Friday Fast Facts – UCLA Week

… Your weekly “T.I.P.S”, previews for this weekend’s games, discussing Talent, Intangibles, Preparation and Statistics, have been posted. 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 (together with our midseason grades) can be found at most podcast sites, and can also be listened to here …

Big Picture … 

Take off the tarp! … UCLA previously announced that Saturday’s game at the Rose Bowl was sold out, with a cap on tickets at 67,066. The Rose Bowl holds nearly 90,000 fans, but UCLA typically tarps off several sections of the stadium. On Monday, however, it was announced that UCLA is moving two tarps and increasing capacity to 70,865 for Saturday’s game. The only other teams who have played before a sold out crowd in every game this fall? That would be: Georgia, Iowa, Notre Dame and Tennessee;

“Hi Mom!” … Saturday’s game, to be televised by ABC, will be the Buffs’ fifth game this season on a national network, yet another program record. CU appeared on national television networks four times during the national championship season of 1990;

Could have been a different story if CU was already in the Big 12 … UCLA will be the fourth ranked team CU will play in 2023 through eight games. Entering Week 9, only Notre Dame (2-2) and South Carolina (0-4) have faced more ranked teams than the Buffs, and CU is one of 16 teams that have played three ranked teams so far this season. In the final four games, the Buffs will face at least two more ranked teams (Oregon State and Utah). The current Big 12 membership, meanwhile, has two ranked teams, Texas and Oklahoma, two teams leaving the conference after this season;

— The ESPN Power Index gives the Bruins an 83.7% chance of winning; the Buffs only a 16.7% chance. Last weekend, the Buffs were given an 80.1% chance of beating Stanford;

— The CU/UCLA game will be telecast nationally on ABC (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., MT) with CU alumnus Chris Fowler on the play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreit with the commentary, and Holly Rowe on the sidelines.  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 20th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his eighth year as the full-time analyst.


Four of CU’s 2023 games in Top 13 of the most viewed CU games of all-time … 

Rank Game Date (Bowl) Viewers (Millions)
1. Notre Dame, Jan. 1, ‘90 (Orange, NBC) 30.10
2. Notre Dame, Jan. 1, ‘91 (Orange, NBC) 29.62
3. Oregon, Jan. 1, ‘02 (Fiesta, ABC) 18.23
4. Ohio State, Jan. 1, ‘77 (Orange, NBC) 17.02
5. Syracuse, Jan. 1, ‘93 (Fiesta, NBC) 11.75
6. Nebraska, Nov. 4, ‘89 (CBS) 11.01
7. at Oregon, Sept. 23, ‘23 (ABC) 10.03
8. Texas, Dec. 1, ‘01 (B12, ABC) 9.66
9. Colorado State, Sept. 16, ‘23 (ESPN) 9.30
10. Nebraska, Sept. 9, ‘23 (FOX) 8.73
11. Notre Dame, Jan. 2, ‘95 (Fiesta, NBC) 8.42
12. at TCU, Sept. 2, ‘23 (FOX) 7.26
13. USC, Sept. 30, ‘23 (FOX) 7.24


Statistically speaking … 

Stop That! … Colorado was flagged 17 times for 127 yards in the game, with the majority of those being unforced errors: false starts, too many players on the field and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. This season, CU has been flagged 69 times, tied for most in the nation.

“We did a synopsis for the whole season, a game-by-game breakdown,” Sanders said this past week. “What are the most penalized groups? What are the least penalized groups? What are the penalties? What did they consist of? Are they before the whistle, after the whistle type of penalty? We have addressed all of that and adjusted. You should see a tremendous improvement this Saturday.”

How bad is the CU defense? … Most yards allowed per game in Colorado history …

  • 509.8 – 2022 … a 1-11 team, considered by many Buff fans as the worst CU team ever;
  • 488.5 – 2012 … a 1-11 team, the worst team ever … before 2022;
  • 473.7 – 2023 (through 7 games)
  • 464.4 – 1980 … a 1-10 which lost to Drake, and was run over by Oklahoma, 82-42, with the Sooners going for an NCAA record 758 yards rushing;

— Can’t point fingers … If someone tells you

— CU No. 8 in the nation in … red zone offense. The Buffs were No. 1 in the nation in red zone offense in the first half of the season, being perfect in red zone scoring. When the Buffs failed to score in the second overtime against Stanford, however, the Buffs dropped to No. 8 nationally. CU is now 24-for-25, with 19 touchdowns and five field goals;

Meanwhile … UCLA is ranked 122nd nationally in red zone offense. So … if it comes down to a battle of scoring in the red zone, CU has the advantage.


CU Player Notes … 

— Shedeur Sanders records watch … Shedeur Sanders is on pace to reset most of the single season passing in CU history. Here is an update on how Shedeur’s numbers are stacking up against every other quarterback to ever wear the black-and-gold …

  • Passing yards: 2,420 … CU single season record: 3,200 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 13th on the list – after seven games)
  • Passing touchdowns: 21 … CU single season record: 28 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently tied for third)
  • Passing attempts: 303 … CU single season record: 498 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently 16th)
  • Completions: 219 … CU single season record: 325 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently 9th)
  • Completion percentage: 72.3 … CU single season record: 68.4 … Koy Detmer, 1995 … If maintained, Sanders will set a new school record

Pac-12 Leaders … Shedeur Sanders is second in the Pac-12 in yards per game passing (345.7) and touchdown passes (21) … Wide receiver Xavier Weaver is fourth in receiving yards per game (90.1) and third in receptions per game (7.1) … Safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig is tied for the league lead in interceptions with three and Treavor Woods is tied for fifth on the list with two;

Liver laceration? What liver laceration? … Travis Hunter played in a CU record 149 scrimmage snaps and 160 overall against Stanford;

Watch lists … Buffs have been noticed … Travis Hunter, Shedeur Sanders, Xavier Weaver, Michael Harrison and Mark Vassett have all earned mention on midseason watch lists or specialty teams.


