UCLA Plays Arizona Thursday Night in Desert
Oct. 17, 2011
UCLA vs. Arizona -- UCLA (3-3, 2-1) returns to action on Thursday night in Tucson, AZ against the University of Arizona (1-5, 0-4). The game will be nationally televised by ESPN with kickoff set for 6:02 p.m. PT. Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and Craig James will man the announce booth with Jenn Brown 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. 85). The Bruins will return to the Rose Bowl to host California on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. in the annual homecoming game.
UCLA leads Arizona, 19-14-2, in a series which dates back to 1927. The Wildcats own a 10-8 advantage in games played in Tucson, including wins in the last three contests waged in the Desert. UCLA's last win over the U of A came in the 2006 season, in Pasadena, by a score of 27-7. The last Bruin win at Arizona came in the 2003 season in a 24-21 decision.
In last year's matchup in the Rose Bowl, the Wildcats raced out to a 19-7 halftime advantage behind backup quarterback Matt Scott (227 yards passing in first half, 319 for the game) and went on to post a 29-21 win. UCLA closed to 19-14 on a 68-yard scoring pass from Richard Brehaut to Randall Carroll to cap off the initial drive of the third quarter. Arizona came right back on a short touchdown run which extended the `Cats lead to 26-14 entering the final quarter. Brehaut then connected with Josh Smith on a 49-yard touchdown pass at the 14:24 mark to make it 26-21. Aaron Hester intercepted a Scott pass in the end zone on the subsequent UA drive, but the Bruins went three-and-out and were forced to punt the ball away. The Bruin defense stiffened, forcing an Arizona punt. UCLA was able to move the ball down to the Arizona 35-yard line, but was forced to punt and the Wildcats took over with 7:46 remaining on the clock. Scott then led the `Cats down to the Bruin 29 yard-line only to be forced into a punting situation after a third-down sack by Jordan Zumwalt. UCLA turned the ball over on downs and Arizona added a field goal for the final margin.
In UCLA's last win in the series, a 2006 affair played in the Rose Bowl, quarterback Patrick Cowan came on for an injured Ben Olson and threw for 201 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 27-7 victory. The Bruin defense limited Arizona to -13 yards rushing on the day and cornerback Alterraun Verner provided the final score of the day on an 89-yard interception return.
Two of the most memorable games in recent series history came in the 2003 and 2000 seasons in Tucson. In 2003, UCLA rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit to come away with a 24-21 win. The Bruins took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 80 yards to close the gap to 21-17 on a short run by Manuel White. Neither team could score again until Bruin defensive tackle Rodney Leisle intercepted a shovel pass and returned it 55 yards for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. Each squad then missed field goals (UCLA from 35 and Arizona from 28 yards) down the stretch. Justin London made UCLA's fourth interception of the day to seal the win with 13 seconds to play.
In 2000, UCLA used a last-second score to earn a 27-24 come-from behind win in the Desert. On what turned out to be the game-winning drive, UCLA took over on its own 34-yard line after the Bruin defense forced an Arizona punt with 2:47 remaining on the clock. With the U of A ahead 24-20, Quarterback Cory Paus connected on passes to Freddie Mitchell (23 yards, 19 yards) and Gabe Crecion (9) to move the ball down deep into Wildcat territory. After two incomplete passes in the end zone and an offside penalty against the home team, UCLA was faced with a third-and-five situation from the Arizona 13-yard line. Paus dropped back to pass, but was forced out of the pocket and managed to scoot around the left side and into the end zone for the go-ahead score with 48 seconds remaining.
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); senior wide receiver Nelson Rosario -- Fred Biletnikoff Award Watch List (nation's outstanding wide receiver); junior redshirt tight end Joseph Fauria -- John Mackey Award Watch List (best collegiate tight end).
FRANKLIN ON THE RUN -- Redshirt junior tailback Johnathan Franklin now has 509 yards on the ground this season, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, and has moved up to 13th on the all-time school list. He opened 2011 with a 128-yard effort at Houston. He added 81 yards against San Jose State and 58 versus Texas. He gained 36 yards on six carries at Oregon State before leaving the contest in the second quarter with a hip contusion. Franklin finished with 96 yards on 12 carries at Stanford. He recorded the ninth 100-yard effort of his career versus Washington State with 110 yards on 12 carries.
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.
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