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Bruins Open Season Saturday at Houston

Aug. 30, 2011

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TV:     FSN Radio:    AM 570 (KLAC)

UCLA opens its 93rd season of football with a Sept. 3 game at Houston. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT/ 12:30 PT and the game will be televised nationally by FSN with Craig Bolerjack, Joel Klatt in the booth and Petros Papadakis on the sideline. AM 570 (KLAC) and the Bruin IMG Radio Network (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook) will radio broadcast the contest. The game will also be broadcast nationally on SIRIUS XM (Ch. 92). It will be the season-opening contest for each team.

UCLA leads the series with Houston 3-2, having the last three meetings, including a 31-13 victory last season in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins, ranked #4 in the nation at the time, won the last contest played in Houston, 42-24, in the 1998 season. Houston captured the only other battle contested in the state of Texas, 17-13, in 1977. The Bruins are 60-27-5 overall in season-opening games. UCLA had a five-game season-opening game win streak snapped a year ago at Kansas State in a 31-22 setback. In 2009, it scored a 33-14 victory over San Diego State in the Rose Bowl. In 2008, it knocked off Tennessee in overtime, 27-24, in Pasadena. (2007, won 45-17 at Stanford; 2006, won 31-10 over Utah in Rose Bowl; 2005, won 44-21 at San Diego State).

UCLA is 3-2 in its last five road openers (2010 loss at Kansas State, 2007 win at Stanford, 45-17; 2005 win at San Diego State, 44-21). The last season-opening road loss came at Colorado in 2003 (14-16). The Bruins posted a 20-17 win at Alabama in the 2000 season-opener.

A LOOK AT 2011 -- There are six home games, four against Pac-12 opponents, and six road matchups on the 2011 schedule. This will be the first year of play in the new Pac-12 Conference as Utah, from the Mountain West Conference, and Colorado, from the Big 12 Conference, join the mix. The Bruins will meet both new conference members. UCLA hosts newcomer Colorado on Nov. 19 and plays at Utah on Nov. 12. Four contests have been pre-selected for national television -- the opener at Houston(FSN); the Sept. 17 home game against Texas will kickoff at 12:30 and be broadcast on ABC; the Oct. 20 game at Arizona will be played on Thursday night on ESPN; the regular season-ender at USC will be on FSN at 7 pm.

UCLA is opening a second-straight season on the road. UCLA bested Houston at home in the Rose Bowl a year ago. The 2011 home opener is on Sept. 10 with San Jose State and will mark the first time ever the Bruins and Spartans have squared off. The Bruins bested Texas a year ago in Austin and welcome the Longhorns to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1998. A couple of road contests at Oregon State (Sept. 24) and at Stanford (Oct. 1) kick off the Pac-12 conference schedule. Washington State comes to the Rose Bowl on Oct. 8 in the first Pac-12 home conference contest. The annual homecoming game will be on Oct. 29 against California.

WHO'S BACK -- UCLA returns: *8 Offensive Starters - -(WR Nelson Rosario, WR Taylor Embree, TE Cory Harkey, QB Kevin Prince or Richard Brehaut, RB Johnathan Franklin, F back Anthony Barr, OL Sean Sheller, OL Mike Harris)

*8 Defensive Starters -- (DL Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DL Cassius Marsh, DL Damien Holmes, LB Sean Westgate, LB Patrick Larimore, DB Aaron Hester, DB Sheldon Price, DB Tony Price)

* 1 Specialist - (P Jeff Locke)

* Top 12 Rushers from 2010 --#1 RB Johnathan Franklin-1,127 yds, #2 RB Derrick Coleman-487 yds, #3 RB Malcolm Jones-200 yds, #4 QB Kevin Prince-110 yds, #5 WR Josh Smith-69 yds, #6 QB Richard Brehaut-61 yds, #7 F Anthony Barr-29 yds, #8 F Damien Thippen-22 yds, #9 WR Ricky Marvray-15 yds, #10 QB Darius Bell-9 yds

* Top 2 Passers from 2010 -- #1 Richard Brehaut-1,296 yds and 6 tds, #2 Kevin Prince-384 yds and 3 tds