Colorado and UCLA … historical

In historical terms, Colorado wins out over UCLA, according to Winsipedia. CU’s football legacy dates 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 723 (29th all-time) compared to UCLA’s 627 (60th);

That being said, when we compare apples to apples – all-time winning percentage – CU and UCLA are very close. The Bruins are 36th on the all-time list (.579 – 627-450-37), while the Buffs are 42nd (.571 – 723-539-36);

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 (337 to 276), consensus All-Americans (41 to 31) and bowl appearances (37 to 30). The Buffs do, however, hold a lead in one category which will last for some time to come … conference championships. Colorado is 12th on the all-time list, with 26, while UCLA is 25th on the list, with 17.


CU & UCLA … 

— UCLA has an 13-5 overall advantage in the series, including an 8-1 advantage in games played in California (6-1 in Pasadena). CU’s only win on the road in the series came in 2002, when the Buffs defeated No. 20 UCLA, 31-17;

— The nine games in the Los Angeles area have been played at two different sites, as UCLA played its home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum through 1981. The Bruins reeled off wins in the first four meetings, with CU claiming the next two, a home-and-home agreement in 2002-03 reached when the NCAA approved 12-game schedules for those years at the time with an extra weekend between Labor Day and Thanksgiving;

— 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;

— The 2003 game between CU and UCLA was the first as head coach for former Bruin and former CU offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell; it was also the first game as UCLA assistants for former Colorado aides Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy, who accepted positions on Dorrell’s staff shortly after CU’s appearance in the Alamo Bowl the previous December. The Buffs won that game, 16-14;

— UCLA is ranked No. 23 in the nation this week. This weekend will mark the first time since 2016 that there will be a ranked team in the game (CU was ranked No. 21 in defeating UCLA 20-10 in Boulder). The last time UCLA played CU as a ranked team was in 2015, when No. 24 UCLA defeated the Buffs, 35-31.


Last season time in Pasadena …

November 13, 2021 … UCLA 44, Colorado 20 … 

— Game Story  Colorado squandered a 20-7 second quarter lead, giving up 37 unanswered points as UCLA ended up routing the Buffs, 44-20. The CU defense gave up only 69 yards rushing to UCLA offense in the first half, before giving up 149 yards rushing – and three touchdowns – in the third quarter alone.

Brendon Lewis threw for 158 yards, including some long completions to Daniel Arias and Brady Russell, but was ineffective in the second half. Jarek Broussard had his second 100-yard game, with 16 carries for 108 yards, but almost all of those yards were in the first half. Alex Fontenot had two one-yard touchdown runs in the first half, but the Buffs settled for field goals instead of touchdowns in first half red zone opportunities … before collapsing in the second half.

“They did a nice job. I take my hat off to them”, said head coach Karl Dorrell of UCLA’s 37-0 run in the second half. “They made the right adjustments at halftime. We thought we were making the right adjustments, but, of course, it didn’t work out that way.”

“The only other game that I remember being like that was the Oregon State game a few years back”, said tight end Brady Russell, who had five catches for 60 yards. “It was really unexpected, so that’s what’s most frustrating about it. I don’t think they elevated their game that much; I felt like we brought our level down after playing so well. It wasn’t that guys weren’t fighting or anything.  It was weird.”

… Continue reading game story here …


Pac-12 Notes … 

GameDay III for the Pac-12 … ESPN’s “College GameDay” heads to Salt Lake City this Saturday at 6 a.m. PT / 7 a.m. MT before the No. 13 Utes take on No. 8 Oregon in the highly-anticipated top-15 showdown. GameDay will be making its third appearance at a Pac-12 school this season after visiting Boulder on Sept. 16th and Seattle on Oct. 14th. Saturday marks the fifth time College GameDay has traveled to Salt Lake City, with the show most recently visiting the Utes’ campus for then-No. 17 Utah’s clash against then-No. 4 Washington on October 29, 2016;

— Pac-12 lines … From …

  • No. 8 Oregon at No. 13 Utah … 1:30 p.m., MT, Fox … Oregon is a 6.5-point road favorite … up from 4.0-points on Sunday
  • No. 24 USC at California … 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … USC is a 10.5-point road favorite … up from 9.0-points on Sunday
  • No. 5 Washington at Stanford … 5:00 p.m., MT, FS1 … Washington is a 26.5-point road favorite … up from 26.0-points on Sunday
  • Colorado at No. 23 UCLA … 5:30 p.m., MT, ABC … UCLA is a 17.0-point home favorite … unchanged from Sunday
  • Washington State at Arizona State … 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … WSU is a 6.0-point road favorite … down from 7.0 points on Sunday
  • No. 11 Oregon State at Arizona … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Oregon State is a 3.5-point road favorite … down from 5.0 points on Sunday


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