“Friday” Fast Facts – Colorado at UCLA


Getting to Know … UCLA 

— UCLA is in search of win No. 599 in program history; CU is looking for win No. 699 in program history;

— UCLA won 28 straight games overall and 47 straight regular season games in which the Bruins have held an opponent to less than 20 points (the last regular season loss was against Colorado, a 16-14 defeat in 2003);

— The Bruins’ 34-point comeback against Texas A&M in the season opener (down 44-10 with 4:08 in the third quarter; won 45-44) was the greatest in Pac-12 history, and the second-greatest ever (Michigan State rallied from a 38-3 deficit to a 41-38 win in 2006;

— UCLA head coach Jim Mora attended grade school in Boulder (ages 7-12). His father, Jim Mora, Sr., was an assistant coach under Eddie Crowder (1968-73). When Crowder resigned after the 1973 season, Jim Mora, Sr., joined Dick Vermeil’s staff … at UCLA;

— Jim Mora is No. 5 on the Coaches Hot Seat Rankings this week. Mora has another No. 5 ranking among Power-Five coaches … his 13-11 record against ranked opponents if 5th-best in the nation (At CU, Mike MacIntyre is 2-15 against ranked opponents).


UCLA players to watch:

Josh Rosen/QB … Basketball teams don’t put up these kinds of numbers. Josh Rosen leads the nation in passing yards (1,763), passing touchdowns (16), points responsible for (102), total offense per game (444.8), and passing yardage per game (440.8). With his 480-yard effort against Stanford, Rosen became the first Bruin quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards in the first four games of a season;

— Darren Andrews/Jordan Lasley/Caleb Wilson/WR … UCLA is the only school in the country with three wide outs who are each averaging over 100 yards per game receiving. Andrews leads the nation in touchdown receptions, with seven. Wilson’s (15) and Andrews’ (12) total of 27 catches v. Texas A&M made them the most productive receiving tandem in Bruin single-game history;

Kenny Young/LB … The senior linebacker has 33 career starts, and had 12 tackles against Stanford last week. Young is on Bednarik, Butkus and Wuerffel watch lists.


Colorado and UCLA – head-to-head

This will be the 13th all-time meeting between the two teams, in a series dating back to 1980. UCLA holds a 9-3 advantage in the rivalry, including a 3-1 record in games played at the Rose Bowl (2-0 UCLA in games played in the Los Angeles Coliseum);

The first game played between the two teams is also the first game in the CU at the Game Archives, as it was my first game as a Buff. The game was a blowout, with the Bruins racing out to a 56-0 lead at halftime, coasting to a 56-14 win.

The Bruins then ran off three more wins in the series during the early ’80’s. The Buffs, wearing their own version of blue-and-goal uniforms, looked like UCLA, but didn’t play like UCLA. The 1982 game is perhaps the most noteworthy of the three UCLA victories, as future Colorado coach Rick Neuheisel got into the game in garbage time in a 34-6 UCLA victory.

The Buffs’ first two victories in the series came in a home-and-home in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 game, a 31-17 win over the No. 20 Bruins, still represents CU’s most recent road victory over a ranked team (and, until last year’s win against Stanford, the most recent CU victory in the state of California). The 2003 win, a 16-14 decision in Boulder, is also noteworthy as it represented a homecoming for head coach Karl Dorrell and assistants Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy, all former Buffs.

Since Colorado has joined the Pac-12, it has been almost all UCLA. After absorbing 45-6, 42-14, and 45-23 maulings from 2011-13, the Buffs have played on par with the Bruins. In 2014, the game went into double overtime, with UCLA prevailing, 40-37. The last time CU played in Los Angeles, the Buffs had a lead late, but ultimately fell, 35-31.

Then last year, the Buffs broke through in Boulder. In a defensive battle, the Buffs prevailed, 20-10, in “Even ugly wins count“. Two punt returns by Isaiah Oliver, including a 68-yard touchdown return in the fourth quarter to seal the deal, gave the Buffs a hard-fought victory.


Colorado and UCLA … historical

In historical terms, Colorado wins out over UCLA, with the CU football legacy dating back to 1890, while the Bruins didn’t field their first team until 1919. As a result, Colorado has a significant lead in all-time wins, with 698 (25th all-time) compared to UCLA’s 591 (57th).

When comparing apples to apples – all-time winning percentage – CU and UCLA are very close. The Bruins are 35th on the all-time list (.585 – 591-414-37), while the Buffs are 37th (.583 – 698-495-36).

Both teams have one national championship, one Heisman trophy winner, and, ironically enough, have both spent seven weeks as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll (tied for 25th on that list).