* Top 9 Receivers from 2010 -- #1WR Taylor Embree-32 catches, #2 WR Nelson Rosario-29 catches, #3 WR Ricky Marvray-20 catches, #4 WR Randall Carroll-15 catches, #5 TE Cory Harkey-14 catches, #6 WR Josh Smith-11catches, #7 RB Johnathan Franklin-10 catches, #8 F Anthony Barr-9 catches, #9 WR Jerry Johnson-5 catches

* Top 9 Receiving Yardage Leaders from 2010 -- #1 WR Taylor Embree-409 yds, #2 WR Nelson Rosario-309 yds, #3 WR Randall Carroll-242 yds, #4 WR Ricky Marvray-188 yds, #5 TE Cory Harkey-140 yds, #6 WR Josh Smith-127 yds, #7 F Anthony Barr-66 yds, #8 RB Johnathan Franklin-63 yds , #9 WR Jerry Johnson-57 yds

* Top 10 Total Offense Leaders -- #1 QB Richard Brehaut-1,357 yds, #2 RB Johnathan Franklin-1,127 yds, #3 QB Kevin Prince-494 yds, #4 RB Derrick Coleman-487 yds, #5 RB Malcolm Jones-200 yds, #6 WR Josh Smith-69 yds, #7 F Anthony Barr-29 yds, #8 F Damien Thigpen-22 yds, #9 WR Ricky Marvray-15 yds, #10 QB Darius Bell-9 yds

* 8 of the Top 9 Scorers from 2010 -- #2 RB Johnathan Franklin 48 pts; #3 RB Derrick Coleman 30 pts; #4 QB Richard Brehaut 24 pts; #5 QB Kevin Prince 18; T#6 TE Joseph Fauria 12, WR Ricky Marvray 12, WR Randall Carroll 12; T#9 WR Nelson Rosario 6, Josh Smith 6

* Top 12 All-Purpose Yardage Leaders -- #1 RB Johnathan Franklin 1,190 yds, #2 WR Josh Smith 919 yds, #3 RB Derrick Coleman 519 yds, #4 WR Taylor Embree 513 yds, #5 WR Ricky Marvray 365 yds, #6 WR Nelson Rosario 309, #7 WR Randall Carroll 244, #8 Damien Thigpen 223, #9 Malcolm Jones 217, #10 TE Cory Harkey 150, #11 QB Kevin Prince 110, #12 F Anthony Barr 95

* 13 of the top 16 tacklers from 2010 -- #1 DB Tony Dye 96, #2 LB Sean Westgate 90, T#5 LB Patrick Larimore 41, #7 DB Andrew Abbot 34, #8 LB Jordan Zumwalt 32, #9 DL Damien Holmes 28, T#10 DB Aaron Hester 26, T#10 DB Sheldon Price, #12 DL Cassius Marsh 23, #13 DB Dalton Hilliard 22, T#14 DL Nate Chandler 21, T#14 DB Dietrich Riley 21, #16 DL Keenan Graham 18

* 5 of the top 8 tackles for loss leaders from 2010 -- #1 LB Sean Westgate 11.0, T#3 LB Patrick Larimore 5.0 , #5 DL Owamagbe Odighizuwa 4.0, #6 Tony Dye 3.5, T#7 Jordan Zumwalt 3.0

BRUINS MUST REPLACE - Junior safety Rahim Moore (Denver Broncos) was named a first-team All-American by Sporting News. Junior linebacker Akeem Ayers (Tennessee Titans) was named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Ayers and Moore were each named third-team All-Americans by Associated Press. Ayers was one of five Butkus Award finalists (he finished third in the voting). He was also a Lott IMPACT Trophy quarterfinalist. Ayers was a second-team Phil Steele All-American while Moore and senior long snapper Christian Yount (Tampa Bay Bucs) were named fourth-team All-Americans. Ayers and Moore earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors from the league's coaches. Senior kicker Kai Forbath (Dallas Cowboys) earned second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim. Senior center Ryan Taylor (New Orleans Saints) earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades. Senior defensive tackle David Carter was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.

