versus California. He ranks fourth on the squad with 33 tackles and leads the Bruins with eight stops behind the line of scrimmage. Near the end of the first half against Fresno State, 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. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he tied for the team lead with six tackles and made the first interception of his career to set up UCLA's final touchdown of the first half. Last week, he made four tackles against California. He ranks fifth on the squad with 32 tackles, including four for losses. 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.
Senior Eric Whitfield has appeared in five of seven games this year and leads the squad with three interceptions, all in the last three games. He has also been credited with 27 tackles, all in the last four games. He has made at least six stops in each of those contests.
JUST FOR KICKS - UCLA's new kickers have enjoyed success in the year's first seven 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. In the Oregon game, he converted attempts of 47 and 48 yards but had two attempts blocked (36 and 32 yards). He did not get on the field against California. Griffith has made 10 of 13 field goals and all 20 of his PATs. He is the team's leading scorer with 50 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. On Oct. 2 at Arizona State, he averaged 45.1 yards on eight kicks (one for 65 yards) and just three were returned for a total of 27 yards. On Oct. 9 against Oregon, he averaged 42.0 yards on six kicks, including a career-long 69-yard punt, and just four were returned for a total of 15 yards. Last week versus California, he averaged 44.0 yards on a career-high nine punts and twice pinned the Golden Bears inside the 20-yard line. On the year, he is now averaging 41.8 yards per kick.
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 (4/31), Brad Melsby (6/9), Brian Poli-Dixon (0/10) Freddie Mitchell (5/5), OL: Brian Polak (7/19), Matt Phelan (4/5), Troy Danoff (7/7), Blake Worley (7/7), Mike Saffer (5/5), Oscar Cabrera (5/12), James Ghezzi (0/4), TE: Gabe Crecion (5/5), Bryan Fletcher (3/3), Randy Hakes (1/1), QB: Cory Paus (4/4), Drew Bennett (3/3), RB: DeShaun Foster (4/4), Jermaine Lewis (0/9), Matt Stanley (1/1), Durell Price (3/13), Keith Brown (3/6), PK: Chris Griffith (6/6).
Defense - DL: Pete Holland (6/23), Kenyon Coleman (7/16), Ken Kocher (7/8), Rusty Williams (7/7), 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 (5/17), Ryan Nece (5/14), Robert Thomas (5/5), Santi Hall (1/12), DB: Jason Bell (2/19), Jason Stephens (1/8). Joey Strycula (7/7), Joe Hunter (4/4), Ricky Manning Jr. (5/5), Julius Williams (1/1), Eric Whitfield (3/8), Ryan Roques (5/11), P: Nate Fikse (7/7).
BRUINS IN 1999 PAC-10/NCAA RANKINGS -
Eric Whitfield - interceptions (T-45th in NCAA, 5th in Pac-10, 0.43)
Joey Strycula - interceptions (T-13th in Pac-10, 0.29)
Lovell Houston - kickoff returns (9th in NCAA, 1st in Pac-10, 28.4)
Chris Griffith - field goals (15th in NCAA, 1st in Pac-10, 1.67), scoring (T-33rd in NCAA, 4th in Pac-10, 8.3), kick scoring (2nd in Pac-10, 8.3), PAT percentage (T-1st in Pac-10, 1.000, 20 of 20)
DeShaun Foster - rushing (11th in Pac-10, 41.2)
Drew Bennett - passing efficiency (10th in Pac-10, 124.2), total offense (13th in Pac-10, 117.7)
Cory Paus - total offense (7th in Pac-10, 169.8), passing yards per game (6th in Pac-10, 164.3)
Nate Fikse - punting (40th in NCAA, 3rd in Pac-10, 41.8)
Ricky Manning - tackles for loss (7th in Pac-10, 8)
Kickoff Returns - 2nd in Pac-10, 23.2
Rush Offense - 6th in Pac-10, 134.1
Scoring Defense - 6th in Pac-10, 26.6
Turnover Margin - T-5th in Pac-10, -0.14
Net Punting - 3rd in Pac-10, 37.4
First Downs - 3rd in Pac-10, 134
3rd Down Efficiency - 5th in Pac-10, 39.3
Sacks Allowed - 3rd in Pac-10, 14 in 7 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 seven games, UCLA has reached the Red Zone on 25 occasions and has scored 20 times -- 14 touchdowns (10 rushing, four passing) and six field goals. The other drives have ended with two blocked field goal attempts, two interceptions and red downs. Against California, the Bruins reached the end zone once and the drive ended on downs. Against Oregon, UCLA was just three-of-six (three touchdowns), with one interception and two blocked field goals. 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 opponents have been in the Red Zone 24 times and have scored 19 times (eight rushing touchdowns, nine passing touchdowns and two field goals).
TURNOVERS - In seven games, UCLA has created 20 turnovers (13 interceptions and seven fumbles) and has converted them into 45 points (five TDs, a two-point conversion, two field goals and four conversions). The Bruins accounted for only 12 interceptions in 12 games a year ago.
UCLA has turned the ball over 21 times (12 interceptions and nine fumbles) and opponents have converted them into 36 points (five touchdowns, three PATs and one field goal).
Only five of UCLA's nine fumbles have been on offense. The others have been on special teams (three) and defense (one after an interception). Of the five offensive fumbles, only three have come in the last five games. UCLA turned the ball over three times but California was forced to punt after each turnover.
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1997-99 (Two-plus Years)
Team Pac-10 Overall UCLA 16-4 23-8 Arizona 13-6 24-8 Arizona State 12-7 17-12 Washington 11-8 17-13 USC 10-9 17-13 Oregon 9-10 18-12 Stanford 9-11 12-16 Wash. State 8-11 15-14 California 6-13 11-17 Oregon State 2-17 11-17
PAC-10 STANDINGS - 1996-99 (Three-plus Years)
Team Pac-10 Overall UCLA 20-7 28-13 Arizona State 19-7 27-13 Washington 18-8 26-15 Arizona 16-11 28-14 USC 13-14 23-18 Stanford 13-14 18-21 Oregon 12-15 24-17 Wash. State 11-16 20-20 California 8-18 16-23 Oregon State 3-23 13-25
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 State will be televised live on a regional basis by the Pac-10/Fox Sports Net syndicated package (Channel 9 in Los Angeles) with Barry Tompkins and David Norrie in the booth. 73 of UCLA's last 78 games have appeared on live television, including six of seven this season (three on ABC, one on Fox Sports Net and two on Fox Sports Net West 2).
The UCLA Sports Magazine show, featuring highlights and interviews, airs on Fox Sports Net West 2 several times each week during the season, beginning on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
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, Oct. 10: NR, Oct. 17: 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, Oct. 10: NR, Oct. 17: NR.
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 updated statistics and a weekly diary, at www.uclabruins.com/farmer.
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).
1999 UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE