Friday Fast Facts – UCLA Week

… “T.I.P.S” – Our weekly preview postings, are available for your review and comment. The written preview and predictions for the CU/UCLA game can be found here, while the CU at the Game podcast preview for the game can be found here


Big Picture … 

Feels like September … The forecast for Saturday in Pasadena is a high of 89-degrees, with a temperature in the mid-60s by kickoff at 6:00 p.m., PT;

— Colorado is 4-26-1 all-time in games played in the state of California, with a Holiday Bowl win over Washington (1996) a win over UCLA (2002) and a pair of wins over Stanford (2016; 2020) … That’s it!;

— UCLA has lost three straight games in the Rose Bowl, losing to Fresno State, Arizona State and Oregon;

— After a bye week, this weekend will represent UCLA’s third straight game looking for win No. 6 on the season, and bowl eligibility. Seemingly a small goal for what was expected from the Bruins this season, but folks looking only at the uniforms forget that UCLA hasn’t been to a bowl since 2017, and hasn’t posted a winning record since 2015;

— The ESPN Power Index gives UCLA an 86.8% chance of winning; CU a 13.2% chance (last week: It was 66.7% for Oregon State; 33.3% for CU);

Can the Buffs get to 20?  … UCLA has won 58 straight regular season games in which the Bruins have held their opponents to under 20 points. The last time UCLA lost to a team scoring less than 20 points? – Colorado 16, UCLA 14 in 2003. Want a little irony? Know who UCLA’s head coach was the last time the Bruins held a team under 20 points and lost? Yup … it was Karl Dorrell;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the Pac-12 Networks (Saturday, 7:10 p.m., MT), with Ted Robinson on the play-by-play, and Yogi Roth with the commentary (the same crew as last weekend’s game against Oregon State).  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 18th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his sixth year as the full-time analyst.


Statistically speaking … 

Something has got to give Department … Colorado is 126th in the nation in passing offense, gaining only 134.8 yards/game, while UCLA is 120th in the nation in passing defense, surrendering 278.4 yards/game;

They couldn’t do it again if they tried … UCLA comes into the game against Colorado averaging 5.76 yards per play on offense … and giving up 5.76 yards per play on defense (in case you were wondering, the Buffs are averaging 4.58 yards/play, while surrendering 5.98 yards/play);

The only stat you really need to know … UCLA is 5-0 when the Bruins rush for over 200 yards; 0-4 when they don’t;

It really hasn’t been of much help so far … but Colorado is doing well in hanging onto the ball. The Buffs have only six turnovers in nine games – the third-lowest total in the nation;

—  How bad is the CU offense? … The only major offensive categories in which the Buffs are not in the 100s nationally is rushing offense – 98th (113.9 yards/game);

— Bar bet winner … Which CU team has a better winning percentage against UCLA – the football team or the men’s basketball team? Neither has fared well, but the football team (5-11, .312) has a slightly lower winning percentage against the Bruins than does the basketball team (7-15, .318).


CU Player Notes … 

— Punter Josh Watts is making a push for first-team All-Pac-12 honors. Watts is leading the Pac-12, and is fourth in the nation, averaging 48.7 yards per punt. Despite being fourth in the nation, Watts wasn’t named a semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award when the list came out this week;

— After having different sets of captains for each of the first five games of the season, the Buffs have had the same four captains for the past four games: cornerback Mekhi Blackmon; linebacker Nate Landman; quarterback Brendon Lewis; and tight end Brady Russell;

— When former Buff Mason Crosby walks onto the field this Sunday, it will be his 234rd NFL game. It will tie Crosby with offensive lineman Stan Brock for the most NFL games by a Buff, and tie Crosby with Brock and John Elway for 97th on the all-time NFL list;

Injury list … Wide receiver Dimitri Stanley, who missed the last three games, is still listed as “injured” for this week. The list of other injured players include linebacker Nate Landman (Karl Dorrell says maybe next week), defensive end/linebacker Guy Thomas, and running back Ashaad Clayton;

— The list of players who have been lost for the season … Marcus Bell, WR; Jeremiah Doss, DT; Chris Miller, S/OLB; J.T. Shrout, QB; Jaylen Striker, CB; and Nigel Bethel, CB.


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 717 (27th all-time) compared to UCLA’s 610 (62nd).

That being said, when we compare apples to apples – all-time winning percentage – CU and UCLA are very close. The Bruins are 38th on the all-time list (.576 – 610-444-37), while the Buffs are 39th (.576 – 717-523-36).