WATCH LIST US -- The following Bruins were listed as players "To Watch" for the 2011 major national post-season awards: senior FS Tony Dye -- Lott Impact Trophy (nation's top defensive player); Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's most outstanding defensive player) Bednarik Award (nation's top defender), Thorpe Award (nation's top DB); junior DE Datone Jones -- Hendricks Award (nation's best defensive end); senior center Kai Maiava -- Rimington Award (most outstanding center); junior running back Johnathan Franklin -- Maxwell Award (most outstanding college football player), Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back); senior LB Sean Westgate is on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. (Nation's college lineman of the year - limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage).

NUMBER CHANGES -- DL Cassius March is now #3; QB Darius Bell is #3; WR Josh Smith is #7; DL Wesley Flowers is #9; DB Tevin McDonald is #7; LB Aramide Olaniyan is #14; DL Donovan Carter is #90.

A LOOK AT THE 2011 SCHEDULE -- The combined record of UCLA's opponents was 71-78 (.477) in 2010. A closer look at the non-conference opponents reveals some interesting numbers. Houston (5-7 record last season) finished 11th in the nation in total offense in 2010 (480.50 yds/g). The Cougars were 4-4 and third in the Conference USA West while ranking fifth in the nation in passing offense (327.25 yds/g). San Jose State (1-12) ranked 45th in passing offense last season with a total of 236.54 yds/g. Texas (5-7, but three wins on the road a year ago) led the Big 12 in total defense and ranked sixth in the nation, allowing 300.17 yds/g. The Longhorns finished sixth in the Big 12 South with a 2-6 mark.

FRANKLIN ON THE RUN -- Redshirt junior tailback Johnathan Franklin led the Bruins in rushing with 1,127 yards (5.3 ave) in 2010, the 10th-best season mark in school history. He was fifth in the Pac-10 and 27th in the NCAA with his average of 93.92 yards /g. He led the team with eight touchdowns. He was also ninth in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards (99.17) and 14th in the conference in total offense (93.92). He had a streak of three straight 100-yard rushing games (158-Houston/118 Texas/ 216 Washington State), the first time for a Bruin since Maurice Drew in 2004 (Illinois, Washington and San Diego State). Franklin became the first Bruin 1,000-yard rusher since Chris Markey in 2006. Here are recent Bruin 1,000-yard rushers: 2006: Chris Markey 1,107; 2004: Maurice Jones-Drew 1,007; 2001: DeShaun Foster 1,109; 2000: DeShaun Foster 1,037.

BACK-TO-BACK 1,000-YARD BRUIN RUSHERS -- Junior running back Johnathan Franklin will look to join some elite company after amassing 1,127 yards rushing in 2010. The back-to back club at UCLA includes: DeShaun Foster - 2001: 1,109 / 2000: 1,037 Skip Hicks - 1997: 1,282 / 1996: 1,034 Karim Abdul-Jabbar - 1995: 1,571 / 1994: 1,227 Gaston Green - 1987: 1,098 / 1986: 1,405 Freeman McNeil - 1980: 1,105 / 1979: 1,396 Wendell Tyler - 1975:1,388 / 1976: 1,003

RETURNING STARTS BY POSITION Wide Rec.(47)-Nelson Rosario 10, Taylor Embree 31, Ricky Marvray 4, Randall Carroll 1, Jerry Johnson 1 F-Back (4) - Anthony Barr 4 Offensive Line (71) - Kai Maiava 12, Mike Harris 28, Sean Sheller 10, Jeff Baca 21 Quarterback (23) - Kevin Prince 16, Richard Brehaut 7 Running Back (22) - Johnathan Franklin 18, Derrick Coleman 4 Tight End (23) - Cory Harkey 23

Defensive Line (50) - Datone Jones 15, Nate Chandler 10, Damien Holmes 6, Keenan Graham 6, Owamagbe Odighizuwa 6, Cassius Marsh 4, Justin Edison 3 Linebacker (24) - Sean Westgate 13, Patrick Larimore 7, Jordan Zumwalt 4 Cornerback (38) -Aaron Hester 12, Sheldon Price 20, Andrew Abbott 6 Safety (26) - Tony Dye 26

TAKE THAT RED SHIRT OFF -- Among the redshirt freshmen who could see their first career action in 2011 are: Offense - RB - Jordon James, OL Wade Yandall, TE John Young; Defense - DL Wesley Flowers, LB Aramide Olaniyan, LB Eric Kendricks, DB - Tevin McDonald.