UCLA leads Colorado in most other categories tracked by Winsipedia, including NFL draft picks (316 to 270), consensus All-Americans (40 to 31) and bowl appearances (35 to 29). The Buffs do, however, hold a lead in one category which will last for some time to come … conference championships. Colorado is 10th on the all-time list, with 26, while UCLA is 23rd on the list, with 18.


Colorado and UCLA … Notes and Numbers

— UCLA is ranked in the top 25 nationally in at least five categories: Passing offense (1st, 451.8 ypg.); total offense (5th, 571.8 ypg.); scoring offense (9th, 45.0 ppg.); passing efficiency (20th, 161.56); and interceptions (16th, 9);

— Colorado is ranked in the top 25 nationally in at least five categories: Scoring defense (20th, 16.0 ppg.); punt returns (17th, 15.13 ypr); kickoff return yardage defense (14th, 16.20 ypr); turnovers gained (25th, 8); and red zone scoring percentage – defense (10th; 62.6%).

— UCLA is ranked 100th or worse nationally in at least ten categories, including: Rushing offense (103rd, 120.0 ypg.); rushing defense (129th, 307.5 ypg.); total defense (124th, 524.8 ypg.); scoring defense (124th, 43.3 ppg.); penalties per game (122nd, 10.0); turnovers lost (119th, 10); and time of possession (120th, 25:41);

— Colorado is ranked 100th or worse nationally in only one major category: Quarterback sacks allowed (121st, 3.5). The Buffs are 87th in scoring offense (26.2 ppg.) and 97th in turnovers lost (8);

— Colorado was 3-1 on the road in Pac-12 play in 2016, out-scoring its opponents 117-88. It was the first time since 2002 in which the Buffs had a winning record on the road in league play;

— With ten tackles against Washington, linebacker Drew Lewis became the first Buff since Greg Biekert in 1991 to have at least ten tackles in their first four career starts;

— The most receiving yards posted by a Buff against UCLA? 145 yards in the 1984 game, by … Jon Embree;

— The last time CU left the state of Colorado for the first time this late in the season was in 2001 (but that was due to 9/11. The Buffs were supposed to play Washington State on September 15th that year, but the game was cancelled)


Pac-12 Notes … 

— Four Pac-12 teams are undefeated (Washington; USC; Utah; and Washington State). The only other Power-Five conference with four undefeated teams is the ACC;

— The Pac-12 has posted a combined 6-2 record against the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and SEC;

— Four Pac-12 players are national leaders … Rusher: Bryce Love, Stanford (196.8 ypg.); Passer: Josh Rosen, UCLA (440.8 ypg.); Punt returner: Dante Pettis, Washington (38.0 return yards/three touchdowns); Placekicker: Matt Gay, Utah (14-14, 3.5 field goals per game);

— If you calculated Josh Rosen’s four-game numbers over the 12-game season, he would set the Pac-12 records for passing yards (5,290 yards – Jared Goff: 4,719 yards in 2015) and touchdowns (48 – Jake Browing, Washington/2016; and Jared Goff/2015 – 43);

— This weekend’s Pac-12 schedule:

  • No. 5 USC at No. 16 Washington State – Friday, ESPN, 8:30 p.m., MT
  • Arizona State at Stanford – Saturday, Pac-12 Networks, 2:00 p.m., MT
  • No. 6 Washington at Oregon State, Saturday, Pac-12 Networks, 6:00 p.m., MT
  • Colorado at UCLA, Saturday, ESPN2, 8:30 p.m., MT
  • California at Oregon, Saturday, FS1, 8:30 p.m., MT

Byes this week … Arizona (next game: at Colorado) … Utah (next game: Stanford)


One Reply to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. As usual – great info to prepare for Saturday. Having rewatched last weeks game (attended in person and finally got around to watching it again), I feel much better about going into this game than I did last Sunday. We literally gave UDub 24 points until we finally wore down after the pick 6 and their ability to just pound it with the run. I don’t see us making as many mistakes this week against this defense. If Montez just takes what UCLA gives him, our Blackout Boyz and PL will make the plays. Each team we played this year has tackled extremely well, even Texas St and UNC – preventing a lot of the YAC that we saw last year. I see this game resulting in a multitude of big plays on our side to get the offense feeling good about themselves again. As for the defense, they will give up a big play or two from time to time, but after rewatching the UDub game, I again am impressed with our schemes and our athletes we have back there. I see them making some big plays again this week, even scoring some on their own.

    Buffs find a way to do it and hit In and Out late night with a 41-27 victory over the Bruins.

    Go Buffs!

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