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 (327 to 276), consensus All-Americans (41 to 31) and bowl appearances (36 to 30). 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 25th on the list, with 17.

CU & UCLA … 

— UCLA has an 11-5 overall advantage in the series, including a 5-1 advantage in games played in the Rose Bowl;

— CU has won the last two games between the teams played in Boulder … both were conference season openers. When the teams last played in Los Angeles, it was in November, and the Bruins won 31-14;

— There are only 24 teams in the nation with a national championship and a Heisman trophy, and only three from the Pac-12 … USC, UCLA … and Colorado;

— Karl Dorrell had 108 receptions for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns while playing for UCLA (1982-86), including a pair of touchdowns in the 1984 Rose Bowl;

— UCLA opened its 2003 season at Colorado. It was UCLA’s first game with Karl Dorrell as its head coach. Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy were on Dorrell’s staff, but the 24th-ranked Buffs were victorious that day, winning 16-14.


The Last time …

November 7, 2020 … Colorado 48, UCLA 42 … 

Game StoryThe Buffs used four first half UCLA turnovers to race out to a 35-7 lead, then hung on for dear life in the second half before securing a 48-42 victory. Head coach Karl Dorrell became the third consecutive CU coach to win in their debut, defeating his alma mater before a crowd of less than a thousand at Folsom Field.

Sam Noyer became the first CU quarterback to start his first game as a senior since 1976, and made the most of his opportunity, completing 20-of-31 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown, also picking up 64 yards and another score on 13 carries. “I just wanted this opportunity from the start”, said Noyer, making his first start since his senior year in high school … in 2015. “And I finally got it in, and that’s all I could ask for”.

Sophomore running back Jarek Broussard also had a stellar debut, with 31 carries for 187 yards and three first half touchdowns. Playing without senior receiver K.D. Nixon, the receiving corps was led by tight end Brady Russell (five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown) and Dimitri Stanley (six catches for 66 yards).

The CU offense went for 525 yards of total offense, holding the ball for almost two-thirds (39:31) of the game clock. The Buffs had a 35-14 halftime lead, but three scoring drives by the Bruins, all of which took less than 90 seconds of game clock, made the game interesting until the final 1:45, when receiver Dimitri Stanley recovered an onside kick to preserve the win. The CU defense, which played well in the first half, ended up surrendering 478 yards, with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson responsible for most of those yards (303 yards and four touchdowns passing; 109 yards and a touchdown rushing).

Continue reading game story here

The Second to Last time …

November 2, 2019 … UCLA 31, Colorado 14 … 

Game Story … UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 21-of-28 passes for 226 yards and a touchdown, leading the Bruins to an easy 31-14 victory over Colorado. Taking advantage of a Steven Montez interception and a porous Colorado defense, the Bruins raced to a 17-0 first quarter lead … before the Buff offense could muster its first first down of the contest.

Steven Montez completed only 21-of-38 passes for 195 yards against a defense which entered the game 127th in the nation in pass defense (306.8 yards/game). Overall, the Buffs mustered only 14 points against the No. 114 scoring defense, and only 283 yards of total offense against the No. 112 defense in the country.

The Buffs’ leaders on offense each only mustered 77 yards, with Jaren Mangham gaining 77 yards on the ground (on 17 carries), while Tony Brown led the receivers with 77 yards on six receptions, including a 27-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter when the game was already well out of reach.

“I was overall just very disappointed with the way we started the game,” said CU head coach Mel Tucker. “Give UCLA credit, they’ve gotten better and got some things on track, they have players.”

Continue reading game story here


Pac-12 Notes … 

— The participants for the Pac-12 title game could be finalized this weekend. Oregon can wrap up the North with a win over Washington State and a Stanford win over Oregon State. Utah wins the South with a win over Arizona and a Washington State win over Arizona State;

— Pac-12 Lines … 

Buffs a 17.0-point underdog to UCLA


Pac-12 lines …

  • Utah at Arizona … Utah a 24.0-point road favorite … Saturday, noon, MT, Pac-12 Networks
  • USC at California … USC a 3.0-point road favorite … Saturday, 1:30 p.m., MT … postponed
  • Stanford at Oregon State … Oregon State a 10.0-point favorite … Saturday, 3:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks
  • Arizona State at Washington … Arizona State is a 4.0-point road favorite … Saturday, 5:00 p.m., MT
  • Colorado at UCLA … UCLA is a 17.0-point favorite … Saturday, 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks
  • Washington State at No. 4 Oregon State … Oregon is a 16.0-point favorite … Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN


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