FRESHMEN OVER THE YEARS -- A school-record 17 true freshmen played for the Bruins in 1977. Thirteen played in 1975, 12 in 1978, 1980 and 2004 and 10 played in 1979. In recent years, nine played in 2005, eight in 2006, two in 2007 and 11 in 2008. UCLA played 10 freshmen in 2009 (eight saw action in the opener agaisnt SDSU). The Bruins played 10 freshman in 2010 (four saw action in opener at Kansas State).

FIRST ACTION -- 22 players made their UCLA debuts in 2010, by class (note---players returning for 2011 in italics): *10 true freshmen - KSU: F Anthony Barr, RB Malcolm Jones, DT Cassius Marsh, LB Jared Koster (special teams); Stanford: S Dietrich Riley, LB Jordan Zumwalt, DT Seali'i Epenesa, DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa; Houston: CB Anthony Jefferson; Texas: OL Chris Ward *seven redshirt freshmen - KSU: WR Ricky Marvray, DE Keenan Graham, DB Stan McKay (special teams), TE Jayson Allmond (special teams); Stanford: LB Isaiah Bowens; Texas: C Greg Capella; WSU: DB Alex Mascarenas (special teams) *one true sophomore - Washington: QB Darius Bell *one redshirt sophomore - KSU: TE Joseph Fauria *two redshirt juniors - KSU: WR/KR Josh Smith; Washington: QB Clayton Tunney *one redshirt senior - Stanford: DT Andy Keane

FIRST STARTS -- Fifteen players made their first career starts in 2010. Five made their first career starts in the season opener -- DT Justin Edison, DT David Carter, DE Damien Holmes, LB Patrick Larimore and OT Sean Sheller. In addition, DE Nate Chandler made his first start on defense. Against Houston, DE Keenan Graham recorded his first career start. At Texas, it was WR Ricky Marvray. QB Richard Brehaut made his first career start vs. Washington State. At Cal, DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa made his first start. F-back Anthony Barr received the starting nod at Oregon. WR Jerry Johnson made his first start against Arizona. Against Oregon State, WR Randall Carroll, DT Cassius Marsh and LB Jordan Zumwalt made the first starts of their careers. DE Reginald Stokes made his initial start versus USC. (note---players returning for 2011 in italics):

FROSH/SOPHS -- Twenty-four of the 51 Bruins who played in the 2010 opener at K-State were either freshmen or sophomores. In 2009, thirty-six players (24 freshmen, 12 soph.) such players saw action in the 2009 season.

NON. CONF. ROAD RECORD -- With the win last year at Texas, the Bruins' non-conference road record since 2000 improved to 8-6----2010-L Kansas State; W Texas; 2009-W Tennessee; 2008-L BYU; 2007-L Utah; 2006-L Notre Dame; 2005- W San Diego State; 2004-W Illinois; 2003-L Colorado, L Oklahoma; 2002-W Oklahoma State, W San Diego State; 2001- W Alabama, W Kansas; 2000-none.

BRUINS VS. CONF. USA TEAMS -- UCLA has an 8-6 record in all-time games played vs. the current members of Conference USA. The Bruins own a 4-0 record vs. Rice; 1-4 vs. SMU; 3-2 vs. UH. UCLA will meet Rice next season in Houston and will host UH in the Rose Bowl.

IN THREE SEASONS UNDER NEUHEISEL -- The Bruin defense has limited opponents to less than 300 yards of offense in nine contests (8-1 record) ...... Over the last three-plus seasons, UCLA owns a 10-0 record when holding the opponent under 20 points ...... UCLA's record is 8-3 when it wins the turnover battle under coach Neuheisel ...... It is 7-19 when it ties or loses the turnover battle ...... The Bruin defense has held eight opponents to less than 100 yards of rushing in the last three years (record of 7-1).

