UCLA Preview

The comeback kids in the Pac-10 couldn't muster a fifth straight come-from-behind win last week after falling behind by such a large margin against the Arizona Wildcats. That spelled the first loss of the season for the Bruins as they head into their final home game of the year. This weekend's game between UCLA and Arizona State figures to be an offensive battle. Both teams are capable of putting up a bunch of points and both defenses can give up big plays, especially on the ground.

2005 Record: 8-1, (5-1 in Pac-10)
Head Coach: Karl Dorrell, 3rd year
Offensive Coordinator: Tom Cable
Defensive Coordinator: Larry Kerr


*Projected Starters

WR Marcus Everett (So)
ST Brian Abraham (So)
SG Shannon Tevaga (So)
C Robert Chai (Jr)
WG Robert Cleary (Sr)
WT Ed Blanton (Sr)
TE Marcedes Lewis (Sr)
QB Drew Olson (Sr)
FB Michael Pitre (So)
RB Maurice Drew (Jr)
WR Joe Cowan (Jr)

Quarterback Drew Olson is finishing his Bruin career out in style and has had, by far, the most productive season in Westwood. The senior has a 66% completion rate and thrown for 25 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions in his 295 attempts. Olson is averaging 266 yards in the air and will likely surpass the 3,000 yard mark this season in the Bruins' bowl game. The heir-apparent may be the "other" Olson, Ben. After arriving with much fanfare earlier in the year, Ben Olson has had to watch from the bench, attempting only 4 passes this season.

The receiving corps is lead by tight end Marcedes Lewis. The senior has been Olson's favorite target this season with 48 catches and 8 touchdowns. After senior receiver Junior Taylor went down, junior Joe Cowan has picked up some slack and emerged as another formidable option for his quarterback. Cowan has caught 29 balls and scored 2 times. Sophomores Marcus Everett and Brandon Breazell can make some catches for big gains. Everett and Breazell have a combined 4 touchdowns on the year.

Olson can also utilize two very good running backs in the passing game, junior Maurice Drew and sophomore Chris Markey. 4 of Drew's 18 scores have come by way of Olson. Offensive coordinator Tom Cable likes to involve the two out of the backfield and as long as they make the catch, both can usually move the chains for a first down. Drew is even better when running the ball, however. The junior has 728 yards and 11 scores on the ground. Drew is averaging just under 81 yards a game but may be limited against ASU due to a nagging injury suffered against Stanford. The rushing attack doesn't lose much with Markey carrying the ball. Markey has 3 touchdowns and averages just under 5 yards per carry.


*Projected Starters

DE William Snead (So)
DT Chase Moline (Fr)
DT Brigham Harwell (So)
DE Justin Hickman (Jr)
LB Wesley Walker (Sr)
LB Spencer Havner (Sr)
LB Justin London (Sr)
SS Jarrad Page (Sr)
FS Dennis Keyes (So)
CB Trey Brown (So)
CB Marcus Cassell (Sr)

Another season, another year of injuries on the defensive line for the Bruins. Two key contributors are sidelined, Kevin Brown and Nikola Dragovic, which hasn't helped the UCLA rushing defense, allowing just under 224 yards on the ground per game this season. Defensive end Justin Hickman is the line's leading tackler with 26 stops and 4 sacks. Opposite of Hickman is Sophomore William Snead with 17 tackles and 1 sack. Senior Kyle Morgan and sophomore Bruce Davis are the reserves at the defensive end spots. Davis has logged 23 stops and 2 sacks. On the interior of the line, sophomore Brigham Harwell and freshman Chase Moline each have 23 tackles and a combined 3 sacks. Freshman Kenneth Lombard is a key contributor off the bench at tackle with 12 tackles and 1 sack.

The Bruins field a good trio at linebacker. Senior Spencer Havner is a tackle vacuum and has been on several defensive award watch lists the last couple of years. He's the team leader in tackles and interceptions with 76 and 2, respectively. 13 of Havner's 76 stops have been for a loss. Senior Justin London has notched 38 tackles. Outside linebacker Wesley Walker has only 16 tackles while missing a few games. Reserve sophomores Aaronn Whittington and Christian Taylor have a combined 35 stops.

Leading the secondary are strong safety Jarrad Page and free safety Dennis Keyes. The two have combined for 99 tackles and 3 sacks. Junior Eric McNeal will also log considerable time at safety and comes in with 26 stops and 1 interception. At the corner spots are senior Marcus Cassell and sophomore Trey Brown. Cassell has 32 tackles and 5 pass break-ups while Brown has 35 stops, 8 pass break-ups, and 1 interception. Sophomore Rodney Van has 18 tackles.


P Aaron Perez (Fr)
K Justin Medlock (Jr)
PR Maurice Drew (Jr)
KR Chris Markey (So)

Punter Aaron Perez is averaging just over 40 yards on his 42 punts this season. The punt coverage team has downed about 1/4 of the sophomore's punts inside the 20. The longest kick by Perez went for 52 yards. Junior Justin Medlock has been among the league's top specialists. He's 10 of 14 in field goal attempts this season and has hit a 51 yarder.

Dynamic runner Maurice Drew is dangerous on punt return duty and has already scored 3 times. He's averaging close to 30 yards per return and his longest went for 81 yards. Chris Markey is also capable of making a big play in the special teams game. The sophomore has a 23 yard average on kick returns.

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