BOWLING -- The Bruins have qualified to play in a bowl game in nine of the last 11 seasons (not in 2008 or 2010).

WORKING OVERTIME * UCLA is 7-1 all-time in overtime, including a 27-24 win over Tennessee in the 2008 season opener.

AT THE STARTING LINE -- Senior receiver Taylor Embree (31), senior offensive lineman Mike Harris (28), senior safety Tony Dye (26), senior tight end Cory Harkey (23), redshirt junior offensive lineman Jeff Baca (21), junior defensive back Sheldon Price (20) are the only Bruin position players with at least 20 career starts. Dye has the longest starting streak of any position player with 25 straight. Harkey and LB Sean Westgate are next with 12.

NEW COORDINATORS ON BOARD -- Mike Johnson, who has 10 years of NFL coaching experience and three at the collegiate level, is set to begin his first season with the Bruin program. Johnson comes to the Bruins after serving as first, quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers in 2009 and 2010. Prior to joining the 49ers, Johnson worked alongside Rick Neuheisel on the offensive coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens where he was the receivers coach. From 2002-2005, Johnson served as quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons. In 2000-2001, he worked on Mike Riley's staff as the quarterbacks coach for the San Diego Chargers. Johnson also served on Riley's staff at Oregon State from 1997-1999 as coach of the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Joe Tresey, who has served a defensive coordinator at both the University of Cincinnati and the University of South Florida, was named the Bruins defensive chief in February of 2011. He spent the 2010 season as defensive backs coach of the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. In 2009, Tresey's South Florida defense ranked 24th nationally in total defense (321.8 yds) and 19th in scoring defense (19.8 pts). His unit produced 23 turnovers that season. At Cincinnati in 2008, Tresey "D" ranked 31st nationally in total defense (321.9) and 25th in scoring defense (20.1) while winning the Big East championship and advancing to the Orange Bowl. In 2007, his UC Bearcat defense led the nation by forcing 42 turnovers and totaled 26 interceptions. UC finished 13th in scoring defense (18.8). He worked at Central Michigan in 2006 and his defenders forced 29 turnovers on the way to capturing the Mid-American Conference championship. Tresey has also coached at Georgia Southern (2004-05), Akron (2002-03), Virginia Military Institute (1999-2001) and Otterbein University in Ohio (1995-98). Prior to that, Tresey had a highly successful tenure as a high school football coach.

ACADEMICS -- Junior Jeff Locke was voted the punter for the ESPN 2010 Academic All-District 8 team. Locke earned a 3.57 gpa in his Economics major and has been listed on the Athletics Director's honor roll at UCLA following five academic quarters.

All seven of the redshirt seniors on the 2011 team are scheduled to graduate by the end of the current quarter.

Eighteen current Bruins were named to the Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll for the 2011 Spring Quarter --- DL Uche Amajoyi, OL Jeff Baca, CB Librado Barocio, DL Justin Edison, WR Taylor Embree, TE Luke Gane, LB Todd Golper, TE Austin Hill, LB Ryan Hofmeister, LB Jared Koster, P Jeff Locke, LS Kevin McDermott, LB Aramide Olaniyan, DB Dylan Price, QB Kevin Prince, PK Joe Roberts, LB Phillip Ruhl and TE John Young.

Six Bruins were named to the 2010 Pac-10 All-Academic team. Punter Jeff Locke was named to the first team for the second consecutive year. He was joined on the first team by senior holder Danny Rees. Defensive end Damien Holmes was named to the second team for the second straight year. Quarterback Kevin Prince, senior linebacker/special teamer Mike Schmitt and linebacker Sean Westgate earned honorable mention.

The UCLA football program has produced 17 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners, 16 first-team Academic All-Americans (27 overall), eight National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients, two Rhodes Scholars and three members of the Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Sep 03 - 12:30 PM PST
at Texas A&M
College Station, TX
Saturday, Sep 10 - 5:00 PM PST
vs. UNLV
Pasadena, CA
Saturday, Sep 17 - TBA PST
at Brigham Young
Provo, UT